Do YOU Make a List?

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Recently, in a book that I can’t find now in order to quote it, I read the recommendation that we as moms should make sure that we make our gift wishes known. It said we need to make it clear to our husbands and children how they “can love us best” by giving us the gifts that we actually want.

Now the author said it much more eloquently than that, to be sure.

But, the idea just really didn’t sit right with me. Here’s why:

  1. I’ve been guilty of going overboard on the “letting people know how they can love me.” They ended up feeling coerced by my constant reminders, and I felt like it was a hollow joy in getting a gift that I had practically begged for. Now, this last happened probably 13 years ago, but the nagging feeling about it lingers.
  2. I have everything I need. I really don’t need anything. So, any gift would be icing on the cake. Now, I probably felt differently about this years ago when we counted every penny.
  3. I’d rather be surprised.

However, I realize there are many ways to look at something, maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe there’s some deeper issue that I am not seeing. What do YOU think?

Do YOU make a wish list?

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  1. Nope, I don’t make a wish list either, for pretty much the same reasons.

    However, my husband is a good listener, and if I casually say something like, “I could really use a …..” or “I’d really like a …..” but without being intentional about it, he listens and usually surprises me with it down the road (bday, anniversary, Christmas, “just because”, etc). But I don’t do it on purpose so that I get the item.

    I do have a list of “Mommy’s ‘would likes'” hanging on my fridge and honestly, God is usually the one who takes care of that list.

    The list is not something I expect to get everything from, however, writing them down helps me not forget who provides them when I receive them. When I write down my “desires” and God blesses me with them, it reminds me to go back to the Source and realize how much He cares about ME.
    I NEVER expect anything. I understand everything is a gift and a blessing. πŸ™‚

  2. I struggle with this too. My Mother in law is a blessing, but she wants a list of, not only what I want, but the boys as well. I kind of feel that part of the gift is the deliberating what the person would like. I agree it’s best to feel any gift is a blessing, though I’ll admit some are easier than others πŸ™‚

  3. I am in trouble with both my mom and mother in law this year for not writing a list! It’s hard when you focus so much on your family needs first. I suppose I should brainstorm something, though I admit it’s tough to make sure that I vocalize my needs – and take care of them!

  4. Hmm… I’m a list person and holidays mean, I think of gadgets that need replacing, missing wardrobe essentials or makeup items and then, let loved ones know that these would be much appreciated:-) I do like surprises but I also like getting things that I really truly need and will use, hence the list.. πŸ™‚

  5. I do the list – for myself and the kids. My list usually has small things that I don’t desparately need but would like – hand cream, gift cards to a bookstore, a particular cookbook, particular CDs, baking supplies that I would like – things I wouldn’t buy myself because they aren’t necessary. My family has always done lists – for the kids it especially works because all of the kids in our family has so much, its nice to know you aren’t buying something they already have, or that their interests have shifted. We don’t buy anything big for gifts – everything is kept really reasonable because there are so many of us.

    My husband always asks for a list for me because he has no clue what to buy me! And I have to be careful because he doesn’t always get that its a list of ideas…not an inventory and he has to drive all over just to get each item! I tell him every year, though, that the best gifts for me are truly gift cards and a few hours some weekend to go use them, without kids!!

  6. I don’t do a purposeful list to hand out, but when something breaks, or I think, hmmm…it would be nice to have…I have a list on our dry erase board that I add to, I don’t hand it out, but if someone really wants a list I walk over and read out what is on it. πŸ™‚

  7. I never used to make a list, but I do now, and keep it tucked in a drawer or in an out of the way place on the fridge. I do it for my husband to peek at, if he is interested in what I could use (new pair of tennis shoes, small food processor, etc.). With 2 small kids and one on the way, my memory fails me when he asks me point blank, “What do you want?” πŸ˜‰ And with my birthday and Christmas so close together, this helps him determine how to shop for me without hounding me for ideas all the time.

