holiday wish list helpWhether your kid has a standing date with Santa or seems to shun consumerism, it's time to figure out the best options for holiday gifts for the young ones. It may seem like just asking her to write down everything her heart desires is a good idea, but you want to be sure you get a gift that will last more than 24 hours after opening up the wrapping paper.

Sure some kids have their eye on their prize starting in September, but if your child is one of those "I want this, I want that, and I want this other thing too," you're going to have to figure out a way to not go broke and/or make sure he doesn't wind up with something he only wanted for five minutes of his young life.

Here are three ways you can help your child create the perfect holiday wish list.

1) Shop Around

You should have started two weeks ago, but it's never too late to throw down some catalogs in front of Jr. or take a stroll through the mall. You'll get a great idea about what catches his eye repeatedly, and what is just a flashy trend designed to open your wallet and your trash bin in a few months.

2) Get Specific

You've got to ask about the brand. Especially if it's clothes and your child will be embarrassed by a knock-off. (Ignore this if you have moral objections to paying for brand names.) But there is a difference between a store brand MP3 player and an iPhone, and everyone in your child's school knows it. You also need to know if any brand will do, or if they are counting on that one special gift.

3) Narrow It Down

Have your child assign each gift request a number so you're 100 percent clear that she really, really, really wants an American Girl Doll, but only really wants a Rapunzel wig. Choose high and low on the list, and you'll be golden come gift time.

How do you help your child make a wish list?

 

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