In deference to tradition, you dressed your little one up in their holiday finery, braved the crowd at the mall, survived a nap-deprived meltdown and stood in line for an hour to sit on Santa’s lap. You are all set to snap an adorable photo and listen to your munchkin whisper their wishlist to Saint Nicholas when they surprise you. Instead of asking for baby dolls, toy trucks or even the cliché pony, your little one wants a dizzying array of expensive gadgets and toys this year. If your child’s letter to Santa has you breaking into sweats over the holiday budget, you’ll need to find good alternatives to some of this year’s most popular gift requests.
They may not be wishlist staples like building blocks and princess dresses, but tech toys will be making appearances in many letters to Santa this year.
Skip It: iPad- The word iPad is almost synonymous with tablet. Kids stick an iPad at the top of their wishlist because it’s the name they know from sleek television ads. However, most tots and teens don’t need a tablet that starts at $399 for a basic model and quickly soars to over $900 with added features. With technology changing on a near-daily basis, it won’t be long before the expensive toy is outdated. Plus, kids aren’t known for being gentle. Nothing crushes Santa’s holiday spirit like a cracked screen on a premium-priced tablet.
Photo by inUse Consulting via Flickr
Give It: Lenovo Tablets- Starting at just over $100 for the Idea Tab A1000, Lenovo tablets offer all the fun features of their higher-end counterparts for a fraction of the price. Plus, free shipping means you won’t be elbowing through crowds of other hurried holiday shoppers to complete your shopping. If unwrapping a tablet doesn’t cause the squeals of delights you were hoping for, Lenovo also offers free returns. For more information and to find the perfect tablet to put under your tree, check out the Lenovo website.
Photo by lenovosocialmedia via Flickr
When your little girl is looking for a pretend pal, 18-inch dolls with fashionable clothing and accessories are a hit.
Skip It: American Girl Dolls- Having been around since 1986, American Girl dolls are having tea parties and sleep overs with their second generation of young ladies. However, at $110 per doll, your little girl will need to pass it on to her own daughter to make it worth the sticker price. Though the dolls are beautiful and well made, you won’t be able to pick one up at your local toy store since they are only available online and in a handful of stores nationwide.
Photo by Minnaert via Wikimedia Commons
Give It: Journey Girls Dolls- Journey Girls, from Toys ‘R’ Us, feature stylish, active girls. With dolls depicting a variety of races and interests, such as athletes, artists and explorers, Journey Girls try to encourage self-esteem and active childhoods. Like American Girl dolls, these playthings are 18-inches tall and have a huge collection of accessories and fashionable clothing available. All the fun of Journey Girls dolls
can be had for just $33 each.
Photo by Terence via Wikimedia Commons
Whether they are listening to holiday carols, the Dora the Explorer theme song or the latest Justin Beiber album, kids and teens are all looking for the latest headphones this Christmas.
Skip It: Beats by Dr. Dre- The rap legend, Dr. Dre, knows a thing or two about music, and as a result of that, about headphones too. The over-the-ear style headphones bearing his name are known for their bass amplification, noise cancellation and trendy styles. However, the price points of $199 for the basic version and $299 for the noise-cancelling version are largely fueled by celebrity hype.
Photo by foeock via Flickr
Give It: SkullCandy- The SkullCandy line of headphones is nearly as trendy as the Beats, but, without the celebrity endorsement, comes in at a fraction of the price. Like the Beats, SkullCandy headphones have over-the-ear styles, trendy colors, bass amplification and noise cancellation. The Crusher style is the most similar to the Beats and runs $99 at BestBuy.
Photo by Pop Culture Geek via Flickr
Photo by N Adey Photography via Flickr