    Now if I could just get him to make a list…. he’s the type who buys everything he wants/needs and then I am left trying to figure out what to get him. πŸ™‚

  8. I jot down a few things that I could use. It helps my husband for his shopping and if his mom calls him asking for gift ideas for me! Most are small dollar practical items such as new kitchen towels and potholders, then there are a few larger things on there too.

    I admit, I do feel a bit selfish writing down a list of “wants” but I know I won’t receive everything and it’s ok. The list is also a reminder of what to use any Christmas money for too.

  9. This really resonates with me, I had to respond! We all are blessed with everything we need, so I too have issues with making a list. However, I finally made one because if people were asking for one, I could make their lives easier by providing one. We have lists set up in for each of us, so that family members near and far (we’re all over the country) can feel confident they will buy desired and age appropriate for my kids, and size or color appropriate for me. We keep it always, just update it around the birthdays and holidays. I’ll add things throughout the year when I see a really great idea. Even Moms can wish!

  10. I think there is a balance with all of this. I don’t want to keep a mental or written list because I know that it will lead to selfishness on my part. I will have a physical reminder of something I want and have not gotten yet, this will only make me want it more. My husband and family would like ideas to give me things that I will really use, needed to buy anyway or would be a special treat that I wouldn’t buy. So when I think of something that I would enjoy, would use and is about the right price for my loved ones I just mention it to my husband. After that I just forget it, so as not to dwell on a list of wants. Now, he remembers to write the idea down about 2/3 of the time and long about Dec. I get requests for ideas. I just ask him what is on his list and remind him that I don’t keep that on my mind. He understands and comes up with something. Sometimes he does pick something that I am not fond of and is quick to say that he will take it back and I can shop for whatever I want but that he doesn’t like me to open a gift card. That is just as much of a treat as opening something that I wouldn’t take back.

    I guess what I am trying to say is selfishness is bad, ideas are good when asked and a husband that loves you enough to buy a nice gift is a blessing from God.

  11. I don’t make an actual list, but I know my fiance struggles to come up with ideas sometimes — so I did lay out a few ideas for him about a week ago to at least get him thinking. This year, I am only aware of what one gift is that he is getting…the rest will be a surprise!

  12. I am forced to make lists to give to family This saddens me as it (in my opinion) takes away from as you mentioned above the surprise element. It also takes out the thought process. To me gift giving should be natural, someone should see something and think “oh she would like that.” I am trying to teach my children to be thoughtful, giving people and I am so upset with this new notion of lists in order to just get the Christmas to do list done. Making wish lists with my children is fun but children are so verbal, all my family has to do is ask them what they want, they will tell!

    1. @Kelley, I am with Kelly on this one…..yet over time it became clear that my DIL either threw out or gave away, what I believed to be well thought out gifts for my son, her and the kids. They all cost money, whether a little or a lot. So I no longer have the joy of picking out gifts…..a list is what get.

  13. My husband and I keep a running list of what we need for the house, family, kids and adults. As something breaks (his watch) or noticed (not enough dining room chairs) it goes on the list. Even things such as clothes for the next season/size or car repairs. I try to estimate the cost next to each item. As we work on the bills we also look at our list. Things that are needed are worked into the budget where they can. Some things are worked into the savings plans or marked for when we have extra money. And others come up when we are asked for gift ideas. So far it works for us! Now if we could only have less needed items on the list such as car repairs πŸ˜‰

  14. I make a list when asked for one. My parents often ask what my husband and I would like. Some things I purposely don’t buy for myself that would make good gifts, like the 3 books on my list to read that have 400 requests at the library.

