Like everyone else, I’m down to the wire on my Christmas shopping.
I still have two days. Actually, I’ve already shopped for the easy people, such as my wife, who rarely buys anything for herself and needs almost everything. My adult children have agreed not to buy for each other again this year.
It’s the grandchildren who are difficult. My newest granddaughter will like anything this Christmas because she’s only a year old. Crawling through the wrapping will provide her all the joy she needs at this time in her life.
Older children are difficult, especially boys.
So I turn to the pragmatic solution and ask myself: What would I like to get if I were 10 years old?
It turns out the same things I like as a 70-year-old.
Books. Anything mechanical or that needs some assembly. Gadgets. A few years ago, faced with this same dilemma, my wife and I were searching for the perfect Christmas gift for another grandchild. We came across a pair of fancy six shooters encased in fake leather holsters. She said the grandchild I had in mind was probably too old for them. Who plays cowboys and Indians anymore anyway, she asked. I said I’d LOVE to get something like that for Christmas.
And I got them!
I retooled the gun belt from one that used to hold up my old U.S. Navy sword, attached some looped holders to the belt and a dozen realistic bullets to go into those holders that looped around the shell casings. I got the idea from a photo of the Lone Ranger that hangs just above my computer in my home office. The pearl-handled pistols hang in a place of honor in our spare bedroom.
We ended up giving the child money.
Now we are shopping once again for more teens and preteens who we see only three or four times a year. I’m so out of touch with today’s children.
I know absolutely nothing about current music. If I had my way, I’d buy my grandson a CD of Benny Goodman’s 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall. I decided without any prompting from my wife that none of the kids would like a CD compilation of the “greatest hits” of the Sons of the Pioneers.
I’ve looked at many models that would take hours to assemble, thereby providing a gift that lasted for months for the model builder. I still think of the grandchildren, even the teens, as “children.”
They are much more worldly and sophisticated than I was at that age, and maybe at this age, too.
Giving money is looking better all the time.
Lon Allan can be reached at 466-8529 or firstname.lastname@example.org.