Making Specific Lists for Santa

Santa has a saying at my house:

“If you don’t give me a wish list, there’s no telling what you might open on Christmas morning!”

Hence the reason I get wish lists from my boys every year. Very specific wish lists, I might add.

They didn’t use to always be this way. When they were little, their lists were long and quite generic. Play-doh. Legos. Hot Wheels. Trains. Etc.

But now?

Their wish lists are short and contain computer specs. Here is Dude’s list:

1. New computer
2. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
3. Halo ODST (Xbox 360)
4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
5. Borderlands (Xbox 360)
6. Cranberry “EB Yourself” shirt (
7. Forest “EB’9X” shirt (

Current Computer’s Specs
Processor: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 3.00GHz 3.00 GHz
Memory (RAM): 1.50 GB
System type: 32-bit Operating System
Video Card: Radeon X1300/X1500 Series
Hard Drive Memory: 141 GB

The boy is specific.

Jazz’s list is quite similar – my boys make look different? But they’re carbon copies when it comes to their past times.

Both boys really want new computers. Correction, let’s be specific here: they want gaming computers. Because that’s what they use their computers for – to play games and/or watch YouTube videos. (Out of the one BILLION videos on YouTube? I think Dude has watched 999,999,001.)

But we like to get the best deal. So I told them they needed to find out their computer specs so “Santa” could weigh the option of whether it would be cheaper to replace, say, the video card, as opposed to buying a whole new computer (which could very likely be cheaper because sometimes you can buy a good, refurbished computer for almost cheaper than you can buy a brand new, awesome, video card. Trust me. I’m a geek).

So, after Bible study one Sunday morning, I asked the boys to stick around and present their “we want a new computer and here’s why” case to their father.

In a nutshell? Here’s what they said:

Dude is thinking ahead. He knows that the kind of games he enjoys playing are getting more and more sophisticated and his computer is getting older by the month (because it’s all about months when it comes to computer technology, not years). In addition, his graphics are starting to lag, so he’s pretty sure that he’s at that point where the newer games? Most likely won’t play on his machine.

Now, the boys’ computers are the same, but Jazz’s computer is not quite as good as Dude’s. And that’s mainly because Dude spent his own money and bought himself some more RAM so his processor would run faster thereby making his game play that much smoother. (Still with me?). But Jazz didn’t do that, so his RAM? Is pretty puny. He’s also been having problems with turning his computer on. I can hear him in there mumbling at his “stupid machine” whenever he turns it on, but it won’t boot up and he ends up having to turn it on and off about ten times before it finally works properly. (We bought him a new power supply over the weekend – it works fine now). In addition, his video card is crapping out and because he has less RAM than Dude, his games REALLY lag and just frustrate him to no end.

But overall? They’re pretty good computers. And in fact, they are better than most of the “gaming” machines we’ve looked at. But Kevin wanted to weigh his options, so Kevin and the boys took Jazz’s computer apart to get to the video card and Kevin and Dude drove up the computer store over the weekend to talk to the guy and see what kind of video card they had and how much it would cost to upgrade. (I thought this was really cool for Dude because if he wants to go into computer, this is the sort of stuff he’d be helping people with).

We’ll bypass the gobbedly-gook (because I can see you guys nodding off – sorry, I love computers) and just say? Their cards? Suck. And a really good, top-o-the-line card? A whopping $200 bucks.


Yeah. We’re still chewing on that one. I’m not sure what Kevin wants to do about that yet, but we’ve already told the boys that if, and that’s a pretty big IF, they get a new video card, they can’t expect much else from Santa and to my utter surprise, they were both pretty cool with that.

I TOLD you my boys are on their way to being UBER-GEEKS/GOOD HACKS.

So, I spent a good portion of my Sunday looking over their lists, strategizing with Kevin and I think we’ve pretty much have them wrapped up, as far as Christmas. And yes, we plan on buying them a nicer video card, only not the top-o-the-line card, but a cheaper compromise.

The disadvantage to having super-geeky children? What they want is EXPENSIVE.

The advantage to having super-geeky children? THAT’S ALL THEY WANT.

So – DONE. Santa is done with the boys, save for a few stocking stuffers.

Christmas shopping has sort of thrown me for a loop this year. I’m usually done with Kevin right about now and just thinking about the boys. But this year, the boys are done and I have NO CLUE what to give Kevin this year. Even though he also gives me a very specific wish list (and he HAS to, because the man is REALLY picky and if I deviate from the list and buy him something unexpected, I have to endure that heart-breaking “I’m not disappointed, but really I am!” look. Do you know the one?), I’m not sure what to buy him.

Kevin’s lists are always very short. Which is fine, but it’s sort of hard to surprise the man when in essence, he knows what he’s getting and where’s the fun in that? I usually try and throw a little something in, just to throw him off track, but his big gifts? He totally asks for.

Now me. *sigh* I hate making wish lists because I don’t know! I don’t think about what I want. I’m always so focused on what everyone else wants that whenever someone asks me what I want? I’m like this:

And I can only shrug people off for so long before they start getting cranky with me and I’m forced to comply.

So after making sure the boys were done for Christmas, I started in on my wish list. …………………….

And couldn’t think of a single thing. Kevin has already told me that he will no longer buy me clothes. He says that he buys them, and then I never wear them. (He’s right). And though I love gift cards, (especially from Amazon – HINTHINT), that’s not exactly fun to open (though fun to use later!!!!)

I’m sitting here, yesterday afternoon, wracking my brain, trying to think of something when I suddenly remember – AMAZON! My Amazon wish list is huge. The only problem is? It’s chock full of books. And Kevin? Doesn’t want to buy me books. (I’ve mentioned I have a whole bookcase and TWO huge plastic containers in the garage that I need to get through, right? Yeah. It’s bad).

So now what? I think to myself. And somehow? Don’t even ask me how, I end up on video games. And I see the EA Sports Active for the Wii and HELLO! Right up my alley. So, that’s on the wish list (and I’ve given it a high priority – HINTHINT). Because even though I’m a couch potato in December? I always get back on the workout wagon in January because from that point on? It’s a countdown to warmer weather and more revealing clothes.

Ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ about, right? (Do I actually have to say it? Swimsuits. Sleeveless shirts. Shorts. Exactly!).

But then, then I ran across this lovely, scrumptious metallic rose-colored DS and COME TO MAMA. I want it. Don’t ask me why, I just do. This, of course, means I have to have games to go along with it. So I start doing a little research on DS games. I like mystery games – where you have to solve puzzles and riddles in order to solve a crime. I dig that stuff, which really makes no sense because I have the intelligence of a flea, but I pay attention and I have a lot of common sense and they’re challenging so, hush.

Only, there are a TON to choose from and I didn’t want to get stuck with a stinker, so I call Dude in to give me some advice. He’s like the GO-TO guy for video games.

He tells me I need to go to IGN and look up the game rating. Most of the games I looked at, were around 6, which Dude has assured me is NOT A GOOD RATING, so I bypassed them. But the games on my Amazon wish list? Are all 8’s or better, so those are the games I’m going with. (They look a little hokey and childish? But honestly, I watched videos on them and they look fun!)

But mostly, I think the reason I really want a DS for Christmas? Is because it gives me something to talk about with my boys. It would establish common ground with them and I have to say:


(I had every intention of making this post short. But as you can see, I failed. I’m beginning to think I’m incapable of writing short posts. It’s quite annoying).

(I’ll Be Home for Christmas by Josh Groban)