And I'm already thinking about Christmas. Santa and her elves (hell, who am I kidding). Mrs. Santa, all by her lonesome, needs to get started on shopping for the holidays.
See, Buddy has had a rough couple of years. My mom passed away around Thanksgiving 2005 and his new sister was due in February 2006. We figured he needed someplace of his own in this house where he had enough fun things that he could find some privacy and time to himself while dealing with the newness of a newborn in the house.
Not that we were trying to get rid of him, but just giving him the space he might need if she was crying or he didn't feel like dealing with baby stuff.
That year, for Christmas, my mom had already bought him a GameCube, Santa threw in a TV, and we provided games and accessories. It was a good year for him.
Then, last year, the Wii was all the rage and he just had to have one. I found a bundled dealio on GameStop, paid more than I should have (but still got a bargain when I saw what others were paying) and that was another good year.
When Buddy was small, we started to enforce the rules of 2s. He could ask us for 2 things, my parents for 2 things and Santa for 2 things. He always gets assorted extras from aunts/uncles, family friends, etc. So, it's not like he's deprived. Plus, the older he gets, the more expensive his wish list is.
After my parents both passed away, we changed it to the 3s. Three things from us and three from Santa.
This child has never grumbled about his "limits". He thinks things over and carefully chooses the things he desires the most.
When I was a kid, the Christmas tree was packed with gifts all around. My brother and I would count our packages and gloat if one party had more than the other. And that was just stuff from family. We'd open all those gifts on Christmas Eve. Santa brought more gifts and left them by the tree, but unwrapped.
The Evil Twin grew up with different traditions, so we've had to compromise. He will not allow the opening of family gifts on Christmas Eve, but he does allow the Santa presents to arrive overnight, unwrapped, and mixed in with the other gifts. In his family, the Santa presents were wrapped, signed by Santa and were under the tree for days before Christmas. (WTF??? Santa only makes a run that one night, people!). Plus, he recognized his mom's handwriting.
I think my way makes more sense. Santa is far too busy to wrap every gift and also, that skirts the handwriting issue - even if it's a large family, the kids know which gifts are theirs.
So, here I sit, wondering what will be the BIG item this year? The hard-to-get-must-have for 10 year olds? For Sissy, we are still in the "the box is more fun" phase, so shopping for her will be easy.
Although, in this economy, shopping at all will be quite painful. And probably a bit more on the penny pinching side, even though I am frugal by nature and manage to save quite a bit of money over time.
The Evil Twin and I don't buy for each other and I only buy for my nieces on the Evil Twin's side of the family. We don't buy for my brother's kids (they've never bothered to acknowledge my children's birthdays or any other holiday, so welcome to that world! Plus, when we have sent gifts, they go unacknowledged and I'm sorry - but I'm a stickler for Thank You notes. Send a damn note or NO MORE GIFTS FOR YOU, tough titty!)
Do you all have any fun holiday traditions? What do your kids want this year? And, what WILL be the big item this year? Any thoughts?