Gift Giving Complex

I have a gift giving complex and my insecurities peak this time each year.

Basically, I am not confident in my ability to pick out gifts for people.  My doubts probably go back to 7th grade when I gave my boyfriend a Garbage Pail Kid for Christmas and got teased.  Or the time in high school when I gave my boy-friend lots of D batteries because he was always complaining that his boom box in his car (he didn’t have a car stereo) would run out of batteries so fast.  I heard his complaints and gave him a great practical solution, right?

Uh no.  Apparently teenage boy don’t want practical.  They want cologne and mixed tapes and T-shirts and framed pictures (or least they did 25 years ago).

And Santa hasn’t helped my gift giving complex either.  He has really screwed up at our house few times.

Like the time Elle asked for an alarm clock so Santa brought her an iHome (but no iPod).  Elle scoured all through her Christmas gifts and stocking just sure Santa must have given her an iPod to go with her iHome.  She was sure she found the iPod very last as she stuck her hand into her stocking only to pull out an orange.  Can you say, disappointed?

Or last year when he gave Crew a bunch of boy/warrior Zhu Zhu pets.  Crew played with them that day, but I am not sure he has touched them since.  Even though Crew asked for them, Santa had to know that the warrior Zhu Zhu pets would go down as the biggest gift flop of all time.  Crew’s face says it all.

And don’t forget the flip camera that never really worked, the piano the kid’s didn’t touch for a year, and the digital camera that took crappy pictures.  Santa has had his share of misses.

To Santa’s credit, he has nailed it a few times though.

Like the time he got Elle an easel even though she asked him for a Polly Pocket swimming pool.   This was a big risk, but that was 5 years ago and Elle still plays with her easel almost every day.  It is well worn.

Or the time he got Croft a Barbie Glamour Camper.  The gift was for Croft, but Locke and Elle ended up liking it just as much.  I love it when three kids are happy with the same gift.

Or the play kitchen was a big hit Christmas day and 3 years later they still use it often.  Now it doubles as the school cafeteria.

How can Santa be so off one year and so on the next?  His inconsistency just fuels the complex.

There is so much to consider when giving gifts:

Should Santa get the kids what they think they want (the day they make their list?)  Or does he get what the mom thinks they would like more?

Or does he go with a gift the kids would like today but might grow out of soon? Or does he go with a gift that is just a little ahead of their time that they can grow in to?

And how does Santa know what the kids will actually like because what one kid enjoys another one has no interest in?  It is so hard to predict what toy is going to be a hit and which ones are going to be a miss with each kid.

My early gift giving failures and Santa’s strikeouts still haunt me as I Christmas shop.  Is this normal or does Santa always get it right at your house?  And if so, what have been some of your most successful kid gifts?

6 thoughts on “Gift Giving Complex”

  1. The sewing machine was my gift test last year and it was a success that is still being used! I think I am setting myself up for failure this year…we will see! 🙂

  2. I have a daughter who doesn’t play with toys, isn’t into art or crafts, and really just wants a pet (which the landlords don’t allow). Believe me, I feel your pain. Santa is racking his brain this year and so far has come up with nothing. And we have definitely had some flops! (Like the toy dog Santa brought one year that didn’t even work and was never played with.)

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