A Modern Twist on Christmas Gift Lists

It's the most wonderful time of the year—and most stressful (for working moms, that is). Check out our top holiday hacks to make the season bright for YOU.This article is part of our Holiday Hacks for Working Moms series. See the full #holidayhacks list for more ways to hack your holidays, so you can enjoy the season instead of letting it drag you down.

“Mom, I want that!”

How often do you hear that phrase? Especially around the holidays, kids get particularly vocal about all the things they would like to get from Santa, Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, etc. Hearing it repeatedly can turn any sane parent into a raging lunatic who’d like to call the whole thing off.

I found a way to channel this rampant case of the gimmes in a way that’s fun for the child, useful for gift givers, and easy to pull off as a working mom.

Does your child have Christmas gift list a mile long? Here's how to capture all those "wants" in a fun, easy way that makes them a cinch to share or update.

The new Christmas gift list

Back in my day (cue Grumpy Old Man voice), we didn’t have fancy computers or “the Interwebz” to catalog our every desire for under the Christmas tree. We hand wrote a list (or maybe typed it on an actual typewriter, as Cara did in this WMAG throwback post), mailed it to the North Pole or perhaps shared it directly with Mall Santa.

Cara's old-school Christmas wish list
Cara’s old-school Christmas wish list

In my husband’s case, he says he would get a toy catalog from the mail pile, circle all the items he wanted, and leave it in places where his parents were sure to see it (back of the toilet, bedroom pillow, you get the idea…)

Now, we have all sorts of digital wonders to help our children capture what their hearts most desire. Our family happens to be avid Amazon Prime members, so we use Amazon’s Wish List tools to do this. Some cool features I like:

  • You can add comments, quantity, and priority, so you get the gifts you really want.
  • You’re making it easy for others to view and purchase the items you want by emailing your Wish List to them. You also have the ability to make a list private or only visible to those you want to share it with.
  • You can sort your items alphabetically, by price, by date added, or by priority. Filter your items by category, price drops, or by purchase status.
  • You can edit the name of your list, print the list, or change your delivery address.
  • The Wish List Browser Button. This magic button allows you to add any item from any web page to your Wish List—whether it’s available from Amazon or not.

Screen Shot 2014-12-06 at 12.50.49 PM


Out and about? Get the Amazon mobile app so you can put something on your wish list before you forget.

Been meaning to join Amazon Prime? Start your free trial now.

Bonus idea for younger kids

For kids who might be too young to read or write, you can help them create the digital list. And if we’re out shopping and one of them says “Mom, I want that!” I’ll even hand over my iPhone and let them take pictures. Later, we can use the pictures to find those items online and add them to the list.

Often, the act of taking the photos is enough—they don’t really want all those toys, but in the excitement of that retail setting it’s fun and satisfying to capture them on camera.

A sampling of James' Ninjago-crazed wish list.
A sampling of James’ Ninjago-crazed wish list.

My 5-year-old son James is totally obsessed with all things Ninjago, and for him, the Wish List is the perfect solution for him to focus his obsession—without us feeling the need to buy “all the things.” He often wants me to pull up the list on the family tablet, just so he can review the NinjaCopter or the Spinjitzu Dojo one more time.

When Christmas is over

A nice thing about electronic wish lists is they can live on past the holidays. Each member of our family has his or her own wish list, and we keep it updated periodically. So even when you don’t get everything you wanted for Christmas, there’s always the next birthday or other gift-giving occasions that might come up.

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Tame that Christmas gift list in a fun, easy way that makes your child's list a cinch to share and update.

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