As kids get older, buying gifts gets harder

Before you know it, it is the time of year to start shopping for Christmas gifts. Ok, I will be honest. I was done with most of my gift buying before Thanksgiving.

But each year as the kids get older, it gets harder and harder to figure out what to buy them.

surprising-ways-kids-play-02-pg-fullWhen they were infants and toddlers, there were so many cool toys out there that they were happy with anything. Heck, they were probably happier with the box. When they are that young, any new toy makes them happy.

And then they start liking certain characters or shows. And the choices get narrower. Gone are the days when a red drum or a stuffed animal will make them happy. They now want Disney this or Dora that. But still the kindergarten age is relatively easy.

For me, the years after that are harder. Even if I have my kids make a list, you have to figure out which things they really want. Girls-Toy-AisleMy 7-year-old is apt to write down anything in a pink box or anything that looks fun. Well, girl things are often in a pink box, and all toys are usually presented as fun items. It makes her list long. (This year I stressed only writing down the things she really wanted.)

And then there is the ever-changing favorite thing. One month she is all about the new My Little Pony/Equestria Girl movie. She is singing the songs and wanting all the toys. They are on sales so you think about buying them – or perhaps you even do. And then, she finds a new favorite thing when she watches the latest Barbie movie or sees a commercial or finds out her friend Melony likes Monster High.

This ever-changing list of the “best” or “hot” toy is what makes buying for Lexie so hard. You have to look at her list and try to figure out which of these toys does she really want – and not because it is in a pretty pink box, which of these toys is not a passing fad. But the grandparents always want a list, so I do my best to guess which items she really wants and will play with. canterlot

For this year: My Little Pony has always been a hit with her, so we bought her the Canterlot Castle. And you can never go wrong with a toy from the movie Frozen so she is getting one of those too. She has been talking about the CleverKeet for over a month so that is what Santa bought her. (Yep, still believing in Santa.)

For the past couple of years, we have it easier with Jase as he has been into Legos. The problem is that he doesn’t always build some of the more complicated sets or even if he does, they never stay put together and soon his room is overrun with Lego pieces. Beyond Legos, he is into video games, which are usually an easy purchase. The thing with his items is they are no longer cheap!star wars legos

For this year: We have bought him a Star Wars Lego set and a video game. We are still waiting on purchasing his gift from Santa as he hasn’t said what he wants to ask Santa for. (I get the feeling that he may no longer be a believer but he hasn’t said so yet.)

So we have navigated the gift buying for this year. But I expect the same dilemma will hit me next year.