With just three weeks left until Christmas, I’m seriously challenged to get all my shopping done. What’s making it more difficult is the cost of everything these days, particularly when it comes to gifts for kids.
This morning, I sat down with my youngest son in hopes of convincing him to finish his Christmas List (my oldest son informs me that he will be “emailing” his list to me–it had better get here soon or his secretary will be receiving a strongly worded text shortly). Part of my strategy in sitting down with the younger one was to attempt to gain some semblance of control over the Christmas budget. I figured this would provide an opportunity to keep costs down while explaining to him why we need to economize this year in light of our looming tax bill.
Sadly, the strategy failed a bit. The reason? Everything he wants costs at least $50. It’s not even like he’s asking for something ridiculous. For example, he wants an NFL football jersey. How much could that cost? It’s just some material sewn together with a number on the back. The cost? $99.99! That’s without tax or shipping. You’d think the kid was going to actually play in the NFL not just walk around pretending. What’s worse, he wants four of these little beauties. This has forced me into the unpleasant position of making Christmas List Rules. Here they are:
(1) Each professional sports franchise (including but not limited to the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or MLS) may only be represented by one player. Said player may not be under indictment or threat of indictment and player must represent a good example to said gift recipient. Hopefully, this rule will not be too limiting.
(2) Any gift supporting a college or university is restricted to colleges actually attended by an immediate family member of said gift recipient or where there is a reasonable expectation that the gift recipient (granted he’s only eleven-years-old) may gain eventual admittance. As evidence to support the latter criteria, please supply current admission requirements along with a copy of your most recent Fifth Grade Report Card.
(3) Gift requests exceeding $100 must be accompanied by a comparative price study which includes the actual cost from a big box retailer, Internet source, and local small business. (Hopefully, the effort required to comply with this rule will keep these gift requests to a minimum.)
(4) All motorized gifts, as well as anything running on wheels, must require a license to operate. Gift recipient must meet all licensing requirements and will be responsible for obtaining any necessary insurance or registrations. (This should cut down or completely eliminate such requests).
(5) Electronic components and accompanying video games must be educational in nature. Please note that pretending to be the General Manager or Head Coach of a professional sports franchise is NOT educational for purposes of this rule.
(6) Monetary requests are strictly forbidden. (This rule stems from many years ago when our older son was 6-years-old and he asked Santa for $6,000 cash. Needless to say, he didn’t receive it. There is nothing more disconcerting than a child who thinks Santa is “cheap” on Christmas morning).
(7) Excessive sports related gift requests (like $300 composite baseball bats) made with the promise that they will be used to further a possible professional athletic career must be accompanied by a specific training plan and written pledge to actually practice for a minimum of six months.
(8) Requests for dress clothes are always welcome.
(9) Food item requests will not be permitted since others (like me) may feel tempted to eat them.
(10) Please feel free to select from the assortment of unused Gift Cards in my desk drawer from past years, but please note that each card selected will count against the total number of gift requests permitted.