Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Worst Gift Ever

OK, can I make a confession to you people? I am the world's worst Christmas shopper. I hate it, the pressure to find the right thing, the desire to buy what you KNOW will be appreciated, but you can't afford it so you find some cheap alternative that almost but not quite is the same but it's just not as good as what you wanted to get... It's enough to drive a person crazy. And my poor children. I feel so sorry for them, because they have to go to school after Christmas and hide their heads in shame whenever anyone asks them "So what did Santa bring you?" Arrrrghhhh. And it doesn't help that my John is the cheapest man on the planet. I mean he makes Scrooge look like Santa. (Seriously, we bought a car once, paid less than HALF of what the guy was asking for it, didn't like it, so resold it for halfway between what we paid and what the guy asked for originally, even after it had a major mechanical fault. And he was mad, because he didn't get "full price" out of it. Imagine this man Christmas shopping. Go ahead, I dare you.)

And so for Christmas this year, my children will be getting the following items:

  • The boys made out very well, they both got new beds. (Peanuts' toddler bed was just plain ugly, and Chunky has been fighting his brother every night to sleep in the big bed instead of his crib.) They are very cool beds, the Little Tikes toddler beds, one in the shape of a train, one in the shape of a fire truck.
  • Tons of movies. There were a lot of really cute movies that came out this year, so we bought a bunch (namely, the Spiderman trilogy, Ratatouille, Surfs Up, and many more I can't remember). We don't have cable, and the kids rarely watch TV, so I have a pretty big video collection. I'm pretty sure my daughter has caught on to what I've done though, because we usually buy a couple of movies a month at least, and lately I haven't bought any in their presence. She keeps asking to get different movies and we keep telling her no, with no reason. Unfortunately, she's not stupid, so I'm betting she's figured it out.
  • Socks. Everybody got new socks for Christmas. I HATE folding the boys' socks, because they have 50 pairs of socks that are all different, so it takes forever to match them up. So I bought each boy 2 jumbo packages of matching socks, and I'm giving all their old ones to charity. No more sock matching for me. Yay! (Socks - the gift that keeps on giving... not only do they get new stuff, I get less stress. It's a win win!)
  • Stocking stuffers. John bought a bunch of crap to put in their stockings, you now, the kind of toys you get out of vending machines, or buy for 88 cents at Walmart? I HATE these things, the sponge animals that "Magically expand!" in water, or the cheesy glow light bracelets, but this is the crap he picks up every year. He will get about 5 items per kid, and then stuff the rest of their stocking with fruit. An odd tradition, but one I do actually agree with. It just makes the stocking so heavy we can't hang them after they're full.
  • A video/MP3 player for my daughter. Not an Ipod, I can't afford that nonsense, but a very cute little reasonably priced mp3 player. It's way better than the one I have, darn it.
  • And now, for the worst gift ever - John has decided that at 10, Princess has reached the age where gifts can no longer be toys, but must be useful in some fashion. And so, since the animals are her responsibility, and we now have 2 cats, he got her one of those automatic self-cleaning litter boxes. I have mixed feelings about this. For one thing, I have been begging for one of these things for over 5 years, ever since we got the first cat. So it seems as though this should be a gift for me, rather than her, but she took over litter box duty about a year ago, so maybe not. She also has decided that the cats need gifts this year, so it seems as though this should be a gift for them, not her (but over $100 for a gift for a cat just seems obscene). I don't know why, but for some reason, I just cannot wrap my head around getting this as a gift for a kid.

So, what do you think? Am I the worst parent ever? Or at least, the worst gift giver? What are some of the worst gifts you have ever received?

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