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Checking Christmas gift wish lists twice

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POSTED December 8, 2009 4:52 a.m.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to Christmas shopping.

Usually, I find myself doing things at the last minute, picking gift items off the rack and within the budget for nieces and nephews.

Among my siblings and their spouses, we do a Secret Santa for Christmas, choosing names from a hat following our recent Thanksgiving feast.

Each of us jotted down wish-list items valued at $35. For example, my list included winter clothes or a gift card – choose one – from Target, Macy’s or Best Buy.

Secret Santa is an economical solution to an ever-growing family.

What about the kids?

This year I can actually afford to go through their Christmas list.

Yet some things are still beyond my budget.

Take my son, Josh, who wants a laptop notebook or an Apple I-Pod touch. Both items are high on his list but too pricey for my blood. Sorry, Josh, you might have to settle for something that’s not on your Christmas list.

He also put down Assassin’s Creed II, an action-adventure video game, for his Xbox 360 on his wish list as did his two cousins, Matthew, 16, and Blaine, 23.

But that’s nothing compared to the items on the list of my nephew Brent, who currently attends UC Irvine.

He put down “HDTV around 32 inches” along with an Xbox 360 wireless networking adapter. In all likelihood, I’ll get him a gift card from Best Buy to go towards his purchase.

Curiously, Blaine and Joe, the 13-year-old brother of Matthew, had the Doctor Who DVD series on their list.

I had to go online to find out more about this British science fiction TV program produced by BBC. It’s about the adventures of a mysterious alien time-traveler known as “the Doctor,” who explores time and space while facing a variety of foes and righting the wrongs.

My 15-year-old niece, Troy, appears more interested in music, listing CDs of award-winning Country artist Carrie Underwood, the one-time American Idol winner, and Miranda Lambert.

No problem here.

Now, for the first time, Sienna, the youngest member of the family, came out with her own Christmas list.

Thankfully, she hasn’t discovered the world of expensive video games, electronics, or complete DVD series.

Rather, the 3-year-old daughter of my brother Peter wants either Cinderella or Toy Story – I think the first one? – on DVD or a white Totoro stuffed animal.

Totoro is a character from the Japanese animation, “My Neighbor Totoro.”

So here’s to hoping that I’ll have the bulk of shopping accomplished in the next week or so. I have the list – thanks to my sister, Frances, who took the time to scan and send it out via e-mail – and have even checked it twice.

It’ll be credit or debit.

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