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Aiergh! Please, I need help. - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
Aiergh! Please, I need help.
You see, I am hopelessly out of touch. Last week I picked up two tags from the office building's "Angel Tree." The Angel Tree is set up in the lobby in a cooperative between our office building and the Salvation Army. They hang little tags on the tree, which people from the different companies in the building take down. On each tag is a gender, an age, a number of sizes (shoes, sleepware, pants, socks, shirts, coats, gloves, etc) as well as "other" and "toy" sections. It's sort of a chance for underprivileged kids to make a wish for Christmas. We go out, pick up something from the tag, wrap it up and return it by the 12th of December.

This year it seems few people are in the holiday spirit -- no tags seemed to be moving. So I took it upon myself to get two of them. The problem is I'm way over my head. I've been a computer geek for the last six years. I don't know anything anymore about being a kid. :P

I have a tag for a 4 year old girl, who has "books, videos, flash cards, board games, puzzles, rollerblades, tea set, dishes" down on her tag.

The other tag is for a 15 year old boy, who has "Books, backpack, camera, cassettes, videos" for his tag.

I don't know what the hell is "cool" for a 15 year old boy in terms of videos or books. I can do the rollerblade thing for the 4 year old girl with no problem, but what else is there for her? Books? Videos? What's a video to get for a four year old girl?

Suggestions welcomed and greatly appreciated. I have to turn these things in by Thursday, the 12th. So please don't hesitate to speak up!

Current Mood: confused confused
Current Music: G. Harrison, T. Petty, N. Young, E. Clapton, B. Dylan ,R. McG

4 thoughts or Leave a thought
enveri From: enveri Date: December 8th, 2002 04:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved coloring books at that age. A nice huge package of crayolas and a variety of coloring books would be good.

4 year olds are kind of young to be reading, but there are some children's books I can recommend as well. (Little Golden books, ect)

For the 15 year old, I assume it doesn't specify what kind of videos or cassettes he likes, so I really wouldn't go for that. Kids have different tastes. You may want to go for a nice backpack, a cheap 35mm camera, and some extra film on this one, just to be safe.

nonethewiser From: nonethewiser Date: December 8th, 2002 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Lilo and Stitch would be a great video for the little one. Colouring books, as everyone said, too. There are all kinds of sets of "kitcheny" things you can get in the girls section of a toy store that would probably go over really well.

The 14 year old girl I hang out with some is a very big fan of the typical 'teen' fare, Blue Crush, American Pie, the whole dealie. Also likes horror films. Gift certificates for that sort of thing would be a complete trip for an older teen, too.

tanagers From: tanagers Date: December 8th, 2002 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm the Mad Latinist's sister, and he forwarded this to me. I actually teach first grade (and have taught all of primary) at a school which participates in an angel tree exchange. It's great that you took some names. Every year our kids are overjoyed to receive something, anything.

My first question is this-- in Chicago the program sets a monetary limit right away. Gifts are not to exceed $25 total. This is really important because it used to be that some kids would get a play station and others would get a single book, some nothing. Our program asks that no matter how tempting it is to buy more, you try to stick to $25, and if you want to get more, to take another child or donate an extra gift.

For the 4 year old I would probably recommend board games, school/art supply kits, and/or books. Right now the Power Puff Girls seem to be really popular with the first graders, and I know they make back pack sets with all sorts of stickers and art supplies, so I bought several of those for my kids. A lot of my kids also wanted books. One idea I really liked was that one child specifically asked for books about Christmas and winter. I love Eric Carle for the little kids. The words aren't too easy, but he establishes a lot of patterns so the kids can read it to themselves. The only problem with books is that they can be really expensive, and getting two books for a child might not be as satisfying for you or the child as getting a toy. Board games and books are great gifts because the whole family can benefit, so kids without gifts in the family can still play. A lot of my kids asked for the old board game Mouse Trap. Some wanted Candy Land, Operation, etc. There are a lot of board games for that age.

For the 15 year old... is he in special ed? Here children may only participate to 12 unless they are in special ed. It's great that you took his envelope though. Every year most of our little guys get gifts, but very few people take an envelope from an older child, so fifth graders frequently end up with nothing. A camera is a great gift, and we usually get several, though the problem is the child often can't afford to develop too many pictures. Also, if the child asked for a book bag, he probably needs it, so that might be better. A nice sturdy, long lasting backpack is great. You could even fill it with some nice pens or something.

Sorry to run on so long. These programs are great, and it is wonderful that people participate in them!
goldrider From: goldrider Date: December 8th, 2002 07:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
4-year-old girl: Get some of those carebears that are hot right now. They're plushie, soft, and cute. Plus they come witha Care Bear video. :)
4 thoughts or Leave a thought