Remember those cute handwritten Christmas lists when your children were little, sometimes written in crayon, sometimes illegible? Often their desires were very specific like pink sparkly pony. Usually, the list was generated from an advertisement they saw on television or in a toy catalogue that came in the mail.
These days my daughters’ Christmas lists are high tech and high dollar. They come complete with links that allow me to purchase the items with a few simple keystrokes. While it's no doubt more efficient and less time-consuming, there is something a little sad about not personally shopping for their gifts. Plus, there’s absolutely no element of surprise.
“Mom, only get me what’s on my list? OK?” they have admonished me more than once.
One parent recently told me her daughter not only sent her the links, but already had the gift items in the virtual shopping cart so all the mother had to do was to click on “buy.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of shopping of any kind, let alone Christmas shopping. But I am a fan of finding something thoughtful, something special that shows the person exactly how you feel.
Today I gave my younger daughter money to buy Christmas gifts at the annual school holiday shop. After school she got into the car with her bag, polka-dotted tissue paper overflowing.
“Did you get any Christmas gifts?”
“Yes,” she beamed.
“For your sister?”
“No, for you,” she replied, hugging the bag close to her body lest I try to snag a peek inside.
At least one of us will be surprised on Christmas morning …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.