Parenting

All we want for Christmas

Tracy wonders what you do when your kids ask Santa for something he might not be able to manage. Plus, do you buy your partner a gift?

I made the mistake today of asking the kids what they’re planning to ask Santa for for Christmas this year. No one had brought up the “S” word here yet; in the past I’ve been caught off-guard by requests and had to scramble and hoped to avoid that.
 
I tell the kids they can ask Santa for one thing each year. “Just start thinking about it,” I said, “so you’re sure it’s the thing you really want.”
 
They didn’t need any time. But clearly, I’m going to.
 
“I want a rocking horse.” No, that didn’t come from my three-year-old, but from my almost-six-year-old.
 
“A rocking horse, Anna?” I said, obviously surprised. “Like a little-kid rocking horse?”
 
“Santa’s magic,” she replied. “He can make one for big kids.”
 
Ugh. After some further prodding, I realized she’s thinking of the big stuffed horse my niece has. It’s big enough to “ride” on, but doesn’t actually rock (though I think Anna would prefer if she actually got one that rocked). I remember a few Christmases ago my niece was desperate for it and it was crazy expensive, then finally my sister found it on super-sale, like it was meant to be. After a quick online search, any stuffed horse of this size is going for about $200. And that’s not going to happen.
 
And then there’s Avery.
 
“I want to ask Santa for a pogo stick!” she said with a grin stretched from ear to ear.
 
This is payback for getting all my shopping done early! I truly anticipating some easy Barbie requests. Obviously she is too little for a pogo stick (damn you, Dora) and some online research has confirmed that.
 
Then Anna says she wants a pogo stick too. I could actually get Anna a pogo stick because most of them are for age five and up, and it would be a pretty cool gift and totally get me off the rocking horse hook, but then Avery will be so confused if she doesn’t get one.
 
Ah, Santa. You’re throwing a wrench into things once again.
 
Oh yes, and our truck died tonight. Maybe for good. Sean and I could use some Santa magic right about now…
 
What do you do if your child asks Santa for something inappropriate or that you can’t manage? And, I’m curious: Do you and your partner buy each other gifts? Go together to get something? Not bother?