When I was a kid, there was always a tradition my brothers and I observed for Christmas. It started when we would all get excited because the Sears and JCPenney catalogues had arrived, in late September or early October. And then my mom would draw up a schedule, because otherwise my three younger brothers and I would have killed each other trying to get more time with the precious things. Then the list making began. Oh, the lists! They were vast and cross-referenced and ordered from most-wanted items to things which were merely acceptable. Those lists morphed and changed and took great effort and insight to compile.
We still get catalogues, but not those big Wish Books. No, what we have now are websites! American Girl and the toy section of Amazon and Sanrio. The girls are hilarious -- I have to schedule computer time so they each get a chance to click around and decide what they love and what they kind of want and all of that. And, since they're all girls (and all a little girly, too) they have big conferences about, "If I ask for this and you ask for that then we can share and it will be like having double the stuff! Won't that be cool?" And there are lists. Each girl has a list and she's been adding to it and erasing things and keeping an eye on the bottom line. (Seriously, Santa has a budget and I am tickled when one says, "But if I get the smaller doll I can get the companion pet and it still doesn't cost as much as the really big doll! Then I can ask for the books, too!")
I know this makes it sound like we're some super-materialistic family. But we really don't buy the girls a lot of stuff. Christmas and birthdays are when they get gifts. And, to keep another fine tradition, they will all be getting socks, too.