Sunday, October 19, 2008

31 Things to do before Christmas – Time to Investigate

(This is #9 of 31 in the 31 Things to do series)

Time to Investigate - what's on their Christmas wish list?

Do you know what the people on your Christmas list have on their wish list? The best case scenario is that they have a wish list prepared like we discussed in a previous post. But even if they dont, there are ways to find out even without asking.

I've been making mental notes (which is a no-no since I am forgetful) of things that I've heard different people mention over the last several months. (And yes, I will be adding this information to my Christmas notebook and you should do the same when you know what you will buy for each person, that's what it's there for.)

For example, I just found out that my grandson is into comic books now. My daughter let that little tidbit of info slip out in a casual conversation.... and I'm glad she did, because her kids have so much that it is always difficult to decide what to get them, especially since I am not rich. The things that I can afford to buy them, they already have. But I figure I can easily get him more comic books that he doesn't already have.

Some questions you can consider when trying to figure out what to give an individual are:

  1. Do they have any hobbies, especially new hobbies they are just getting into? Usually when you are new to a hobby you don't yet have all of the gear, so there is plenty left for others to contribute to the cause.

  2. Have you noticed anything that they really need, or anything they already have but is a bit tired or old?

  3. Do you have anything of your own that this person really likes or is always complimenting you on? Some of the best gifts I have received have been things that a friend had, and I told them how much I liked it, so they gave it to me, or gave me one of my own.

A little investigating of my own

I recently talked to a small group of kids about Christmas gifts they want this year. I explained to them that the economy is not in good shape and a lot of families are hurting financially this year. And I asked them what they would want under their Christmas tree if their parents only had a very small amount of money to spend on Christmas this year.

What I learned was surprising to me. Number one, I learned that a lot of kids still believe in Santa Claus, even up to 10 and 11 years old! This was surprising to me since we never really promoted the whole Santa Claus thing to our children. Santa is cool, but they know who "Santa" really is because we never tried to hide it. But now that I know that some kids believe in it wholeheartedly, I will be very careful about what I ask other children from now on. I wouldn't want to be the one to burst their bubble, besides it's not my place anyway. But eventually their friends will probably do it.

The other thing I found out is that (most) kids are more understanding and less spoiled than we give them credit for. All of the kids that I talked to understood that times are tough for a lot of folks, and one little girl even told me that she would be happy with just a chicken and some stuffing!

Now that is priceless.

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