    For the kids, I post a list of their interests, skill levels (they’re still preschool), hobbies, etc, on our family blog and let that serve as inspiration for birthday (Nov) and Christmas gifts from grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

  15. I make a very short list just because no one in my family has a clue! Some of the gifts I had received in the past have been hysterical. Of course, the downside to the list… last year, I received three of the exact same cookbook. LOL

  16. Oh, oh I KNOW this one!! The book you are wanting to quote is “Finding Your Purpose as a Mom” by Donna Otto…..I only know this because YOU reccomended here, and since I’ve read other books by Donna I went and got it πŸ™‚ A few more chapters left actually…

    I only make a list because my parents and in-laws ask me to. My husband gets the joy of surprising me πŸ™‚ Not sure if he thinks that’s good or bad….the problem (more of a blessing I suppose!) is there is nothing we need OR really want! That makes gift giving hard! Being blessed to have 3 years to live in England, we often gift each other trips. Monday was our 7th anniversary so we took a day trip to the Christmas market in Birmingham, UK. For our little guys’s 5th birthday I think we’re taking him to see the Lion King play in London…I’m excited about that one!

  17. I think it’s not actually the list that is the problem. It’s my heart behind the list. If I am truly laying everything at His Feet and look to Him as my Provision, then my heart is at peace. A list, then, is simply a tool and has no expectations attached to it.

  18. I am standing up, applauding and cheering loudly. I have had these same thought stirring in my mind over the past two holiday seasons.

    We (Americans) are such spoiled people. We have so much and yet, we’re still unhappy cranky people. I feel so guilty making up a list that is full of WANTS. I don’t need one blessed thing. My material cup is full and running over.

    I want to learn to be content instead of the commercial – material driven society I am immersed in.

    Home run, Fishmama!

    1. Well, I don’t think I can take any credit! I have stuff. I like stuff. I am just in the battle, trying to fight the hold that stuff has on me. πŸ˜‰

  19. I actually do make a (short) list. This year, I wanted a small ice cream scoop for making cookies and a Preserve toothbrush. I do not like surprises, and it makes life easier for my hubby.

  20. I don’t make a list but I think I might because my husband tries to get me stuff that he thinks I like by going to a store he thinks I like. Last time he went he ended up spending 50.00 on some lotion that the staff recommended.

    I love that he wants to buy me something so nice but I would prefer a smaller “gift” or experience and spend that money on something practical that would benefit our family, like an new loaf pan or something!

  21. I personally don’t do gift lists, the only list I have is the magnetic one on the fridge that has grocery items! : )

    This year our daughters, now ages 17 to 28 asked, so I suggested small things that would be easy for them to buy and I could really use…Like a book light or or a back scrubber or perhaps a shower cap, or a book. The highest dollar item I suggested is a sweater but only if they run across one very reasonable, and with no stress or hunting involved. Our girls are bargain hunters too, so they knew what I meant on that.

    Just telling them a few things if they ask makes things much easier for them because I know they want to get mama something but I don’t want them burdened with a high dollar item either, so this works. I think it frees them up a bit.

    …And I always remind them that things made here at home from what we already have are always plumb luverly if they don’t have time to shop. We want Christmas to be fun and sweet not stressful. I try hard to be an example and send the right message either way, list or no list.

    Some of my most cherished belongings are things the girls bought me from the dollar store or resale shop when they were little, little things bought by sweet little hands with a quarter…I treasure those things.

  22. My kids are good at knowing what I like and getting me a small item. My husband likes to make grand gesture and then I’m stuck with $300+ items I don’t want. He tries to be sweet but a list would be much better…although I doubt he’d get anything on it;o)

  23. I make a list…an amazon wish list, actually, for my husband. He asks me to, and he has enough spunk to not get everything on the list exactly as I listed it, but put together some ideas of his own, also. He drops hints ALL the time himself, so we have a very “open” gift relationship. πŸ™‚

  24. I make lists for the kids, especially for extended family. My husband and I come up with them together. If we don’t, our kids end up with toys and movies that we prefer they don’t have.
    My husband and I make lists for each other and our parents. But we are in that “don’t have two nickels to rub together” part of our life right now so there are always things we would like to have.
    At MOPS a couple of weeks ago, our speaker talked about the fact that husbands can’t read minds so we should not expect them to know what we want unless we tell them. She based the talk on a book but like you I can’t remember what it was called.

