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Thursday, December 23, 2010

What will Santa Bring?

Over at Almost Frugal she and commenters have many good ideas about Santa gifts. I know my son asked for a remote controlled something every year. He never got it, ever. I warned him before Christmas that it was not something Santa would bring. And, "No." I was not going to buy it either because it needed batteries and would break soon. When he was old enough to understand why Santa did not bring him everything he wanted, he never complained to me if it was not under the tree because he knew the Actually, he never complained at all.

If he were wistful about not getting what he asked for, I asked him if he would trade one of the treasured gifts he DID get that was not on the list. He emphatically did not, so that was that. I ended it matter-of-factly.

My children never got anything that I would not have bought or was too expensive. As they became aware of Santa's true persona, they just knew better than to ask. Some years, they just put down something forbidden, hoping against hope that they might get lucky.

He received walkie talkies, bike, rink skates, tinker toys, pogo stick, frisbee, socks, clothing, books, Snoopy, Tonka and Ertl metal toys. These were the huge metal toys, mostly for the yard. I was also big buyer of Fisher-Price. He received Matchbox or Hot Wheels every year, tracks, garage, all sorts of things. Oh, the socks were in his stocking, and he hugged them, and said, "Socks." He really needed socks, and I could well-afford them. I just decided they would wait for Christmas. Silly mama. I was crushed and so ashamed.

My child was grateful for socks with a pile of toys at his feet. I will never get over that. But, it was the first time in his life that his socks had gotten shabby and he had not gotten new ones. He was only 8 or 9. He knew how the Santa thing operated, so he knew I was supplying him what he needed, just a tad late.

When I say "pile of toys," there were maybe two large things, something he would never think of, and the little cars, blocks, books, or flashlight. He had two sisters, so all the toys in the accumulated pile were not for him. I also believed in giving something that was an addition to what he already had, making the old toy suddenly something he enjoyed with new fervor. For example, he had many little metal cars by different makers. One year, he got the Hot Wheels tracks and we lived with them strung all over the house for years. Another year, he got the garage from Fisher-Price. So, all of a sudden the old, little, metal cars were "new" things to play with.

I really don't like the idea of getting everything from the child's extensive list. My son would never have thought of the huge metal toys because he was seeing ads on TV and everywhere about toys--the latest, greatest, hottest, and most-desirable toys! Even when he did not see something on TV, he had friends who did and spread the word.

None of us get everything we want. Maybe in your world that happens, but not in mine. We survive.

Right now, I am hoping Santa has an elf along who will wash my car when they pass this way. Oh, yeah. Elves don't come along for the ride.

Your turn
Did you try to get all your child desired? Or, do you set limits? Have you ever discovered that the unexpected gifts that Santa chose were better than what the child wanted in terms of play value?

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