The sad part of Christmas

When it came time to wrap up all the gifts and get them ready for the kids, I felt so sad, so ashamed. There were about 20 gifts for Isabelle, and just 3 for Nathan. It broke my heart. It’s not that we have favorites. It’s just that Isabelle loves anything and everything, she is so easy to buy for. She loves arts and crafts and dolls and music and .. well… pretty much everything.

What can you get a little boy that is too smart for simple cause and effect toys? Too physically impaired to manipulate toys that are more cognitively appropriate? He loves to play with toy guys (he loves shooting people) so we got him 2 of those. He likes playing with cars so we got him one of those. He already has a gazillion books (he loves being read to) and every single disney movie and kids movie in the planet (I am not exaggerating). He already has a tricycle, which he decided he doesn’t like after all. I would love to get him so many things – an electric car, learning toys like leapster, dinosaurs like his cousins like or some of the cool toys out on the market…but he can’t play with them.

I’m realizing that we’re entering a stage now where there isn’t a quick fix for these things. Yes, I’m going to make it a mission to keep an eye out all year for toys that he might like for next Christmas. But this is the reality of Nathan’s condition. This is one of those inevitable side effects of paralysis.

On a good note, he enjoyed his Christmas very much anyways. He had a blast shooting people with his nerf guns. That boy has such a naughty sense of humor.


  1. Cheryl P says

    I know exactly how you feel. We got Luke a furreal dog that has a motion and voice sensor that makes the dog move or bark. Luke loves it! He also loves playing (with our help) hungry hippos with his brothers and sister. Hope you have a great new year!

  2. Heather Reisig says

    You have the most beautiful family. Your happiness radiates. One day, I hope to see you again, dear friend.

  3. I agree that it gets a bit harder each year, but there are still things out there. I also think that the older you get the less toys you get (i.e., my 13 year old niece might have gotten an iPod Touch for Christmas only, while the 8 year olds had a pile of toys). I tend to be a bit more into experience gifts and usually ask family for them- Build a Bear gift cards, Movie tickets, museum memberships, restaurant gift cards – all that can be done with our children because really taking them out of the house is what my kids want more than more toys.
    This year Emma got a toy called Made by Me! by Fisher Price. She loves it! And so does her 6 year old sister, so might be an option for Nathan. I’m not sure how long it will take to wear off the novelty of it, but well worth the small price it cost already in the joy I see from the girls! I also got her a rice bin which is a nice tub that snaps closed on the sides so it won’t spill all over the house when not in use. This week we put the parts for Mr. Potato Head in the rice and Emma had to “fish” them out with her hands and then I put them on Potato head. We also pretend we are making cakes and cookies and stir with the play food stuff and cookie molds. We did also get her some InstaSnow to use in a separate tub. Fun stuff! The last gift was a sled.
    She also has a remote control car she loves to play with. But, in the end, her favorites are really just acting silly with all of us and not playing independently even though there are times when she needs to figure out a bit of independent play.
    Just a couple of ideas that are a bit out of the box in case you hadn’t thought of them yet. Oh, and we limit gifts from Santa to 3/child and seems to work well so far.

    I’m sure you had these ideas already and that you were just expressing what we all feel to a certain extent, but thought some of my ideas might pertain to Nathan for when you go through this again at his birthday!

  4. Lots of mother is facing this problem. I have got only child and have the same problem. Oliver is happy with a pullover too. I know I would buy just one gift for each person. My nieces were in shock when they learned that Oliver had only one gift from us. They did not want to believe it. Oliver enjoyed the Christmas dinner as we have in our country. He enjoyed that more than anything else.

  5. Cathy Jordan says

    Sweet post. I’m sure that he LOVED Christmas! I’m also sure that you’ve thought of everything…but just in case!…what about remote control cars? The Air Swimmers fish/sharks? They are remote control too or they can just float around. How about a journal? He can tell you how he’s feeling, what’s on his mind, what he did that day, and you can write it down and read it to him from time to time. Scrapbooks, a cd of you singing to him, um…a blanket with family’s pics on them. I hope some of this helps! Love hearing about you and your sweet kiddos! 🙂

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