  25. We use lists around here because our family would rather get EXACTLY what we want if we are spending the money, rather than something close. i.e. if I want heatproof skinny rubber scrapers and they buy me non-heatproof wide scrapers for the same money, it wouldn’t meet my need and I wouldn’t really use it and if I just sent them in without specifics, that is what generally happens. It is not that they don’t want to get the right thing, they just need to know what the right thing is. My dh always wants horse tack, well, I am LOST in the tack dept., so he has to be SUPER specific. I guess I would rather forfeit some of the surprise element to get exactly what I need or want. Obviously, we are to be grateful for anything we receive, and I am not dismissing that, but if someone is going to spend the money, it seems like it would be put to better use getting the exact items that people desire for the best price.

  26. I’ve always made lists, because family requests them. It’s like a fall tradition “can we have your list now?!?”

    But it’s never been a problem. My inlaws are wonderful about taking an idea and running with it, so it’s very much a jumping off point for those who want that. And then for those who need specific ideas, it works.

    I take care to not expect certain things and Christmas is always fun when it’s not about the gifts, but when they are a side bonus.

  27. I love surprises, but my husband wants to spoil me beyond our budget, so I try not to leave anything to chance. He’s trying to make up for some really bad gift decisions he made while we were dating – the year I got windshield wipers and a tire gauge spring to mind – so I keep a running list of movies, books, and music that I’d like to have (I NEVER repeat NEVER put clothes on it) but that I don’t want to spend money on (because they are primarily for me). He knows if he gets stuck and can’t come up with something, that list is always there. He doesn’t use the list as a “checklist”, so I know I won’t end up getting everything on the list, and that’s okay. After 15 years together, there aren’t many “needs” that haven’t been met, and I am very content with what I have. This is just a list of extras.

  28. I have watched my Dad struggle for years to buy my Mom the perfect gifts for all the occasions. She is always disappointed. I purposed to choose to like any gifts I am given, because they were chosen for me, not by me. I may give hints if asked, but I usually don’t really need much. I just love watching my kids open their gifts!

  29. My hubby and I both have wish lists. His family has a website where everyone can write up their wish lists and I have to admit that they are so helpful! Our wish lists are always there {you could also have a page for wish lists on a blog}. They get updated after Christmas and birthdays and whenever someone thinks of something else to add to them. My list is fairly long, mostly because if I think of something I’d like to have {like that movie I grew up with or a handy kitchen gadget}, I add it to the list and then try not to get it for myself. πŸ˜€ Adding things periodically keeps the list from being a couple items, which just spoils the fun for everyone {I hate it when someone has a wish list of five or so items – that leaves me little creative choice in what I get for someone}. By having a wish list that is always available, I don’t feel like I’m begging for any one thing in particular and this way I’m sure to get something I’d like rather than a gift I’ll never use. I also like to be surprised and my list doesn’t take away from that. There are enough things on it that I never know what someone is going to get – and sometimes I even forget what I put on the list! For us and our family, it’s a win-win.

  30. I’m a killjoy. I ask for good kids every year. Generally speaking the things I want cost time rather than money. This past week the kids headed to Home Depot to make picture frames and I hinted that they could easily fill them with a picture from Walmart or Kmart for a really nice gift for me after gussying them up with paint(the frames).

    Hubster usually takes me out to eat and to look at the lights or pulls something off the honeydo list.

    It’d be much easier I guess if I got with the program and requested material stuff. Usually though if I really want something then I get it anyway, no holiday required.

  31. We have a family wish list on the fridge. It helps keep the “gimmes” down, especially with the kiddo.

    If you think of something you want and you don’t have the money saved for it (adults and kids alike), then it goes on your list. It’s easy for us to buy gifts for each other that way!

