Photo: It would seem that I didn’t take any pictures over the weekend! Dunno how that happened! So enjoy this one from atop the Old North Bridge that I took maybe 2 weeks ago.


It was my hope to break out Richard I this weekend to get a good handle on what the boys actually want for Christmas. I figured we’d get the elf out for a “visit weekend” and the boys would write their letter to Santa early so we could figure this thing out and get lists to the necessary parties.

Well… I should be really clear. The appearance of Richard I this weekend was my secret evil plan that would serve two purposes: the first and foremost being that little boys would start freaking behaving because they’ve been off the chain lately and second, to figure out what in the world we’re getting these two for Christmas.

Maybe you’re annoyed about reading a Christmas post so early and if you are, I’m sorry. But I’m a planner, and it’s now post-Halloween, so I think it’s all fair game from here. I actually really enjoy the hunt for the best deal, relish the finds, and especially enjoy the anticipation and the giving. It’s so much fun! Now that little boys “get” Christmas, we’re coming in on these years of “it” toys and hunting for bargains because we don’t want to disappoint, but we also don’t want to go bankrupt, either!

Well, Richard I is nowhere to be found. My husband looked in a few places and couldn’t find the thing and that’s a big problem, because I’m really not trying to purchase another damn elf, but the boys are expecting it now! Not to mention, the thing really did do an amazing job keeping little boys reasonably behaved for the high-energy holiday time. I need it as much as they do! But no elf means no list… at least not this week, so I’m at a disadvantage as I’m fielding calls from Maryland relatives who want to know what to get little boys.

There are two “big ticket” items that we are strongly considering. If you’re a Mama who has one of these things, tell me! We’re really thinking about getting the boys the Kid’s Kindle for Christmas. We don’t own any tablets and we don’t let them play with our phones, so they haven’t had a lot of time playing computer games or apps or anything like that. We’ve actually been pretty proud of this fact, but we’re learning that there are some really great apps out there for kindergartners and, though the school doesn’t out-and-out assign apps for students, they do have some that they recommend children get used to. It feels like a good time to introduce that kinda stuff anyway, as computer proficiency is a key skill in this world. That would probably be Christmas enough, but then the boys saw an ad for the VTech Smartwatch on NickJr and they were both wonder-struck. Major, especially. He has always loved watches and has asked for one for Christmas and his birthday, but we’ve been able to hold him off. But this time… he saw that commercial and hasn’t stopped talking about it. I’m not so sure that a 4, almost 5 year-old really needs such a device. I know at least two other moms who got it for their kids… I’m sleeping on it.

If we had only one kid, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. We’d probably just give both items and let the grandparents and other family fill in with other items and call it Christmas. But because the boys are so close in age and so damn competitive, there is no way that we can have one of each item. Two of everything! Here we go! That kid’s kindle is a perfectly reasonable $100 until you are looking at it times two!

So I’m on the phone with Mom sorta wringing my hands about this. Should we hold off on the Kindle for one more year? Should we wait for the watch for his birthday? Should we really blow the budget on just one item? That seems rather silly…

“Oh, so this is the year when you figure out how Santa really works, huh?”

“I… guess so?”

“Just put the lists together and send it over and we’ll figure it all out, ok?”

I love my Mom. I’m grateful that she can help make Christmas a magical time. I think we’re going to split on the Kindles–she gets one and I’ll get one. And we’ll ask The Husband’s parents to get one of the watches and we’ll get the other. That keeps us within budget and still making some holiday wishes come true. Great Aunts and Uncles will fill in with a few more toys, and I’m not going to put any restrictions in it (I used to ask for no noisy toys, but I’ve learned my lesson).  I think that’s going to be an over-the-top Christmas for two spoiled little boys! Hopefully it’ll all work out.

I can’t be the only one thinking about the holidays, am I? What’s the it toy for your home this year? What do you want under the tree? I hear Sams Club is doing a Black Friday special on the PS4 and I am just so sad that The Husband and I gave ourselves a mattress for Christmas! The Wii U is also going on Black Friday special! It’s not fair! I’m such a sad gamer girl! There is always next year, I guess. 😉

I am struggling with this draft for Act Two of my NaNo novel, but I’m enduring. It’s Monday! The day to make stuff happen!

Hope you’re getting stuff done too! Get at it!

See you Wednesday!


6 thoughts on “Secret Plans and Clever Tricks

  1. My son (age 4) has a kindle and we use it to break up some of the ‘boring’ learning. He does the same things (writing letters, counting, etc) but its more fun on the Kindle. Its also a great motivator for his behavior…bad behavior = No tablet time. For us, the big ticket thing was a Wii U. I also got him the Disney Interactive game to go with it so he’s going to love the characters (we’re heavy into superheros right now). I also got him some books and a remote control car (to match the one we got his cousin) so they could race them outside.

    • Whoooaaaa! I really want to know how he likes the WiiU. Can you tell me after Christmas how he does with the controls and stuff? The Husband and I are core gamers, but have sorta put it all away for now because of the boys. I would love, love, love to find a game that we can all play together and actually enjoy, which is a tall order! Please, please tell me if he loves it! Maybe we will get it next Christmas or a little earlier of we budget for it…

      • Well we already have a Wii and he does pretty good with it. Once I explain the motions to use he really gets into it. Its really helpful on rainy days when we can’t go outside. He really likes the sports games (tennis, canoeing, basketball, jousting and wake boarding). He also really likes Mario. He struggles with Mario but he still likes playing it. The only reason I upgraded was because I wanted to get the Infinity game for him (plus he can still play all of our old games on the new version).

  2. My sister was a bartender. At xmas, the crackheads would come to the back door of the bar trying to trade the stuff they stole for drinks. It was a good sustem. The crackheads got a warm place to stay, the nephews did very well on toys and vids, and sister could use xbox money we saved all year to pay the high heating bills.

    • My God, I don’t even know how to feel about this story. The way you tell it makes it funny, but the darkness is so very clear. I like how there is a happy ending, even when the whole thing is held up by dubious action. 🙂 But if the heat bills got paid and the children got what they wanted for Christmas, well… hell… I guess this is all what makes the world go ’round, huh?

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