Santa Lists and Sponge Bob (Christmas/Holidays Unplugged)

By , December 3, 2007 7:52 pm

I have already written my “making a list” post, but that was not about a “kid kind of list.” I have not discussed what to do about kids’ lists because I always take the lame way out and DON’T ASK my kids what they want for Christmas, and have never told them that they could even write to Santa and ask for things. “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” right? If it works for the military, it works for me.

Without TV, kids don’t necessarily know about these lists and “cool toys,” but they do pick up an amazing amount of information on the playground, so I think the Christmas list issue might come up soon.

I honestly had not thought about the whole Christmas list dilemma until I read this post at Outside the (Toy) Box. What do you do when your kids want Sponge Bob Cyber-Slime 3D-Goggles and a Disney Jasmine Nail Glitter and Flavored Lip Gloss Set for Christmas? How do you give a child that magic “…moment where the clouds part and the angels sing when she looks under the tree…” and still be true to your (and hopefully ultimately their) values?

I think “Mom” is BRILLIANT!!! She has come up with the ideal solution in my mind. She suspects that rather than “Genius,” she might be a “Mistress of Manipulation” or a “Spineless Sell-Out,” but I vote for “Genius.”

For her four year-old she created a poster with cutouts of different toys that her daughter could request from Santa. Please read her very funny post.

To expand on her idea, I suppose you could choose catalogs that contain 100% toys that you approve of and let kids pick from those. Of course perhaps you still ought to edit a bit. Like those $200 wooden play stands? Just cut them out with scissors if you want! Any queries from the small fry regarding the holes in the pages? Well…maybe Santa has some things that are “out of stock” too. After all, magic only goes so far.

There are some great stores out there that do offer print catalogs. I would suggest:

Back to Basics Toys

Rosie Hippos
Nova Natural
Chinaberry (WONDERFUL catalog, but mostly books, so good to give to readers for picking gifts, but there are a few toys and games too)
Callie’s Corner
Culture for Kids (lots of books but videos, music and other items too)
For Small Hands
Montessori N’Such
The Wooden Wagon

Good luck!

Photo thanks to and photographer Mike Rash.

11 Responses to “Santa Lists and Sponge Bob (Christmas/Holidays Unplugged)”

  1. Ber says:

    Thanks so much for linking to that blog, that is great! Another fabulous toy company that sends out catalogs is the wooden wagon:

    I sneakily had them mailed to my mom and my MIL this year.

  2. Mom Unplugged says:


    Thanks so much for your comment! The Wooden Wagon is on my Unplugged Toy Stores list, but I missed that they had a print catalog. Thanks to your post, I have added them though.

    By the way, I love your idea of having catalogs sent to family members. VERY clever!!!

  3. Jenny says:

    I love that idea too, and it strikes me as something CJ will really go for next year. This year, she still doesn’t quite “get it”, and so I have a different problem- guessing what toys etc. she’ll enjoy with no guidance from her. I think I’ll enjoy that while I can!

  4. Kate in NJ says:

    I also like to send “appropriate catalogs” to family members who are
    “gift buying challenged”,lol.
    Great ideas.

  5. Christie says:

    At my house Santa doesn’t bring a gift. He just fills the stockings (and they are all on the small side)

  6. mom says:

    aww. thanksMom Unpugged. I’m glad you like the idea. It worked well for us. One thing I also did, to make it less like “shopping” and more like inspiration, was to say “these are some of the kinds of toys Santa might be able to bring” and to say that they might not be exactly the same.

    For me, this was a little less like ordering gifts than if I had used a complete catalogue, plus I was able to pick and choose, because even some of my fave catalogues often have toys I wouldn’t be nuts about. So tricky!

    I’m excited to check out some of these toy companies!

  7. says:

    Ultimately, it is still up to us parents to select gifts that we think are appropriate for our children. There are happy compromises that can be made… In holidays past, I haven’t gotten my daughter everything on her list because I haven’t approved of what she wanted. Now that she is 13, her list includes skinny (that are really tight) jeans for example – and I don’t agree — So, I have compromised and we’re going to give her a ‘gift certificate’ good for sweaters at Urban Outfitters. This does require parents to think outside the box and plan a bit — but I think it works for all…

  8. Becky @ Boys Rule My Life says:

    Another great idea! I love coming to your blog, their is always something new and interesting. Great ideas and just fun stuff in general. Great job!

  9. Daphne says:

    My dd is one of those children who came home one day (before we started homeschooling), and started talking about Spongebob this and Bratz that. She had never seen these before – so imagine my surprise when she started requesting this stuff by name. To make matters worse my TV junkie husband let her watch Spongebob after that! Gee- thanks- I suppose it could be worse. I am however thrilled to say that she hasn’t actually asked for this plastic toys that she really just wont be getting. I told her that for every item she asks for (note – not every item she receives, every item she says “oh I want….”) we will go pick out a book and donate it those that have less than us. She took surprisingly well to this idea and thus far as asked for a new apron, a rolling pin and to help pick out toys for her sister. Not a bad gig.

  10. Holly says:

    Just found your blog and really liking it so far… We are a TV free family, and I’m always amazed at how practical my daughter (7) is when it comes to choosing gifts or spending her allowance. Without all the commercial bombardment (and we’re currently living in France which also helps with that – so much less advertising here!) her desire for “stuff” tends to spring from her specific needs – art supplies, books, etc. I write a lot on this subject too over at my blog. Best to you!

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