The Present Dilemma

I can hardly believe it, but holiday season is once again upon us. Halloween wasn’t even over before the stores started putting up Christmas decorations. Now, every store I go into has their Christmas tree up and holiday music blaring. I finally had to admit it to myself this week: it’s time to start thinking about presents. 

You would think that with two kids, this would be an easy task – just grab any toy at the store and voilà! However, if you are a longstanding reader of this blog, you might remember that Dylan poses his own challenges when it comes to presents: usually, he doesn’t want any.

The first Christmas he was home, Dylan was too little to even know what was going on, much less tell us what he wanted, so we just bought him a couple of things and he was pretty happy. The second Christmas he was home, Dylan wanted nothing but balloons and candy canes. Seriously. It was great for our pockets, but a huge challenge when it came to giving family members suggestions as to what to buy.

I thought consumerism had finally gotten a hold of him last year, because suddenly he wanted EVERYTHING in the store. He didn’t get nearly half of what he wanted, but at least I was able to tell people what to get him. Liam was only six months old last Christmas, so presents for him were a no-brainer. This year, however, is a totally different matter for both of them.

Family members have already started asking what to get the boys, and I am at a total loss. Once again, Dylan doesn’t want very much at all. I have gone through all the big toy catalogs with Dylan. I have taken him to Toys R’Us and Target and asked him to tell me what he wanted Santa to get him. The answers are always the same: Ninja Turtles, and the skeleton warriors from Ninjago. That’s it.

Problem number one is that I don’t think they even MAKE a Lego set with just the skeleton warriors from Ninjago (if they do, I haven’t been able to find it, so if you know who sells it, let me know!) and he doesn’t want any other Ninjago character/Lego set. I am not too fond of Legos at this point anyway, since Dylan loses interest quickly and Bill just ends up putting it together himself. Plus, the small pieces make me nervous since Liam still puts everything in his mouth. 

The Ninja Turtles also pose a problem. The truth is that I am not so sure how long this fade is going to last – he isn’t suuuper crazy about them – so I don’t necessarily want him to have EVERY Ninja Turtle toy out there and then have them just laying there gathering dust.

You’d think Liam would be easy to buy for, but I’m also stumped with him. All the “age-appropriate” toys seem almost too young for him, as he pretty much just ignores his baby toys. He either wants to play with Dylan’s toys or household things like pots and pans or even an empty box. I swear he would probably love getting a balloon in a box, like Dylan got for Christmas when he was 3 years old.

Please do not think that I am unhappy that my kids are not very materialistic – believe me, I am, but that doesn’t make the holidays any less challenging. Hopefully between now and Christmas I can come up with some more ideas for presents from family members. If you have any suggestions of good, fun, (hopefully educational) toys, I’d be happy to hear them!

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