‘Tis the season for holiday toy catalogs and the beginning of my kids saying “Mommy, I want this…and this….AND this!”
It seems that a new toy catalog finds its way into my mailbox every day igniting fits of excitement among my kids. I can’t say that I blame them. I get the same way when the jewelry catalogs arrive. I’m glad that we started using Giftster to keep all of our wish lists in order.
Here’s how I manage holiday gift wish lists for my kids.
For starters, I’ve set up a separate account for my kids’ wish lists. You could choose to set up separate lists in your own account if you’d like, but having the children on their own account has worked out best for us the past couple years. They like seeing their names when they reserve gifts for others in the family and it allows me to reserve items on their lists so others in the family don’t give them duplicates.
If we’re in a store and they start saying, “please, Mommy, can I get this,” I tell them they can add it to their wish list for Christmas or their birthdays. I pull up Giftster on my iPhone and jot down a quick note about the item. Many times, there will be lots of items they want to add so making the quick notes work best for me. Later, I log on to Giftster from my computer and add more detailed notes about the items (where it can be found, URL, other notes, etc.).
When the catalogs come knocking, there’s a little routine we follow. First, the kids sit down with the catalog and write their names next to the items they’d like to ask for. Next, we go to the store’s website and look up the items they’ve chosen (most have item numbers so you can search for the items pretty quickly). As much as they’d like me to add everything they’ve picked out, there are some things that I have to say no to, but they’ve gotten better with being reasonable about their selections. Finally, when we’re on a web page with an item they’re wishing for, we use the Add-to-Giftster button to add it to their wish list.
Another gift type I encourage my children to add to their wish lists are experiences like going to museums or asking for a trip to the movies with their grandparents. Giving the gift of memories is one of the best gifts of all, especially since it can be shared with someone you care about.
Their list updates always come with the disclaimer of “just because you put it on your wish list doesn’t mean you’re going to get it,” and we’re always quick to reinforce that it’s better to give than to receive. I use these moments also as an opportunity to ask what kind of toys they’d like to purchase for our closest Toys for Tots location. Many times as we’re making our donation purchases, they will say, “I hope Santa brings this for me, too,” and we talk about how excited the little boy or girl will be when they open up this special gift during the holidays.
Oh boy…the mails here. I better go see what catalogs are in store for us today. We’ve already been through Target, Constructive Playthings and a couple other local stores. Maybe there will be a catalog in there for me this time.
A girl can dream, right?