My kids, they are nearly impossible to shop for for Christmas.
They aren't like I was as a kid. I was obsessed with Transformers. Each new Autobot or Decepticon may as well have been a crack rock. I'd go through the toy magazines and mark them up with ranked desires, and leave them out for parents or Santa to stumble across. I was, in short, way into getting gifts as a kid. That seems like (and was) childhood selfishness, but looking back now it had an upside for my parents; they had it easy.
Our Alan, though, he asks for very little. Usually it's something like a specific stuffed animal, and trying to get him to list more only sets him firmer in his insistence that that one thing is all he wants.
Brian, well, he usually wants the unattainable (by mankind or by children): a real blue light saber, a purple magic wand (must also be "real"), a red cell phone, a blue camera. This year all he wants is a silver laptop, which he, as a 6-year-old, will not be getting, and a trip to Hawaii, which he, as long as we can come along, will be getting. Fortunately, Brian isn't the sort of kid to be upset by not getting a laptop, though he'd be thrilled to get one.
Between the two of their lists there's nothing to make a big eye-popping scene of under the tree for when they wake up, and so I'm improvising again.
I've got a bunch of stuff they've not asked for from white boards for their bed rooms to Wall-e action figures. I'll be going out and making more guesses tomorrow. I'm pretty sure on some of the stuff I already got, knowing our boys. For example, Alan will go crazy over the punching bag I got, and Brian, I'm sure, will carry around the thesaurus just as he does his tattered dictionary now. But I thought I knew they'd love the parakeets last year too, and now no one in our home likes those noisy, messy and vicious flying vipers. In short I guess, each Christmas I wish my kids were more greedy, or, in Brian's case, had more practicality to his material desires :-).
You know what's odd? It seems, if it's a toy or product advertised for children on the TV, my kids won't care for it. Never have they asked for anything they've seen a commercial for that I can think of, and that's the exact sort of thing that, when I get it for them anyway, it just ends up at the bottom of the toy box. It's not that we don't let them watch tv, either; we're not above using the electronic child mesmerizer every now and then. They just seem to have different tastes from what the commercials are selling.
Anyway, do any other parents out there have some good, alternative gift ideas for the hard-to-shop-for child? Quirky things that your kids like that may not be on the radar?