I like to think of Christmas lists as the magical scribblings of a little girl, stuffed into a messy, decorated envelope to take to the Santa at the mall. Filled with dreams and low expectations, we knew that Santa worked in mysterious ways, dictated by our actions. But now, carefully styled lists fly over email, or better, some new app, that takes those dreams straight to the North Pole. (And to those parents with deep pockets.)
Michele Singletary writes about teen Christmas lists in a recent article; as the “Color of Money” columnist, she thinks long and hard about finances in all its facets, so when a teen asks for an $800 item, she has to have an answer. It's increasingly difficult for parents these days, especially those with older kids who know the drill…or young savvy tots who have decided that since Santa is magic, money is of no concern! As parents, aunts and grandparents, our generation has more of a challenge—we have to rely more on the lists, or the ideas generated by parents who know their kids better than we. But can we go outside those “order forms”? Didn’t Steven Spielberg get inspired when a movie camera showed up under his tree? Did you know that Eric Clapton got his first guitar for his thirteenth birthday? Eric didn’t even like his gift til years later…
I love the idea of fulfilling wishes, but also rue the loss of that moment of surprise. Something about a gift that anticipates my wants, that says “I know a little bit about you, and here’s something to delight,” is so very special. It makes me a little sad that it has totally devolved into an ordering system; put your wants on paper, and I will buy them for you. Someone close confided sheepishly that she actually let her child do the online ordering when she got very busy one year (she still feels bad about it). She’s not alone.
The time my husband bought a quirky lamp I had drooled over months before (he remembered), or when my daughter made those photo collages because she knows I’m a sucker for memories—those took a little more effort, yes, but they touched me deeply. For my shopping, I will still go to lists as a guideline – and will continue to make them for others. (It does save time, and sometimes that’s a gift in itself.) But I’ll try to add a personal touch to my presents as often as possible. Somehow, Christmas isn’t the same without a bit of wonder and “wow!”
SO, I’m excited for the early holiday presents coming this week. The winter Konenkii box promises to delight with a flurry of gifts selected just for me…that fearless woman who wants a little comfort and a little beauty in her life. My husband doesn’t get the whole “discovery box” concept (“you pay for things without knowing?”), but I beg to differ. I’m looking forward to the not knowing, the excitement of opening a treasure trove of items I didn’t have to find on my own.
Share your wonder and your challenges with us!