What Your Holiday Gift Wish list Says About You

Recently, I found my wish list from when I was seven. Here is what it said (minus spelling errors):

Barbie with the brown hair and blue sequin dress and perfume bottle
Little Pony Purple
Corral for horses and troughs  (I had miniature plastic horses and wanted a plastic coral and troughs for them)
Pretty Princess make-up kit
Disneyland with Caroline 1 day (my best friend and I both asked for this so we could go together)
No piano lessons

When reading this wish list, I think you can get a pretty good idea of what kind of seven year-old I was: girly, girly, girly. I liked anything that was small, plastic and colorful (sequins helped) and didn’t like anything having to do with Piano. Seeing my wish list made me think, what does your gift list say about your child…and how have gift wish lists changed? To find out, I went about asking my parent friends and readers if they had a seven year-old daughter whose wish list they were willing to share. Here is what seven year-old Charlotte had to say:

Pink ipod touch
Cowboy Barbie
Earbuds with stars (these are earbud headphones with stars like earrings on the earpiece)
Paint set
Backpack like Chelsea’s (This was a backpack you could draw on that her friend Chelsea has in green)
Xbox Kinnect
iTunes money for iPod touch

I couldn’t help but notice Charlotte also loves small, sparkly items, but most of hers plug-in. Over the years more and more gift wish lists are going digital. For example, one of my 12 year-old inters is asking for ‘a Facebook’ for Christmas. This does not cost anything, but is a big demand from her parents (I think she might have to wait and get that as a 13th birthday present).

What does our holiday gift list say about our children or this generation of children?

1) Technology is taking over.

2) But…the basic kid needs and desires are still there. I wanted a make-up kit in 1992, Charlotte wants head phone earrings in 2010, but it is still all about playing dress-up.

3) Friends still matter. I wanted to go to Disneyland with my friend Caroline and Charlotte wants a backpack like her friend Chelsea. Part of me wonders if kids want to be more like their friends now, however spending time with them is not as important. This example is far too small a sample, but still an interesting way of showing how friendships are changing for young people.

I challenge you to talk to your teens and kids about what you wanted when you were their age. What has changed? Is it for better or worse? This is a great way to also talk about how technology and relationships are changing their generation…an important topic for every young person today.

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