12 Guests of Christmas – Tradition, Doubt and the 9 Year Old Boy Who Has My Heart

Heather and I met via Twitter a few years ago and have been fast friends since. She’s one of the core BWTs (Broads Who Tweet) and is one of the funniest, caring and giving persons that I know. She continuously gives back to her community and church and nothing is more important to her than her family. You can’t be in the same room with Heather and not immediately fall in love with her.

It is 70 degrees outside, so you know what that means? CHRISTMAS! Seriously, if it isn’t cold on Heather DedonaChristmas day I am going to be all out of sorts, but for today, I will take the sunshine.

My boy is all of 9 years old, and has already determined what is cool/not cool, babyish/not babyish. Certain clothes don’t fly any more, and toys, well, they mostly stay in the basket, or on the ground. It is all about friends and video games (groaning and eye rolling from the grown up here).

Raising my child in the Triad has been wonderful because there is so much to do, and a lot of it is free or very inexpensive. We have some of the best day trips around, and museums, art, and history that can be soaked up by even the very little people in our lives.

Christmas has been no exception. We always go to see Santa, the lights at Tanglewood (and stop for hot cocoa and roast marshmallows outside the Moravian store), Christmas at the Carolina (free movie and food-what?), and anything else I could Google.

There are of course the other traditions: making a gingerbread house, watching The Grinch on Christmas Eve, church, the food, pj’s left by an elf that clearly failed the course in how to wrap.

Last Christmas I warned myself that he was getting close. I tried not to look disappointed when he refused to sit on Santa’s lap, chalking it up to his unusually placed shyness. I knew this year would be different. Some of our old traditions would be “babyish.” (Sigh, or maybe that was me sucking in a little tear)

To my surprise, my child has mentioned more Christmas Traditions to me this year than ever before. He apparently remembers all of them, and they are all important to him, and he wants to do them all, still. He is recalling them like a much older person though, “Mom, remember how we watch The Grinch on Christmas Eve? Let’s do that again this year, ok?”

I am still worried about this Christmas though. We all know 9 years old is borderline (I can’t even type out what I am talking about, I just feel too guilty even saying it) about the Big Man.

Why? Well, my child asked for an XBOX 360…the ONLY thing he has asked for, ONLY. He has a Wii already, and a DS, and plays both more than I like. SO, we are not spending $250 on a new gaming system, and then the parts and games to go along with it. I mean, that is cra cra.

So, what do I do? He won’t tell me anything else he wants. There will be no big reveal moment on Christmas morning, instead there me be sadness, and doubt. Now, I have taught him manners, and he is very gracious, truly, but I don’t want him upset on such a special day.

Seriously, suggestions, how do I handle this?

heather dedona


Heather DeDona a.k.a. The Triad Agent with Keller Williams Realty.  You can read Heather’s blogs about the area and real estate at TheTriadAgent.com. Heather can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Christmas morning update! We didn’t cave, but I came so close! The only electronic item he got was a Wii game from Santa. He was so excited for everything he opened, no disappointment. I was worried for nothing…we raised him right! I am relieved, and have learned to trust my intuition and my parenting skills.

  2. Why does the wonderful surprise have to be the game? Could you knock his socks off with something else? A set of tickets to some sport he loves, a trip, classes in karate, or a special session at a resonably priced sports camp? I am the first to know that budget plays a big part, but there are ways to be creative outside the “box”. It could be an instance where parental imagination can shine. Being a single mom for many years, I came up with a teddy bear Christmas breakfast when there was very little money, to camping gear with sleeping bags and a homemade triptick to where we would be planning our get away together.

  3. Man, I don’t know. We are having a similar issue this year. My six year old wants a DS, but not only do I not want to spend the money on it, I don’t feel like he is big enough for a personal device. I just told him sometimes mommy and Santa have an understanding, and that he should be sure to be grateful and thankful on Christmas morning. He bought it because he’s six, but we’ll see when it comes down to it. Also, he has a pretty extensive list, so we have other options.
    Will he sit down and having him make a list for you?

  4. The thing is, not all game systems are alike. Wii may be more family friendly but Xbox is more boy friendly. It’s more widely used by young – or young at heart – boys than any other game system. Make sure you get Xbox Live too! Look at it as an investment in his social life, and save the “no” for when he asks for an upgrade in 2 years. (only the cool/popular kids play games online – or something. At least if he’s at home on a video game he’s not out doing “other” stuff. It’s when he’s 30 and playing video games online in your basement that you have to worry.) Meanwhile, buy him the Xbox and move the Wii into your living room so you and your family can enjoy Netflix/Hulu Plus.

  5. See if he would be interested in giving one of his game systems away to a child who doesn’t have one. Then you can surprise him with a new one. Also, eBay is a great place to get new or used systems and games.

  6. Unfortunately, I don’t have any helpful advice there. Sorry! He sounds like a fine young man.

    And since he sounds so much like my own young man, who is now 12, I did want to mention something of a ‘tradeoff’ I’ve found here in our home regarding the video game issue.

    My son would play video games 24/7 until he starved to death if I would let him. He can truly get lost in there and it is sometimes a struggle to draw him back from video game planet when he’s been there too long. When he was 9, Santa blessed us with a Playstation and the game ‘Little Big Planet’ because it was a cute family game that we could all play together, cooperatively. It’s hard to find games where you can work together.

    My son quickly learned that it much more than just a video game. He spends more time in what is called ‘Create Mode’ than he does actually playing the game. You can truly create anything in there. Kids all over the world create their own levels that they upload to the LBP community, and then anyone can play them. Some are creative in an artistic way, elaborate and fun to stroll through for the view. Some are amazing puzzles, etc. Each kid can express him/herself and their own areas of interest.

    It ends up being a great deal like software programming- the menus the kids use are an excellent lead in to logic circuits and even physics and math. He’s accidentally learning!!! And he makes some amazing creations.

    Then he can also get online and play with his friends from school and they get together in create mode and help each other build things, show off their latest creations, etc. Just put a booster rocket on your flying soda bottle? Heck yeah I’d like to ride in that! I’ll run the bacon cannon on the back!

    So, for what it’s worth, if you do cave and get another system, Little Big Planet is only available for the PS3. I truly don’t mind giving my son extra time with it because it builds his creativity and imagination and learning, and it’s also something his friends can get together and do with him.

    Sorry that’s not more help with your real dilemma- good luck and I’ll be watching here to see if anyone has a good solution for you!
    Scott Rigdon recently posted..Thirty Minutes 30-November-2012My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge