Gift cards for the kids are both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing: Holiday shopping is a breeze. Wrapping paper is conserved. They take up very little room under the tree.
.The curse: They have to be redeemed.
Translation: Mom gets to stand around in crowded stores waiting for the little darlings to spend them right down to the penny. Tax excluded. Mom also gets to pay the sales tax.
If a tired Mom insists on (a little post-holiday peace and quiet, dammit) delaying the shopping until the crowds die down? Penalty box. The whining and wheedling and pestering and shrieking tirades follow. This is the thanks we get for lobbying the relatives into gift card synergy.
It has been said that the tradition of Santa Clause began with Sinterklaas who would leave candy for the good children and scoop all the bad children into his bag and whisk them away to Spain.
I'm starting a petition. I figure with enough signatures, the jolly elf will morph back into his 7th century self so that bedraggled parents can enjoy a quiet, conflict free 2009. I'd have a lot of new kitchen gadgets from Tarjay and my kids would get a free trip to Europe. Not sure if that would be round trip.
You'd miss them if they got stuck in a bag and whisked off to Spain. Eventually.
Trying - I would? I mean, yes, I would.
It's like a roundtrip Eurail pass. Sinterklaus would bring them back the next year. This is the first year my older daughter can drive... So, I happily sent them off to the mall with their gift cards at around 10 am on Friday and I was still in pjs when they got home!
Margo -- Hmm, maybe there's some sort of hardship driver's license where tweens and gift cards are involved? Will look into it.
Now, as a kid - had the 7th century rules been in place - it would've inspired me to make the bad list. I've always wanted to see Spain.
We're at the drop them off at the mall stage--it's soooo much easier.
Did you ever notice how much longer it takes them to make decisions when they're spending their own money, even if it's a gift card? If it's my money, they can pick out 10 things in 20 minutes. If it's their money, it takes 4 hours to pick out a tank top.
brneydgal -- Hmm. Good point. Might make things worse.
jenn -- yeahhhhh, that's the way ya do it.
blognut -- you are so right! on mommy's credit card? instant "I want THIS NOW".
Yes, let's get that original Sinterklaas back. Would wipe out shiny obligations for most children I know -- and the children themselves. Okay, a quarter of the children I know and not mine :-) .
I've heard Spain is quite nice, actually.
Count me in.
Happy New Year!
PS Adding you to my blogroll!
You are SO funny. So true. And so funny.
We have gift certificates for ToysRUs right now and I've delayed going for the very reasons you speak of. Crowds. Craziness...
Feeling your pain....as I am off to the mall today to follow behind my 16 yr old consumer.
Shoot me now.
Oh, wow. That sounds so not fun. Plus, the other issue with gift cards is that they should be used before the company goes out of business. Target is fine I'm sure, but remember the Sharper Image?
I don't have kids of my own but my friends tell me about having to go out and spend the gift cards as soon as the sales start. Just the thought of having to queue up to the fitting rooms during the sales makes me want to tear my hair out.
Are you sure that was sinterklaus? Or was it the CIA?
This sounds perfect. Except maybe I would go to Spain and let the kids wander mindlessly through Target.
I think that the kids should get the kitchen gadgets and WE should get the ONE WAY ticket to Europe...
happy new year
For us, the gift cards are great! The boys get them and the next time we go to the States they can take them and get what they want...and in the summer, the shopping is not so much a hassle 'cause Momma's shopping too!! :-D The bad thing is when we don't come "home" and we have to redeem them on the internet...I hate shopping with kids on the net...now that they are older, they like to choose their own stuff and use their "credit cards" (as my 10-year-old called his!!).
and that whole Spain thing? yeah...I'd miss them....eventually...maybe.
I'll sign them up though! :-D
those damn kids.
and i meant that in the nicest way.....
Can I get in on the whisked off to Spain part?
You'd hate me then! Once my nieces and nephews reach the age of 8, they get giftcards! I don't mess around man. I don't know what an 8 year old boy wants! And I'm certainly not going to guess!
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