This is one of those big questions, so have a seat. You didn’t really expect a quick answer did you?
See, the last couple of years I have been doing it wrong with you kids. I would get so caught up in the complexity of helping six kids shop for each other and family and friends that I was focused on making it as easy as possible. Maximum Effectiveness is not the point. Drawing up battle plans and spreadsheets and hiring trail guides and acquiring comfy walking shoes first thing have nothing to do with raising gracious children.
It even felt way wrong on those occasions where I had so efficiently grabbed and wrapped for everyone that the gifts were as much a surprise to the giver as the givee. On top of that, do we really want to burn through portions of your theoretical college savings so that you can have an uninterrupted parade of little blinky boxes that amuse you so that you’ll be less prepared to make the most of that theoretical trip to college when the time comes?
So, yeah, I gave you some assignments this time: very brief lists that include gifts you would like to give. Some of you have a gift for giving and some of you need a bit more practice. And, yes, you can compare notes. If I were you, I wouldn’t completely discount the ideas from our resident Barbie fanatic, either. She knows some things about stuff.
Next up: researching charitable organizations before you get that new cell phone. Ho ho ho!!