Hey blog readers! In honor of the holiday season, I have three things for you: (1) A story, (2) A request, and (3) A suggestion.*
1. A story
Christmas kind of enrages me. Sad confession: When I was 15, I had a total meltdown at Christmas. If you ask Echo, Charlie or Alpha, this is because my parents had bought me a drumset that summer with the reminder that this would be my Christmas present, and then they stuck to it. (Pretty sure I got pajamas, and that was it.)
If you ask me, it was PARTLY because of the drumset fiasco, but MOSTLY because at 15, I had for the first time both the money and the inclination to get my family and friends thoughtful gifts. Watching my younger siblings tear open their presents from me, glance at them, and toss them aside in favor of opening more presents really set me off. (Even though, to his credit, Alpha was 3, and I probably should have guessed that even though he loved the Teletubby Collection I gave him -- all four dolls! -- he was still just 3. But hell, I was 15, and pretty self-absorbed. I guess I wanted him to send me a fingerpainted thank you card or something.)
But ever since that Christmas, a lot of the wonder of gift giving has kind of worn off. This is due, in no small part, to the fact that giving people presents now feels like a job. Sorority gift exchange! ($50 limit, gift cards accepted.) GUH.
And this is nothing compared to my family. A few weeks before Thanksgiving every year, Echo, Charlie and Alpha send me lists of stuff they want, and demand the same from me. Every year, I try to resist, and tell them to just buy me anything and I'll like it. Every year, their first-rate pestering abilities wear me down.
So about a week ago, I begrudgingly sent Charlie a list of some pretty wide-ranging stuff - movies, books, CDs, articles of clothing, accessories, games. I figured, the more stuff he had to choose from, the more likely it was that I would be at least semi-surprised. I told him to share the list with Echo and Alpha, and PLEASE, let it be a surprise from here on out.
One hour later, he texted me back:
What color socks?
Seriously, Charlie? YOU CAN'T PICK OUT SOCKS BY YOURSELF?
(See why I melted down on Drumset Christmas?)
2. A request
So at work we're doing a Sub for Santa Extravaganza. I say Extravaganza because when a law firm plans it, it's bound to get Out Of Control. Perhaps more on that later, perhaps not.
Anyway, one of my girls is 10 and wants a "bike or talking doll." I feel like these things are different enough that what she really means is "bike AND talking doll," but felt guilty writing it.
Here's the request, for readers out there with daughters/younger sisters/students/nieces of this age: What the hell talking doll do I get her? The bike is easy, it has ages right on the box. I have read that Mittens Fluff N Stuff is the Tickle Me Elmo of this year, but doesn't she seem a bit young for a 10 year old? Or is 10 young, and my sense of childhood age is skewed from reading Harry Potter? Plus, she doesn't talk.
There are all those baby dolls that talk, but they look cheap and seem like they're for younger kids. I refuse to get her a talking Bratz, because it offends my feminist sensibilities. (Honestly, what does a talking Bratz have to say for herself? "I can't wait for my welfare to come in!" and "My STD panel came back negative!") And a talking Jessie or Woody from Toy Story seems way too specific. If a kid wanted a talking Buzz Lightyear, wouldn't she have just said so?
Is there some awesome talking doll out there that I don't know about? Please help, I'm at a loss.
3. A suggestion
Every year to get in the holiday spirit, I read What Child Is This? by Caroline B. Cooney. (Yup, the lady who wrote The Face on the Milk Carton.) Is it cheesy and manipulative? Absolutely. Also adorable and heart-warming. Get on your library waiting lists now, people! (Or just buy it, since it's like $6, and you will love it for years to come.)
* You: Hey Blogwriter, those aren't really things for us. Number two is definitely a thing for you.
Me: Shut it.