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?

By Tracy Chappell
All we want for Christmas

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?

This article was originally published on Nov 18, 2011

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