Christmas Shopping for Teenagers

Now it used to be so easy when #1 and #2 were children. A month before Christmas I’d take them to preschool and I’d go to Walmart and get a baby doll, a power ranger, some Christmas lights, a turkey, a few winter clothes, and I was done Christmas shopping. I was usually out of there in one hour and under $200.

Then their hormones changed. They got taller. They went to public school.

Now here’s how it goes:

Mid October I asked for a list. #1 wanted the IPOD touch. I asked him how well it worked without Internet, since I didn’t intend to pay for Internet for a 17 year old to surf the Internet while driving. So he changed his mind to the PSP. (Savings around $100) Now for you older moms and grandmas, he did not ask for drugs, but rather a Playstation. And a new Stereo for his car. He also needed some new jeans and our contract was up on our cell phones so each of us will get new cellphones. Thank God for free phones!

Late October, #2 finds a camera she wants. The body was so expensive, her father asked her wouldn’t she rather have a car. She agreed that a new car would work. (Savings non-existent, dad was being sarcastic. Now he’s looking at used cars.)

Early November, #3 gives me the three page printout of her list. No Barbies on this list. She’s taking her clues from siblings and going for the gold. Mine. I knew I was screwed the year she refused to go see Santa at the mall. She offered to fax him her list.

Now it’s almost Thanksgiving. I have talked #2 down to a much cheaper camera. But not out of the car, still working on that. #1 is still trying to decide on a stereo, and #3 has agreed to slim line her list. Webkins are fine. Jackets that cost more than I make in a month are not.

I haven’t bought a thing, because I know that late November the advertisers will start hitting my kids full steam ahead with new toys they just have to have and they will change their minds and nothing on their list is returnable if they decide on something cheaper. So I wait. I will order mid December exactly one day short of the last possible shipping day to get here in time for Christmas. Unless I find some really good deals along the way.

But I admit I miss the year that I had mom driving all over town trying to find the red Power Ranger. She paid the unbelievably high price of $12 for it. God I miss those days. When the boxes were more fun than the toys. When if the power went out, Christmas wasn’t over. When I could add a toy to the grocery shopping and not have to take out a small loan. When kids in footy pajamas still came downstairs in the morning sleepy eyed to see what Santa brought.

Now they come downstairs fully dressed and texting their friends about what they got. However, the good things about shopping for teenagers is they can occupy themselves for hours with their new toys. Dad and I will have long hours of time to play with our new toys. Or to work our second jobs. 😉

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