Your Tween Is Ruining Christmas

tween christmasAs the mother of a 10-year-old daughter, I can't help but laugh at the idea of having to figure out what your tween wants for the holidays. Seriously? Um, tweens aren't exactly known for being subtle. Particularly when it comes to stuff they want their parents to buy for them.

Gone are early childhood's sweet, crayon-lettered missives. In their place: Comprehensive list-form emails featuring helpful links, promotional codes, and subject lines like, "MY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS READ NOW!!!"

Gone are the days of hushed, hopeful listening for the sound of reindeer hooves on the rooftop. In their place: Hushed, hopeful attempts to sneak a peek at your Internet browser history when you leave your laptop open.


Gone are the days of dreaming about outsized fantasy gifts like a pony, a rocket ship, or a real magic wand. In their place: Dreams about outsized fantasy gifts like an iPad, Xbox, or a complete all-season wardrobe from Abercrombie.

Gone are the days of delighting in discarded wrapping paper and empty boxes. In their place: Frantic searches through wrapping paper and empty boxes to find lost gift receipts ("I never said I wanted the pink one!!").

I'm making tween holiday shopping sound thankless, I know. But in all honesty, it's not so bad. There are actually quite a few aspects of this new phase that I very much appreciate. The list with links? Convenient! The fact that my daughter's extensive knowledge of pre-holiday sales actually saves me a significant amount of cash? Fabulous!

And as heartwarming as it was, years ago, to see the joy on her little face when she unwrapped an in-demand toy ("Santa got my letter!!"), I almost prefer the mix of total satisfaction and actual gratitude I see in her eyes now when I score one of those most-wanted items. (Why should Santa get all the credit? Just kidding.)

What's it like Christmas shopping for your tween or teen?


Image via Jason Meredith/Flickr

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