    We also have a rule that you can’t buy anything for yourself from the list after Thanksgiving.

  32. I don’t make a wishlist, BUT…

    People in my family always ask me what I want for Christmas, without fail. If I tell them to surprise me, or tell them “nothing,” they just nag me repeatedly until I give in and name a few items. They’re fun that way. πŸ™‚

    Since I know it’s coming, I try to prepare by thinking in advamce about what I want or need. I try to ask for only simple and inexpensive gifts However, they can’t be TOO simple or inexpensive, because then my mom gets exasperated and tells me she’s not buying me socks for Christmas. πŸ™‚

    Another thing I do which drives my mom crazy, is nag her repeatedly about not spending too much. I’ll say, “Don’t buy us that DVD set unless you can get it used!” or “Don’t spend more than $7 on a shirt for me!” Then she tells me to stop micromanagng Christmas. Then I say, “Yes, of course, I’ll stop right away, but, seriously, don’t get me earrings that cost more than $10.” Then she rolls her eyes.

    So even without a true “wishlist,” I still manage to drive my family crazy. πŸ™‚

  33. I think reaching a happy medium during “mandatory” gift-giving season requires a different tactic depending on each personality and each family/social group. It’s so difficult to stick to one hard and fast rule! One family can decide they’re not asking for, nor giving, gifts this year, only to feel guilty when Grandma and Grandpa shower their children with gifts. Other people can spend hours choosing perfect gifts only to have their recipients wish for something different.

    I think it’s the giver’s job to be as considerate at possible (that means no trying to one-up each other or hoping for kudos because you have such a “perfect” gift). And I think it’s the receiver’s job to be gracious, whether or not s/he wanted something bigger, different, or nothing at all.

    But because it’s such a hard balancing act, I’m glad my family has eschewed gifts for the past couple of years and opted for a family vacation instead. It makes great memories and everyone is happy. πŸ™‚

  34. This conversation is really weighing on my heart. My family is HUGE on lists and I’ve never had a problem making one – and this year I totally went over-board. My list is longer than my son and husband’s combined. The main reason is because I’ve really tried to do without the past couple of years and not buy things for myself. While I know I’ll never get most of the items on the list (and don’t really expect them – many are $100+), I wanted to have a record of the things I’d like so I can choose which I need/want most if the chance comes up to purchase something special.

    The real problem I’m having now is that hubby let it slip yesterday that he bought me a gift when he stopped at the mall to buy our son mittens (I had a coupon + sale and they were NEEDED) – and that he probably spent too much. He had my car, so of course when I went on errands this morning – there was my gift sitting on the passenger seat. It’s one of those lotion/manicure kits from a kiosk that the sales people are really pushy. One…it cost $32. Two…I don’t need or want it. Three…I’m a consultant for Mary Kay and have that stuff readily available to me. Four…I could really have put the $32 to much better use (nursing tops – I’m due in Feb…or another pair of maternity jeans as mine are getting tight and worn). Five…he’s seen my list and knows there are many other items I could actually use (kitchen spatulas or a pedicure gift card). I

    ‘m so torn because I know he really just wanted to do something nice for me. Our budget is so very, very tight. So do I graciously accept it and try not to cry every time I use it? Or do I kindly ask if I can take it back?

  35. I make a short list (two or three things) for my husband because he has no idea what to buy for me. We don’t spend much on each other (or our children), so I make sure there is some money leftover for him to surprise me with something. I love surprises! So I want something that I haven’t asked for. I don’t want to “waste” the small amount of money that we spend on each other, asking for things that I “need.” (I can buy those later!)

    As for my children, well, if my parents ask for a list, I try. But with three children four and under, they’re pretty happy with whatever they receive. Isn’t that nice?

  36. I do let my hubby know when there is something I REALLY need! Like this year, I want a bicycle. I’m the only one in the family without one. So, that is a big gift and I need to be part of the process so it’s one I will like and can enjoy!

