A couple weeks ago (because I’m not a buy Christmas gifts 6 months ahead of time kind of girl) we gave our girls each a sheet of paper with the following columns to fill out:
Why we asked them to create this list
One is they are all over the board with what they want. There are a million things (someone put baby brother or sister on their list this year and I’m here to tell you Mr. Claus will NOT be delivering on that one!) they want when we ask them and there’s little to no criteria as to why or a particular urgency for certain items.
The second is they get so bummed when asked to create an open-ended list of what they want (and my kids aren’t extravagant — minus the new baby sibling request) and not receive anything from said list. As their mama, I think they’re more annoyed that they followed through with a request to make a list when they could have been doing something else.
Experiences, not things
A couple years ago, we began looking for what kind of experiences we could provide our kids with. Obviously they don’t have everything, though they’re pretty content with the life we provide them. We aren’t huge into electronics or media, and they don’t really care about “things,” per se. If we can offer them classes, lessons, camps, or tickets instead of another pair of pink leggings, the experience will provide them with years of memories. Those pink leggings will eventually be handed down to someone else. One of their favorite gifts was attached to a hotel/waterpark overnight they got from their great-grandma one year. We all had so much fun at a local staycation. They talk about it all the time.
This year they turned the tables
Now that we’ve got lists with great ideas and a few items of importance to them, the tables turned a bit a few mornings ago. I sat down to breakfast and was handed a hand drawn set of columns with labels that read:
complete with a line to write my name and a spot to date it.
What fun! No one has ever asked me what I’d like to Wair, Read, Want, Need, or Do. I was excited so I set it aside for a quiet moment when I could jot down All.The.Things that would come to mind. You may be surprised to know what happened next. When I found my moment, I sat down to write All.The.Things and very few actually came to mind, and what came were pretty practical.
I refrained from writing underwear in the Need column, though in all honesty that’s where they belong. This postpartum mama’s undergarments could use an overhaul. Things just don’t fit like they used to around these parts. No pun intended.
I even felt uncomfortable including a new laptop on the Want list even though (and here come all the reasons) mine is starting to slow down and is used 98% for work.
What occurred to me is HOW WEIRD WE ARE ABOUT ASKING FOR WHAT WE WANT OR NEED. Think of how many times per day we ask another family member or child what they want or need (or man, think of all the times we don’t have to ask for what they want or need because we show the f*$& up with it before they even know to ask for it!).
Stocking Stuffers Mama Really Wants and Needs
Here are many a things a mama could want or need (and isn’t asking for or suggesting)
:: a massage (with babysitter arranged, time allotted for coffee or shopping or yoga or star gazing before or after and dinner made upon her return)
:: another massage (because, mothering)
:: a plane ticket
:: a gift card to her favorite lunch haunt
:: all things that make her feel pretty and sexy and lovable such as a charcoal mask & cleansing bar, lip gloss or skin care set (www.beautycounter.com/nicholekuechle)
:: at 8 p.m., a hotel key, a mug of tea, a hot water bottle, and a care package of snacks with a note that gives the address of the hotel and a “see you in 14 hours memo”
:: a photo session of she and her children, or just great photos framed of she and her children
:: a month of yoga (see ‘a massage’ above for other important details to manage)
:: an overnight away, just the two of you…surprise her
:: an overnight away, she gets to choose
:: an overnight away, for she and a girlfriend (all expenses paid)
:: acupuncture or other holistic modality
:: a gift certificate to her favorite boutique/shop/clothing store
:: a coupon book made to honor her such as: 4 hours at home sans kids, 3 hours at the beach with a book and no kiddos, 2 days of doing no dishes, or 1 12-hour date day with her partner
:: concert tickets, museum tickets, comedy tickets
:: girls camping (backpacking/kayaking/fishing/hunting/into the woods) weekend