Monday, November 10, 2014

Mama Monday: Christmas wish list

Warning: This post is probably not Emily Post-approved.

It's barely November and I've already had a few people ask me for gift ideas for The Ems for Christmas. We have a few standby answers - books are ALWAYS a good choice - but decided to ditch "proper etiquette" and go for something we found a tad more helpful.

Which leads me to.... Amazon Wish Lists. Have you heard of this? Do you have one? If you have an Amazon account, they have a feature to create a gift wish list - for yourself or for your child.
We have been doing this for a while and have found that it makes gift giving a lot easier. It means that we can include not just "books" as a general idea, but some specific ones that she might like and, more importantly, doesn't already own. It also helps keep track of whether a specific gift has already been purchased, so you don't getting the same set of awesome blocks from the Uncle and the Great Grandmother (they are totally the best blocks and we love them, you guys are great gift-givers!)
To make a wish list, go to and select "Create a Wish list" from the drop down menu in the top right corner. 
You can make it for yourself or your child, add a birthday, and decide who can see it. You can make it searchable (using your email address or name) or you can make it so that you have to invite people to see it.
Then whenever you're signed in to Amazon, you can add things to your wish list by select the appropriate list from the drop down underneath the "add to cart" box on the right-hand side.
Another great thing about it is that you aren't limited to including things only sold on Amazon. Using the Universal Wish List button you can add items from any website.
You only have to do this once to be able to add items from anywhere. Go to that same top right corner drop down menu and pick "Save Items from the Web" 
This screen pops up. You click on that button and drag it to your tool bar. See mine up there in the top left next to apps?
Then whenever you are browsing and you see an item you want to add, you just click on that button in your tool bar. A dialogue box pops up that lets you pick which picture, enter details such as price and your comments (color, size, etc) and then you can add it!
To find someone's list, you just search for them by name or email address. It looks like child lists can be found by searching for the parent, so I guess you'd have to know which parent manages the list.
Another thing I love is that once you find the person's list, you can "remember" it so that it shows up in the same menu as your list. It'll even remind you before their birthday!

I think there's a lot of pros and cons to using a wish list. On the one hand, I feel like it looks a little greedy or expectant. It takes a lot of the surprise out and can possibly lead to less "thoughtful" gift giving. On the other hand, it can really help someone who might otherwise be stumped, it makes sure you end up with gifts the kiddos really want and/or need and don't already have, and it cuts down on duplicates.
In the end, we decided that the pros outweigh the cons for us. I really like it when I can go to my dad or brother's wish list and find something that I know they really want. I don't have to spend so much time agonizing over what to get them and then it maybe not being the right size or something that doesn't match their tastes. I figured if I appreciate having gift ideas for them, then providing one for Ems (and myself) can't be a bad idea. What are your thoughts? Would you do a wish list? Happy shopping!

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