I'm a wish list kinda gal. I have one year round with the thought that if someone who likes me wins the lottery, my requests were the first in line. Sadly, not everyone is as naturally helpful as I am. It's because of that very nature that I bring you the 2012 gift guide. Say thank you with presents.
Kids are greedy. I am reminded of this fact every time I watch hipster cartoons with my 4 year old. He wants everything. Here's a basic conversation:
Greedy son: "Mommy, can I have a cotton candy maker?"
Lovely Mommy: "No. You don't even like cotton candy!"
Greedy son: "I like it now because I'm 4."
This actually makes things easier. There's this rule some people follow of giving kids one thing to wear, one thing they need, one thing they want and one thing to read. I don't follow that rule. I like to give gifts that make my life easier because they will entertain him.
A big-deal present this year for kids my son's age is the LeapPad II. It's like an iPad for kids. You can buy games, car chargers, headphones - all sorts of accessories. Plus it will keep him from commandeering my cell phone and running the battery down playing Subway Surf. If a LeapPad II is out of your price range (they are about $130), then I would suggest something else handheld and cheaper. Leapsters are like handheld games for little ones; they run about $25 and games are about $20 for them. They'll keep the greedy little monkeys quiet for a bit.
If you have a daughter, I'm sorry. I have no clue about girls. A Dream Lite and a Justin Bieber poster? Sorry.
Your significant other
I don't have one of these anymore, but I still have to buy a present for him from my son. I'm going with zombies this year. "The Walking Dead" is crazy popular (because it's crazy good, ya'll), so season one and two of that is a great idea. Or kits to make things like beer and cheese (or both!) and general toys. Guys love gadgets; you just have to decide what brand of gadget to get. I am also told by our sports editor Bryan Fazio that guys like movies and booze.
Girls usually have wish lists because we are helpful creatures. We like nice things like perfume, books, music, clothes and season two of "The Walking Dead."
And nothing says I love you like something created to make food preparation or baking easier. This does not mean that everything that plugs in is a good idea for a female. You could buy a vacuum cleaner, but do so at your own risk.
Parents are interesting creatures. My mother always tells me she wants nothing, and then two weeks before Christmas, after I have already purchased her present two months prior, gets very specific about exactly what she wants. Gift cards, though impersonal, are always a great choice for moms. Steer clear of one to a grocery store, but Kohl's is a popular mom spot. They have this Sag Harbor brand that my mom wears and that makes me giggle.
Dads are harder. If I gave my dad a gift card he would loose it. After year's worth of bad ties, power tools and indoor golf putter thingys, I actually started buying him what he wanted. This consists of boring and practical gifts such as thick socks and flannel shirts (even though he is not a lumberjack). My dad is a coffee drinker, so one year, I bought him a percolator after listening to him complain about that being the only real way to drink coffee. I think it's in the garage now.