SS10 and Christmas Presents
SS will be coming to see us for Thanksgiving next week. It is the first time he will be back at our house since the 4th of July. DH asked him to bring a Christmas list since we won't see him again until December 26th and family has started asking us what SS wants.
For context, every year, BM helps SS make a Christmas list to ensure that she, GF, and their families buy up everything before we even get the list. A few years ago, BM even had the gall to send DH the list and say "My parents and us already bought everything so I don't know what to tell you." So every year, DH goes off list and buys other things that he thinks SS would like. Our families usually gift him clothes, experiences, or gift cards. And usually, SS will produce a second list of a few random items a few days before Christmas, leaving us scrambling.
This year, SS doesn't know what he wants. He asked for money to buy concessions at football games. He told DH that him and BM were working on a list this weekend and that SS had asked BM if he could use his tablet to research items before then and BM said "No," that she needed him to work on it with her. We know it's so she can monopolize the list again. SS is at an age where he doesn't really want anything other than video games or sporting equipment. DH and I agreed that if SS cannot produce a Christmas list, he is getting gift cards to GameStop, Dick Sports, or a visa gift card. I am not worrying about Christmas gifts for SS for weeks only to get a crappy secondary list a few days before Christmas. Gift cards also make it nice because it prevents extra junk from cluttering his room at our house when he is only here for 6 weeks every year. Every year he gets toys and every year they go unplayed with or played with a few times due to our limited visitation. Plus, I know BM and GF won't help SS pick out Christmas gifts for us, and since SS is arriving on December 26th, he will arrive empty handed. Usually, I talk to SS during one of his calls with DH and brainstorm ideas to buy for DH and then I go buy it and wrap it from SS. But I'm working on disengaging more so I don't feel inclined to go the extra mile this year.
I want to be able to focus on DD this holiday season since it is her first Christmas and our first Christmas in our new house. I will happily wrap up a few gift cards for SS if it means making our lives easy this holiday season. And if SS is disappointed, maybe it will teach him to make a better list in advance for DH or to not give BM every item he wants on his first list, saving some items for DH.