In reviewing my Christmas present lists, I seem to have found a flaw. They are not very equal. One kid has lots of things we have seen that might interest her, another only wants gift cards and wants to shop for herself, and the other doesn’t ever ask for much and is harder to pin down.
Three children + unequal Christmas lists = frustrated mom.
Without going into detail (for obvious reasons), I’m having a hard time balancing my books. This is not the first year this has happened, though they all seem to have been different challenges in different years. When they are infants, you buy them more things for your convenience. Toddlers need educational but fun things that won’t break immediately and are more interesting than the box they came in. Elementary school age kids are probably easiest to find gifts for, as they want everything they see. Then comes middle school, and nothing seems right: little kid toys are just that, and they have things that they need but presents of the sock and underwear variety are never any fun to receive. High school brings a bigger or smaller challenge, depending on how you look at it. Gift cards are easy, but not very “sexy”, gift-wise, and most things that they want are pretty expensive.
Adding to the whole developmental stage dilemma is the fact that they are three discrete, unique individuals, and a present that worked for one sister would not necessarily work for the other when she reached that stage. Then throw the naughty/nice factor in.
I have a whole new respect for Santa.