  37. I think as each person feels loved in different ways (The Five Love Languages), some of us are gift givers and gift receivers by nature and are better about noticing what others might need, or really good at coming up with ideas that would be perfect, even though we didn’t realize we could use it.
    I find it helpful to give a list for our girls, we have well-intentioned family members, but not always the most practical gifts come home on Christmas day!
    I also have in-laws who try to give items they think I would like, but usually just end up gathering dust, creating stress for me in how to store/get rid of the item.
    I also have gift guilt in getting rid of things that I don’t really want, but feel obligated to keep, does anyone else deal with that…wearing the scarf that you think is downright ugly just because my m-i-l got it for me?

  38. I keep a running list for my husband and both of our children, because the grandparents all ask for one. I try to keep a running list for myself–but I can’t seem to train myself to add items to my own list as I come across needs day-to-day the way that I have trained myself to do for my hubby and kiddos. It’s also handy to have those lists to refer to when I just happen across a really great deal.:)

    I suppose that some people may find a running list to be selfish, but for where we’re at right now–hubby about to finish PhD, 2 small kiddos, and trying to make it with me staying at home with hubby in grad school–we do have a few needs that it would be great to receive as gifts. And if grandparents/family want to spend money on us anyway, it would be great to have it spent on things that we need!

    And I might say a word about white elephants–just because someone gives you something doesn’t mean that you yourself have to use it. (Come on, I know that I’m not the only person to ever graciously receive a gift and then on the drive home look at my husband and say “what on earth am I going to do with this?!”) We are approaching a move to Los Angeles, CA, in the next couple months after my hubby’s defense. Since the cost of housing will probably necessitate the same or less square footage than we are already in, we have done some major white elephant- and unused item-purging. And we kind of view selling things that we can’t use at a garage sale (well-meaning gift or not), as using that gift in the best way possible for us.:)

  39. For us, the grandparents live 4 and 6 hours away so they don’t see the kids often enough to really feel like they know what to buy. And with our limited income, there are “needs” to be met.

    What frustrates me is when I supply the requested list with plenty of wiggle room to still surprise the kids, even the people who specifically asked for a list, completely ignore it and buy what we already have, don’t need, don’t want, or can’t use.

    I can’t win with the list situation.

  40. I should probably preface this by saying that I like all kinds of lists.
    I hate it when I’m trying to buy a gift for someone and I can’t think of a single thing to get them. I’m a perfectionist and I don’t want to get them just anything. I want it to be something they really want. Also, I don’t have a lot of time and I don’t want to waste days agonizing over it. Maybe I’m not very creative, but I like them to give me some ideas.
    And I don’t like surprises and I’m a terrible liar. If someone gets me something that I don’t really like I’m not very good at gushing over it and I know it can make the giver feel bad, which makes me feel bad too so I’d rather they had a list for me.
    My husband and I keep a running list on It’s kind of long and contains both “needs” and “wants”. Whenever a special occasion rolls around we can just head to each other’s list and pick out something. There are enough things on there that it’s still kind of a surprise.
    I had a hard time figuring out what to get my kiddos this year, they’re still a little young to tell me what they want, but after reading the other posts I realize I should keep a running list for them too so when gift-giving time comes I have some ideas to work from.

  41. No, no lists here! I have “issues” with asking for gifts- it runs the line with my “issue” about people including registry information in wedding invitations or children’s clothing sizes in birthday party invites- it’s just tacky. I know “it’s a waste” if someone picks something out that you don’t care for- but that’s what gift receipts are for! Plus you can always regift- and yes, I know I’m a paradox- I think lists are tasteless yet I have no qualms with regifting as long as you truly believe the recipiant will enjoy the gift… Does it add up? No. I digress. I just think a list a.k.a. ASKING for something implies a sort of “right” or implication that the gift is “owed” to the recipient- gifts are given out of the kindness of the givers heart to celebrate, encourage or to show appreciation- not because they are obligated to buy you something. Personally I much rather recieve a small heartfelt homemade gift or go out for coffee with a friend than receive some overpriced sweater or chauchki!

