UPDATE: My parents-in-law have saved the day by tracking down a Skylanders Giants game in a store near them. I guess they were checking the stores, just in case, and a new shipment arrived. Plus, they’re giving M a new Nintendo DS 3D. He’ll be very happy when he opens his gifts.
At 11, M is at the age and stage when his Christmas list is short, but everything comes with a big price tag. i recall my youngest niece going through the same phase when she was M’s age, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when he shared his list with me. His absolute must-have is Skylanders Giants for Wii – the started kit runs about $75.00 and then you can buy additional figures for $10 to $15 – an easy $100 plus. The next item on M’s list is Lego Starwars, but only kits with more than a 1000 pieces. I bought him the Millenium Falcon last year and it was $150, on sale. Finally, M asked for a Wii U, which he told me costs over $300. His dad, who is much more up on game systems than I am (and I’m ok with that), pointed out that the Wii You only comes with one handset, so if you have more than one player, you have to buy a second remote. And of course, new games.
At this point, I suggested to M that he might be pricing himself out of the gift market. He has aunts and uncles and grandparents and they aren’t going to fork out hundreds of dollars on a gift for him. My mother, for example, has 3 other grandchildren and she likes to be as equitable in her gift-giving as possible. My husband and I could afford to spend the $500 – $600 to get everything on M’s list, but I don’t think it’s necessary. For one thing, he doesn’t need another game system – he’s already got a Nintendo DS, an iPod and my husband has a Wii (it might as well be M’s since the only one who really plays it). And call me Scrooge, but I don’t think an 11-year old needs a pile of uber-expensive gifts for Christmas. He can only play with one thing at a time.
After I strongly suggested to M that he was unlikely to find a Wii U under the Christmas tree, he suggested that maybe Santa would bring it for him. M is on the cusp of not believing in Santa but he’s not willing to run the risk of getting less presents – when you’re 11, it’s all about the loot. At that point, I indicated that I didn’t think that Santa would be bringing him a Wii U I explained that since it is so expensive, if Santa gave one to M, he wouldn’t have enough money for toys for all the other children on his list.
I have no idea if M bought my explanation. He hasn’t mentioned the Wii U recently. Over the last couple of weeks, he’s expanded his list to include some books, Bey Blades and a 1000 piece puzzle of the periodic table. His dad and I had planned on getting him the Skylanders game, but turns out, it’s sold out across the country. I wonder if Santa gives out I.O.U.’s?