what do you want for Christmas?

what do you want for Christmas?

The other day, we had dinner with the men from Paul’s Bible study, and their wives. (And Savannah!) One of the wives said something interesting that I’ve been thinking about. She said when she was growing up, she and her siblings weren’t allowed to make Christmas “wish lists”.

I thought that was interesting. My family always did wish lists, mostly because we lived in Peru and it was hard for our grandparents and other relatives to know what we would want otherwise. Now, we email each other wish lists, and then of course we follow that up with emails to everyone but the recipient saying what we’re getting them so as not to duplicate anything.

I brought it up to Paul yesterday and he said he didn’t grow up making lists. We agreed that while it’s harder to come up with gifts without knowing exactly what the person wants, in general the gifts are more meaningful. I like the idea of not having our kids spell out what exactly they want. I don’t know how practical it is, but ideally it’s a nice idea.

How about you? How do you handle wish lists? Do you think one way is better than the other?

4 thoughts on “what do you want for Christmas?

  1. We’d always mention some things we wanted to my parents, and Hannah and I would often make up lists, but we were fully aware that most of the stuff on our list wouldn’t be bought. We never expected it, but it was still fun to make up the list! It was more of a “dream list” than a real, I-expect-all-this-to-show-up-under-my-tree list. My parents would always purchase some things from the list, and that was always fun. But Hannah and I were big list people for other, more unrealistic things too, so we were used to lists not becoming reality. We would spend hours pouring over the American Girl catalogs and making up “If you had $2000 what would you buy?” lists, even though my mom had given use a dose of reality (a good thing!) and told us point blank when we got the catalogs that we could only get them if we realized that we’d never actually get to have anything from them. We really didn’t care! I think it’s a touchy thing, because too many kids do make lists as a greedy “gimme” list, and that’s not an attitude I’d want to foster in my kids.

    We did always have my dad’s mom call us a few months before Christmas, to ask what we wanted, and we were allowed to ask for mostly anything, within reason and a general price limit, and we knew we would get it.

  2. The one christmas I said to my mum that I didn’t know what I wanted and I didn’t mind she got me a Winnie the Pooh collectors plate. It was expensive and she thought I liked Winnie the Pooh… I did like Pooh a bit, I thought it was cute but I didn’t love it. That was my major present and I felt gypped because I really didn’t like it. Seriously the best thing I got that Christmas was some cool underwear my grandma bought me. Since then I have always had a list.

    I think no list sounds good as long as you really know your kids and what they actually like and what is just a passing phase.

  3. I think it depends on how good you are at knowing what people want. I never got the point of making a list and then just having people buy the things for you – it’s pretty much the same as just giving me money or gift cards. On the other hand, whenever I don’t tell my mother what I would like then she gets me something I don’t want at all and then I feel bad because she basically wasted her money.

    This is my first Christmas with my husband, so I don’t know if we will keep this up in the future, but we used Christmas as an excuse to splurge on some things we had wanted for a while and then agreed to spend around $40 on the other on “surprise” gifts. That way we get what we want and get rid of the pretense and stress -but still have the fun of not knowing what’s under the tree.

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