Gifting outside of the box


One of the many perks of having older children/young adults, is that I am completely beyond having to find the “must-have” gift of the season.

I will not be partaking in the Hatchimals toy craze. I don’t even know what a Hatchimal is. Is that something you spray for?

Is a prescription required for treatment? I do know people are lining up and paying black market prices to secure these under the tree.

I remember the days when Santa needed a little help finding a Wii, a doll, or a certain stuffed toy that sang and giggled and held our child’s interest for exactly 5 minutes, if that.

Making lists

So glad I stalked eBay like an addict seeking her fix for that one. With teenagers they still make lists and check ’em twice, but they are also quite reasonable on backorders and rainchecks.

They also like cash. Speaking of teens, we are long-time participants in the angel tree of our local heroes to halos organization.

We are always honored to take a name and enjoy shopping for a special child.

I think it’s so important to give back to the community, and taking angel trees from any organization is so helpful. Although everyone should go where the heart leads them, I have always aimed to take the older child and teen names from those lists.

Christmas lists

Between you and me, I always laugh when people have tiny littles make Christmas lists.

Does a 6-month old even know it’s Christmas? As babies, mine liked empty boxes and bows. It’s the older children who I like to look out for. They remember.

Boywonder couldn’t tell you what Christmas was like when he was two. All of Santa’s largesse was purely for us as parents.

I was the first time parent burying my 7-month old in toys he didn’t appreciate. I remember holding him on my lap and exclaiming over the shiny paper and big bow.

He seemed confused by the actual contents of the packages.

It’s tough to get a guy excited about a onesie at any age but even the light-up toys alternately bored, and startled him.

Like gold

He did love packing peanuts though. Those things were like gold!

His happiest times in babyhood were being allowed to play with a big empty box. For our second child, 8 months old on her first Christmas, her needs were simple.

Her list, had she made one, would have listed her delight in a big pile of things she shouldn’t put in her mouth.

It’s too bad I didn’t realize that sooner. I wasted a lot of time and money on dolls and stuffed animals when all she really wanted for Christmas was a box full of cat food and carpet lint.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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