All I Want for Christmas is a Ukulele and a Pet Mouse — Abby Off the Record

All I Want for Christmas is a Ukulele and a Pet Mouse

by Abby on November 28, 2011

My 5yo son's Christmas listThis is my 5yo son’s Christmas list. He began crafting this document with great care well before Thanksgiving, and has been adding to it regularly. As you may notice, the first few items are in my handwriting — hula hoop, trip to Build-a-Bear workshop, ukulele — an attempt to steer him towards more interactive playthings and activities, rather than just STUFF. Except for the ukulele; that’s all him. In fact, he used to have a ukulele until his little brother came along and smashed it. Babies and ukuleles don’t mix.

Miles’ Christmas list soon took on a life of its own. As you may notice, it includes pet mouse, pet bird, and pet cat. I tried to persuade him that Santa doesn’t do live animals — after all, how would the elves make those? — but Miles’ slightly older friend happened to be over that day and quickly shot down my theory. Pipe down, kid. Or I’m telling Santa to put you on the naughty list.

As if to hedge his bets, you’ll notice my son also wrote down “teddy bear, toy dinosaurs, and toy mouse.” I suppose I should let him enjoy creating his ultimate wish list without limiting his dreams, but as his mom, I feel compelled to manage his expectations, not to mention guard against a tsunami of plush and plastic overtaking my house on December 25.

I pointed out that he already has tons of stuffed animals. He remained unmoved. I argued that the dozens of tiny, sharp toy dinosaurs already in residence are usually littered about the carpets, lying in wait for an unsuspecting bare foot. He shrugged. I reasoned that last year’s “it” toy — the squeaking, self-propelled Zhu Zhu Pet — is very similar to a toy mouse.

“Mom,” he replied, with barely disguised scorn, “Zhu Zhu Pets are HAMSTERS.”Zhu Zhu Pet toy

So that leaves us with a Razor scooter and an electric guitar. Santa, please: take pity on this poor mom. If you must, some elbow pads and ear plugs would be nice. There’s an extra cookie in it for you.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: We went through all our toys and had the boys pick out which ones they wanted to give away to younger friends or donate to charity. We filled a 21-gallon plastic bin!

BUY O’ THE WEEK: I am loving this Discovery Kids Color Me Cardboard Playhouse. I have seen these in action and kids love them. It’s a step up from building a fort out of a big cardboard box. JC Penney has them for a great price, but I’ve also seen similar ones at Michael’s craft stores and they have 50% coupons in every week’s Sunday paper.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lou Mello November 28, 2011 at 6:48 am

When my daughter was very young, we would always encourage her to think about one special gift she wanted for herself so that she wouldn’t be disappointed if she didn’t get all 20 things on a big list. That worked pretty well and she was always happy with the “extra” gifts that Santa brought.

As far as telling kids about the goodies that already have, that is a cause that parents have never won. They think about the next toy, never about the past, must be a brain thing in kids under 10. :)

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Abby November 28, 2011 at 8:59 am

Good idea! I’ve been reinforcing the concept of “wishlist” and that it doesn’t mean “order form.” Fortunately in years past he’s been happy with whatever he gets.

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Zoe November 29, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Oh that’s so cute and he started before Thanksgiving too! Those lists can get pretty long if started so soon. ;-) I think the one very special gift is a great idea and if there is room in the budget then pick some smaller ones on the list for those stocking stuffers.
We would get oranges and walnuts in our stockings when we were little.

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