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Lisa Prejean: Christmas, children and clothes

Teaching Your Child

Teaching Your Child

December 04, 2009|By LISA PREJEAN

You know your children are growing up when they'd rather have gift cards to clothing stores than clothes that you pick out for them.

It seems to happen overnight. Season after season you go shopping and bring home some clothes, and your children wear them.

Then one day you bring home clothes that seem to be worn more by the hanger than the child.

"Why don't you wear this?" you innocently ask.

The preteen gazes at the garment, the floor, the ceiling and, eventually, you.

"Well, Mom, it's just not me."

Oh.

Since when did that "me" that you've known since birth develop such a unique style?

It must have been a gradual progression. Otherwise, you would have seen it coming.

Then you could have told me what to expect and how to prepare for the inevitable.

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This change in preference certainly throws a monkey wrench into a parent's Christmas-shopping plans. The kids need to be with you to pick out clothes, but then they'll know what they're going to receive under the tree.

At least then you know that they will wear what you buy.

I wasn't sure how to handle this, since the generation garment gap is relatively new for us.

Like many people, I started shopping for Christmas presents last week. Unlike many shoppers, I avoided stores on Black Friday.

I shopped on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and Saturday, two days after Thanksgiving.

That turned out to be a great plan. The stores were busy, but not overly crowded. There were good deals on both days.

One store had advertised 50 percent off on Friday, but the sale actually started on Wednesday, unadvertised to the public. How fortunate for us. The kids need clothes because they're growing so fast. They found most of the winter wear they needed in the first stop.

We went to another store where two of the items my son selected were not on sale. However, if I completed an online survey about my shopping experience, I would receive a 15-percent-off coupon for a return trip to the store.

I showed him the information, explained how we could get a discount if we waited and he was fine with that plan.

Those two items were still there when I came back on Saturday, and they were on sale. I didn't have to buy the items during my initial trip to the store.

For the first time ever, I think, I was essentially done with Christmas shopping prior to Dec. 1. It took a little bit of planning and style guidance from the minors in our household, but the effort was well worth it.

There are a few odds and ends to pick up, but most of the purchases have been made.

Now the presents just need to be wrapped and placed under the tree.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send e-mail to her at lisap@herald-mail.com .

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