  42. PS- I’m compltely OCD and make a list for just about anything- nothing against lists- I love ’em… just not for gifts!

  43. My mom trained me to make a big list, that way the person has many choices and the gift can still be somewhat of a surprise. I try to think of things that I’d like but “can live without” or am too cheap to buy myself. Sometimes someone gives me a gift that wasn’t on my list, and I love it.

    My in-laws never make lists so shopping for them is difficult because I don’t know them well.

  44. I think the point of a list I’d actually to make us less wasteful. My mom used to spend tons of money on s hundred ridiculous items that were either given away, trashed or donated. I’d rather her give me “1” thing I’ll use. Also, for hubby and kids, you font gave to ask for anything expensive to make a good list. Ask for a bag of you favorite cookies or candy you font normally splerg on or handmade items the crafty people in your family are good at. Say you need a new apron, and somebody sews. They can make you a quilted one from scraps, etc

  45. Those who give to our family usually request a list and I am happy to provide it. There are things that we want or need and won’t get for ourselves otherwise. We are trying to live intentionally and own just the things we love and will be put to good use. I do think the Love Languages play into this, too. My husband’s primary language or strength is not gifts and mine is so that makes it good easier for him if I suggest some things I might enjoy. Even after 11 years of marriage, we’ve had some “learning experiences” in this area. Ugh…it gets tricky. I want don’t want anyone to waste money on me for something I won’t use and feel guilty getting rid of. Sometimes the frugalite in me takes the fun out of it, especially if the surprise item is something I could have purchased for much cheaper. Maybe I’ve got issues…

  46. I’ve enjoyed reading your comments so much! Such a wonderful conversation with a range of perspectives and seasons of life and personalities represented. Love it!

  47. Maybe you read it in “Get More Done in Less Time” by Donna Otto- she mentions something like that…. never heard of her till you recommended her books- good stuff! πŸ™‚

  48. When I grew up we had a one gift rule. If you only asked for one thing, you would get it (within reason and budget). If you made a list, mom and dad could randomly choose. This is something I’ve carried over to adulthood. I ask for one thing, find it in a sale paper and provide a coupon. This way my husband can go into the store and ask for help. This year I’d like a pressure cooker…..with the 20% off coupon. Now that my boys are 8 and 12, their lists are more specific. I asked them to tell me exactly what they wanted from Amazon. No mistakes, no disappointment, no money spent inappropriately. As much as I want my boys to be happy with any gift, the reality is that it doesn’t always happen. I was then free to choose the items I thought would be best and within the budget I set for gifts. My husband never asks for anything specific and it drives me crazy. I spend a lot of time trying to watch him as he watches tv or looks at papers.
    I don’t think that making a list means that you are materialistic or selfish. If that is the case, then you should not exchange material gifts. Maybe if I had no budget I’d be willing to risk it, but I’m far too Type A for that these days.

  49. My hubby and I don’t usually buy for each other. We only buy for our niece and nephews, our son, a child we “adopt” for Christmas and I like to surprise a few co-workers and neighbors with secret santa gifts (small trinkets) but, I never tell who they are from. My hubby asked what I wanted for my B-day this year and I said I could really use some black socks for work. He came back with socks with cushions in them so, he really made it special. I also like many others think we are so blessed and don’t need anything!

  50. Our mothers ask for a list for our entire family for Christmas, and I oblige. It is totally about making life easier and smoother for those who need the list, and not about me or my children or our needs, wants, whatever at all. God is obviously the source of every good and perfect gift. It does however bless our families immensely to be able to bless us. If making a list helps them, then I do it. For me personally, it isn’t about me at all.