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Saturday, December 8, 2007

It's just what I wanted! ....sorta

Help me out here. Especially you guys. I like to indulge our 5:15 Sunday Mass servers with little gifts at their birthdays and Christmas. We have one boy and one girl who take turns alternating at that Mass. Both turn 11 this coming week. Our little buzzsaw, Catherine, presents no problem for me -- knowing that type intimately having been one myself. I checked with her mother, and she's not seen The Trouble With Angels nor the sequel, Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows. So that should cover her.

But Francis....ah....I haven't any immediate family and it's a long time since my male cousins were 11.... I get a general feel for things, but I would *love* to nail the right gifts for him. Something with a max price range of about twenty bucks per gift. Less is good...a tad more is okay, if it's not in the "xboxy not happening" category. He *loves* baseball. Loves to read, is quite a good pianist for his age, and good at the arts. I got a note back from his sister, whom I'd written to see if he'd had "The Dangerous Book for Boys," and he hadn't been given it last year, So I'm pretty sure that will be one of the gifts.

But I am WRACKING my brain about that second gift for him. If this was the "pre-PC days" I would have just gotten him a small Swiss army pocket knife and been done with it - as that's what boys of 11 most wanted, by my observation, when I was 11. Can't do that anymore without there being a federal case out of it or "film at 11."
It used to be fairly standard for all males to "pack" one. (Some time back after Mass one night the discussion came around to "things confiscated at airports" and I mentioned how men of my dad's age always carried a pocket knife. The Sainted Msgr. S. promptly whipped a fairly substantial pocket knife out of his pocket and said "yup! from the time I was around 10-12 I had one."

If you're a guy, what did you get about age 11 (that wasn't overly expensive) that you REALLY enjoyed? What *specific* Books? Games? Objects? If you have sons around that age now, what do they really like? (Moms and others with male 11 year old relatives who scored a hit with a present recently feel free to add to this too.)

In Catherine's case, both movies have a nice religious angle to fun stories. Even with the movie lists I came up with I'm trying to think of if there's one that has a religious angle to it that an 11 year old boy might really enjoy... IF "the mouse" got their act together and re-released ALMOST ANGELS *(about the Vienna Choir Boys - quite fun and I think this particular boy would enjoy it.) I'd get him that - but for some reason, they haven't, AFAIK.

Last year I got them books about saints who had their same first names, and their "Saint Medals."

A virtual "gold star" to any blogger who can guess where the picture came from. My British bloggers will probably have a leg up on this one.

(*If you go to a certain well know video website you can *cough*cough* see most of this film ... comes in rather handy....)


ArchAngel's Advocate said...

How abouut both versions of "Angels in the Outfield"? There's 1 done in the 50(?)'s in B&W and 1 from the 80(?)'s with Christopher Lloyd &Tony Danza & Danny Glover.

gemoftheocean said...

Ah!! AA -- now that one sounds like a perfect idea. Perhaps the classic B&W as usually the original is much better than the remake. I'll check with his 'rents as dad is a baseball fanatic too and they may have that. Sounds great.

Any other suggestions out there? Keep them coming.

Adrienne said...

My niece (the overgrown hippie in OB) has kept her boys fairly sheltered - thank God. She has done a wonderful job!! It is a HUGE deal for them to go shopping for something. When I am in CA I take them to Target (their favorite) and turn them loose with a budget for guidence. It takes them forever to find just what they want 'cause they are not indulged endlessly like most kids.

Tha makes Christmas easy for me. They get their "shopping with Auntie Adrienne" gift cards from Target and write me about what they picked out.

gemoftheocean said...

I sometimes do gift cards when they are a little older. For the older kids nothing soothes like cold hard cash on the barrel head. I usually save the cash/gift cards for things like 8th grade/high school graduations. Two of my servers were on the receiving end of the New Jerome Bible Commentary, for their confirmations One because he loved studying the bible -- the other because even though she went to Catholic school all through, and took a lot of tough academic classes, I think got a little more Kumbaya style in the religion department at school - I needed to give a resource, ready or not, to plant the idea that there's a lot of great Catholic scholarship out there, sort of a roadmap/
resource for what you don't know. The horses have been lead to the water, now they have to drink. At a certain point a person has to make an effort to constantly learn about the faith in one aspect or another. IT doesn't do for the intellectually gifted to be lazy in this matter. (Nor others for that matter - but it's often the high IQ types that because they were given a "Jesus loves me yes I know" type grounding never went much beyond 2nd grade level - and they need to be challenged with harder things. Otherwise, they can tend to see the "simple soul" as simplistic. We wouldn't think a second graders grasp of math was adequate preparation for adulthood ... but too many people haven't gone much beyond that in their study of the faith. When they're younger I try to give them heroes or role models to look up to - so the "saint" aspect, or "good role model" is useful. Kids of 11 still love heroes and haven't heard of the anti-heroes yet (unless they are very jaded!) [And sometimes there are gifts that have no didactic purpose at all but are just pure fun.]

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