I come from a big Irish Catholic family, and except for me, they’re all back on the East Coast in the NY-NJ-CT tristate area. The holidays are still very much a big thing for us, and as each year passes and there’s even more people to think about (what with weddings and more kids coming into the world), we depend even more on each other’s wish lists for Christmas presents. Sure, we could just buy stuff we like or think the person we’re buying for will like, but we’ve got this gift-giving thing down to a science, and science requires precision. (It also requires an Excel spreadsheet to track who buys for whom, and makes sure we don’t repeat more than once every 8 years. Like I said, science!)
So, we’re all about asking each other what we want, and for the kids, what they would like. Now, sure, this year I’m also thinking about the forthcoming BabyUn, and would be happy with presents for him, but I still like stuff for me! And I have a range of munchkins to buy for, too: from my nephew at age 11 to my little niece at 2 1/2, there’s six kids to buy for, plus Trixie.
So I’m turning to the internet for help, and gift ideas. What are some of your favorite gifts to give for kids, and what’s on your personal wish list? I’ll admit, I read Gayle Forman’s list of the best YA books she read this year (including Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins!), and put a few more titles on my To Be Acquired And Read pile. What books are you yearning for? And what other shinies? (Like these Louboutins, even if I have no where to wear them!)
Let the comments ring!
8 thoughts on “What’s On Your Holiday Wish List?”
For the eleven-year-old nephew, I'd consider giving him the first book(s) of the Animorphs series. It's awesome sci-fi. Aliens taking over people's minds! Kids turning into animals to fight them! There's action, fabulous characterization, humor, and a surprisingly deep take on war and how it changes people.
I totally loved the series when I was younger (… and still kinds do now…) and recently recced it to a YA librarian who needed suggestions for the boys she was working with. Apparently they were very well-received. 😉
As for my personal wishlist, I've heard a lot of good things about Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey and Moonshine by Alaya Dawn Johnson.
Not that I really need more books now… My TBR pile is rapidly taking over the house.
My 2 1/2 year old loves Thomas the tank engine, and yes, he's a boy, but my 5 year old daughter steals it from him all the time. 😉 So I do think there's some universal appeal. My almost 10 year old daughter is obsessed with Artemis Fowl, Robin Hood (classic and any retelling), Harry Potter, the Ranger's Apprentice, and anything about medieval Europe or Ancient Egypt. Gift giving for her is always an adventure. And my 5 year old girl likes anything her brother has and high heels and makeup.
I'm very entrenched in the last pages of my WIP, so I'm asking for non-fiction books this season – I love things on Victorian England and obscure stories from history. I'm hoping to finish soon and catch up on everything I missed in YA.
I just sent my wish list off to the fam a few minutes ago. On it? The werewolf stomper shoes from Too Fast, a set of drumstick spoons, and Glee DVDs. And lots of books, of course.
You've probably heard of/read these already, but they're some of my favorite picture books (possibilities for the younger crowd on your gift list):
The Three-Legged Cat by Margaret Mahy
Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathmann
The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathmann (I guess I like Peggy Rathmann!)
Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard (there's a whole series and they're all funny)
Happy shopping and have a wonderfully delicious Thanksgiving tomorrow!
A trip to China to visit my son and two grandchildren. *sigh*
I teach reading, and I can say that nonfiction doesn't get enough attention from parents and teachers. Klutz puts out a number of fantastic books, teaching kids everything from facepainting to juggling to designing your own paper dolls. My kids (ages 7 and 10) adore these books, and so do the middle schoolers at the school where I teach.
For fiction, you want to know what all the middle grade kids are raving about? Percy Jackson is still big, the kids love a series called "Warriors" about cats who tell very serious adventure tales from their POV, and for teenage girls, you can't go wrong w/ Sarah Dessen.
On my wish list? I'm in the middle of three different books right now, so I asked my kids to get me a cool owl coffee mug that we spotted at B&N.
Oh, and P.S. to A.L. Sonnichsen: I adore Miss Nelson is Missing. What an awesome tale!
Girls between 7-10 LOVE Spin Arts. I buy a lot of craft-type stuff for the girls. This year my 10-yr-old is getting a "make your own Barbie doll clothes set" I got from Joann's Fabrics (can't remember the name of it). Looks like fun. I've also gotten a cool kid pottery wheel before at the craft stores. They pretty much work for 3 and up – the craft gifts.
The craft stores also have a lot of cool boy science projects, make a rocket, paint a model airplane, do a cool science project. (Before anyone bashes me for for not being liberated, I buy both for my kids. My daughter can whip out a pink and gold – colors she picks – model airplane with the best of them and my son can sow.) I've just found that for other people's kids it's best to follow the gender lines unless they have a specific request.
Crafts are awesome gifts. They are fun to do during the lag times in the 2 weeks vacation. They aren't the traditional toy that just gets added to the pile in the toy box.
There are some fantastic clays that kids can make stuff out of that dry on their own. I think they are from Crayola.
Books are always on the list, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Ugly Truth that just came out is definitely on the list. I want "How to Train Your Dragon" because my son says it's totally different than the movie.
I want a super awesome, uber agent by Christmas. 🙂