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Making a Holiday List is Very Difficult

Graphic by Caroline Wu '13
Graphic by Caroline Wu '11

It’s almost the winter holidays. That means another year of indecision and disappointment among teenagers. As the time draws closer, everybody is asking themselves the same question.

What do I want?

That’s a question that is surprisingly difficult to answer. Some people ask for money so they can spend it on whatever they want. Some people have the infamous “list that keeps on growing.” And some kids just plain have no idea.

I’m in that category.

As I sit down in my room with a fresh piece of paper and my favorite pen, I stare, stare, stare, and just can’t think.

Frustration overwhelms me as I start to remember all the times throughout the year when I thought “Hey, that’s a good gift idea!” All I can do is stare.

The uncertainty is endless. I start asking my friends about what they want this holiday season.

Then I realized: I’m not alone. I’m not the only one who is struggling.

Fortunately, most of us have the necessities: phone and iPod. As I sit for another hour with only the item (“Star Trek” DVD) on the list, I take a break.

I decide to go to my friend’s house to maybe get some inspiration.

As soon as I walk into his room, I see his list. I say to myself “Yes! Eureka!” I turn over the list and all I see is his one abolished idea, “new sandals.” Now this compounds my aggravation.

On Monday during lunch, I try to take the initiative and start the topic of holiday gifts at the table. At first I hear a couple items like a new iPod or computer but that’s it.

Later on, I walk home and sit in my room and think about how sad I am going to feel when I see 10 pairs of fuzzy socks, an iTunes gift card and a pack of baseball cards as my gifts.

Everyone always talks about how Christmas is their favorite holiday. When asked why, they simply reply; “it’s just the best.” Even though I don’t celebrate this holiday, I can understand why.

However, I can’t wrap my head around how they could make their gift list. As stuck up and snobbish as I may sound, I believe that one of the hardest parts about the whole holiday experience is that pesky little list. Every kid is desperate for that moment when they hit their epiphany.

Michael Scott, manager of the Dunder-Mifflin Scranton branch in “The Office,” once said that “gifts are like this tangible thing you can point to and say, ‘I love you man-this many dollars worth.’”

While this is far from true, it is impossible to say that people aren’t  anticipating the world’s greatest gift.

Kids feel that if they hadn’t gotten any huge gifts that year, they are due for a big one during the holidays. Sadly, this year could be different. Don’t forget that our economy isn’t helping us out. Many families are now cutting back on their gifts.

That means that a $400 pair of Bathing Ape sneakers you desperately wanted aren’t exactly endorsed.

Plus, it looks like the new MacBook costs as much as a small house.

Which holiday is the easiest?

Growing up Jewish, I always made a little list for every night. Last year, I resorted to getting a new DVD every night.

It worked, but now I have no idea what to ask for. I can’t imagine what its like for a kid who celebrates Christmas. The idea of making one huge list seems incredibly daunting.

So here’s a hint to all undecided teenagers: start preparing now, or plan to show your friends your new pair of comfy mittens on Jan. 3.

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