Given the teenageness of my sons, I wasn't too excited about buying them a lot of Christmas presents. A piece of coal and a stick seemed just about right. Of course, their desires were of the expensive electronic variety: PCs, ipods, cell phones, games.
Hubby and I finally faced shopping for them the Wednesday before Christmas. We reminisced about their younger days as we strolled through the toy aisles and decided it was much easier to buy for an 8-year-old than a 16-year-old.
We bought mostly functional items, exciting items such as underwear, grooming products (AXE, yuck, but the boys douse themselves with it), new sunglasses to drive in winter's glare, umbrellas so they can stand at the bus stop (yeah, we're too mean to let them drive to school and too lazy to drive them to school every morning), battery operated toothbrushes (an impulse buy), and electric shavers . They have razors but they wanted to try shavers. Oh, and a pro-sized football and a new skateboard.
On Christmas morning they found that Santa did indeed stuff their stockings and set wrapped presents under the tree. They emptied their stockings before breakfast and then we went to church before they opened their presents. They are such cool kids. Each present was greeted with enthusiasm (even the boxer briefs) and thank yous. There were no complaints about the lack of electronics, but they took pleasure in what they received.
So the next day I ordered a Dell computer powerful enough to run their games.