Well, no kid has everything, but let me pose the following scenario to you. I have no doubt that many readers will be familiar with it–
Dick and Jane get lots of presents at Christmas. Their parents go all out, as do both sets of grandparents along with assorted aunts and uncles. There’s not room for everything under the tree; presents have to be piled on the kitchen table as well. Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning, the unwrapping gets underway, and two or three hours after starting, Dick and Jane are still at it. Paper and ribbon and bows everywhere; the place looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane.
It’s hard to buy for kids like this. First of all, there’s the risk of duplication, especially if you go after this year’s “trendy” toys. But on a deeper plane, suppose that you feel like you want to get them something that’s special, amongst all those other “special” things (read: special junk)….
Answer: Books. When the toys have lost their novelty a few months down the road, and joined the vast array of rarely-played-with toys that populate Dick and Jane’s rooms, the books will still be there, beckoning. Well, maybe. This strategy probably works better with younger kids who are just learning to read, than it will with older kids who have discovered the allure of the video game. But even if the books go neglected, you will know that you gave it your best shot, bestowing upon them a time-honored, non-passive form of entertainment that enriches both mind and spirit. As opposed to glitzy crap made in Chinese sweatshops.
There’s the added advantage here that you can, with some judicious shopping around in used bookstores, pick up like-new kids books at a substantial savings over the big retailers. Unless you think that spending more money on brand new books means you love Dick and Jane more, that God abhors Christmas thrift, or some other crazy idea along those general lines.
Another idea is art supplies. Most kids like to draw and color, so getting them crayons, colored pens and pencils, art paper, etc., is never a waste.