Last year I came up with the brilliant idea of creating my own gift guide because November and December are such slow, boring months that I’m always tooling around wondering what to do with all of this free time?… This is the time of year when I clearly like to create new blogging homework for myself, and since the Book Elf is cutting back to once a week, I wouldn’t want you questioning my work ethic.
I’ve recently been reflecting on our holiday plans and prodding the boys to begin articulating their wishes to the big man upstairs. Up north? In any case, most people picture Santa’s workshop in a snowy winter wonderland, but I’ve got to say, I think it’s more Amazonian.
Given the unrelenting need to prioritize and simplify, I’ve also been reflecting on this new, or new to me, rhyme that goes like this:
Something you WANT
Something you NEED
Something to WEAR
Something to READ
Want. Need. Wear. Read. I first heard about it from Jill, and a bit of Internet research shows it’s been around since maybe 2009. That appears to be when it hit the mommy blogosphere and then took off from there, spawning Etsy products and Pinterest boards. But the essence is to simplify Christmas for both the giver and the receiver– one present in each category; refocusing the holiday on people, memories, reflection and the spirit of the season.
I have to admit that originally, it didn’t really speak to me. I wasn’t craving a catchy little tradition to roll-out to the fam. But the more I think about it, the more I think this is just the thing for 2015.
One small tangent before we dig into The Guide– this post is not meant to be a secretive way of broadcasting ideas for the monkeys at my house. First, because Santa’s elves are already busy slaving away in the Amazon and second, because they’ll just tell you all they want are guns. Santa has a gun control bill working its way through the system now… the lobbyists are relentless.
And so, the 2015 No IT All Gift Guide for Boys (Ages 4-7):
Drones: The perfect drone that is both indestructible and non-destructive. (Plus I’m 99% sure it can’t be equipped with a camera.) Topping this year’s guide is the number one requested item at our house if you exclude pretend firearms: The Drone. I know, I know… it’s hard to believe that at just four-years-old, the drone phenomenon has already entered our preschools. It has. But really, if we’re honest with ourselves we wanted motorized everything when we were that age. It’s just we called it Remote Control, which sounds less like a flying assassin manned by zombies. I’m convinced the drone debate could have been solved years ago through better branding, but I digress.
Legos: In Jacob’s words, “Legos are my life.” It seems most of his classmates would concur. Star Wars and Ninjago are hot.
Gumball machines: This was a recent prize for the annual walk-a-thon and was the talk of the playground. I’m undecided as to how much surveillance this particular gift may require. What I do know is that it will provide ample opportunity to reinforce Rule #1 of Gum Responsibility: In Your Mouth or In the Trash.
Deck boxes: For $1.99 this is an excellent stocking stuffer. It corrals Pokémon cards or baseball cards or Garbage Pail Kids. You may be tempted to include a pack of Pokémon cards, but don’t. I’d urge you to give them to the parents of the boy or boys in question as they will provide infinitely more happiness if used as a positive reinforcement device…
Cubebots: Another stocking stuffer idea. Cool. Wooden. Maneuverable. Maybe this is on my wishlist?
Tooth Fairy pillows: This age range is prime time for fairy trapping and dental depletion. Even for boys, or maybe especially for boys. I’ve scoured the internet for the coolest, most unique tooth fairy pillows sewn by strangers. We have two of these manly pillows and let’s just say, contrary to popular belief, the Tooth Fairy is partial to teepees.
Playing card holders: Now here’s a gift you don’t see on every gift list. But I am tired of having to avert my gaze during every game of Go Fish and Old Maid. With these bad boys I’m hoping my boys will master the art of card management.
Tell Tale Card Game: A card game that promotes creativity and could potentially turn the tables at bedtime? Sign me up. I’m looking forward to kicking back and relaxing as they tell me inventive, imaginative, moral-cementing stories. By the makers of Spot It Jr.
Bold Maid: Anyone who has ever screamed, “No, I don’t want the Old Maid!” must repent and buy a deck of these. Do what you can to reverse the negative stereotype you’ve inadvertently propagated around the warm, impressionable confines of your living room coffee table.
Thermoses: Halfway through kindergarten Jacob declared, “I’m sick of sandwiches.” I have a lot to say on this topic, but will save it for another day. We’re highly optimistic that Thermoses will open-up an entirely new leftovers lunch packing promise land.
Rain boots and umbrellas: I know this was on last year’s list but that was just a plain old parched earth year. This year is an EL NIÑO year. Many of our four-year-old drought-tolerant kids have likely never experienced rain and certainly don’t have the appropriate footwear.
Pants with reinforced knees and fierce t-shirts: A week or so ago I looked around the after school classroom and noticed that Jacob was the only kid still wearing shorts in mid-November. 1) Probably because he is always hot and this internal furnace seems to run in our family and 2) Because shorts look slightly less obvious than high-water-huh-he-must-have-grown-when-did-that-happen pants. Boys also like “fierce” looking character t-shirts: think snarling wolf or menacing fanged snake.
Big Maze Book: This book is a nice side dish to our long-standing main course of the Boys’ Doodle Book. I think there’s even a Very Big Maze Book and a Second Big Maze Book, which appears to have been published third.
The Book Elf has been busy doing some significant literary research and has high hopes, especially for The Story of Diva and Flea by my favorite kid lit author, Mo Willems, and The Day the Crayons Came Home by my favorite naked peach crayon author.