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Zoethe

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Looking for advice [Feb. 3rd, 2004|12:34 pm]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |anxiousanxious]

My younger daughter turns twelve next week. That's a big-deal birthday by any standards. I am completely at sea, however, concerning what to get her for her birthday.

Media gadgets are right out - the only thing she wanted was a Game Cube and the other set of 'rents are handling that. Other than that, she's not really into gaming. She loves to play basketball, has a beautiful singing voice, is kind of shy, only marginally enthusiastic about reading, has an older sister who supplies all the music she could possibly want, loves the outdoors, doesn't want any movies or computer games, has a bike....

The other parents are pretty much at a loss, too. They're only suggestion is "something she could do with friends when they come over," but what do twelve-year-olds (who aren't getting into trouble) do? She's not into crafts, she's not into clothes.

Help!!!
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: noshot
2004-02-03 05:41 pm (UTC)
Get her a contemporary music song book. That's what I'd have bought myself for my 12th birthday!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:31 pm (UTC)

Re:

I may have to look into that idea, and ask her sister about it. She would know whether this would appeal.
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[User Picture]From: branwynrillia
2004-02-03 05:41 pm (UTC)
*lol* My oldest daughter turned 12 this past December. In all honesty, she ended up getting a lot of gift certificates for her birthday. Thrilled her, because she could go get what SHE wanted. Which, as I've learned, seems to vary from week to week...sometimes even from day to day.

Ah...and she got some drawing supplies, because drawing is her big thing.

Ah...they're so fun at that age..
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:30 pm (UTC)

Re:

I just really want her to have something from me. She lives with her dad because of my insane full-time-job-plus-law-school schedule, so I want to send something that says more than, "I was online for a few minutes...."
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2004-02-03 05:42 pm (UTC)
does she do make-up yet? i know my biggest deal when i was 12 was that i was finally allowed to wear make-up. but then, perhaps times have changed, and they're all wearing make-up at 5 or something. :)

what about a sundae party? or personal pizza-making party? where you get to pick your own toppings and such.

if she loves basketball, how about tickets to a professional game somewhere with you and one or two of her closest friends?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:18 pm (UTC)

Re:

No on the makeup. And she is living with her dad in Massachusetts during the school year because my schedule is so insane, so they are taking care of the slumber party aspect. So coordinating a sporting event sort of relies on the other 'rents.

Thanks, though. This is helping.
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[User Picture]From: sheenaqotj
2004-02-03 05:50 pm (UTC)
in-line skates? the karaoke revolution game? some truth or dare game? set game? basketball hoop for the driveway (if you don't already have one)? jersey of her favorite team? a tent?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:19 pm (UTC)

Re:

Karoake machine wouldn't be a bad idea. Hmmm....

Basketball hoop for the driveway is definitely the other possibility.
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[User Picture]From: law_witch
2004-02-03 05:51 pm (UTC)
So make up and hair stuff are also out I gather - she's hasn't hit the girly girl stage of things.

Skateboard??? Does she like attending sporting events?? Maybe tickets to a WNBA game with some like minded friends? Rollerblades?

Is there any where around where she could do indoor rock climbing??

If the weather was more friendly I'd suggest a camping trip.

hmmmmmmmmmmm

a puppy? (ok, I'm reaching here - my daughter was fully goth at 12 so I got off easy)

Have you asked her?? Yes, I know, that takes the surprise element out of it, but you get better ideas that way.

Jewelry??
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:21 pm (UTC)

Re:

Yeah, makeup is a nonstarter - she's a young twelve by choice and likes it that way, and I'm not about to interfere.

She got a puppy at Christmas at the other house (we have too many allergy issues), I have asked her and she doesn't know what she wants.

WNBA tickets when she's here for spring break are a really good idea, though. Even if it isn't a b-day prezzie idea.
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[User Picture]From: nuala
2004-02-03 05:52 pm (UTC)
Gift certificate for game cube games? A journal/diary? A home made book of coupons that has stuff like 'get out of chore free' or 'pick your movie night'?

Yeah, have a girlie slumber party (I did that on my 12th!) - the pizza/sundae listed above are great ideas. Definitely make it a movie night.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:23 pm (UTC)

Re:

Slumber party is underway, as I mentioned elsewhere. I like the coupon book idea, but with a twist. She doesn't live with me most of the year because of my schedule (I'm really lucky to have an ex who is a terrific father and whose wife is a champ, too), so when she comes in the summer we are sometimes left casting about for things that she'd like to do. Gathering info on activities and making her a coupon book for places to go would be great.

Thanks!
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From: ethangilchrist
2004-02-03 05:55 pm (UTC)
Going along the lines of the something she can do with friends when they come over I'd say Mario Party and extra controllers for the Gamecube. Maybe a board game of some sort?

Aside from that I'd go with gift certificates. Only question is for what. Hmmmm... Heh all the women I was raised around were biker chicks so I don't really have much of a reference. lol For a long time I was the only kid.

Hey! Maybe a kareoke (sp) machine or something like that?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:24 pm (UTC)

Re:

The karaoke idea appeals to me. I'm going to have to look into it.
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[User Picture]From: melanie
2004-02-03 05:56 pm (UTC)
i don't know what your budget is, but I'll try. My oldest is only ten, though, so I might be not much help.

- A youth-oriented cookbook, so she and her friends can experiment in the kitchen? (my daughter and her friends love to do "cooking experiments" when they are over here)

- A subscription to New Moon magazine - written by/for girls. My daughter doesn't get into reading too much, but she really *loves* this one. Reads it cover to cover.

- A pony. Haha. Kidding.

- Board games for her age range.

- "Slumber Party In A Can" - they sell them at Target here. It has mini bottles of a bunch of different nail polishes, a couple bags of popcorn and some gummy bears, a Goosebumps-type scary movie video, and pretty pajamas. you could put one together yourself, actually, i suppose.

- a big slumber party itself. that's always #1 on Lorelei's list, anyway.

- she sings well - karaoke machine?

- gift certificates to favorite places, like the movie theater, a favorite restaurant, a department store, etc.

- luxury pajamas. how can you help but enjoy wearing something butter-soft to bed?
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[User Picture]From: law_witch
2004-02-03 06:03 pm (UTC)

Re:

"luxury pajamas. how can you help but enjoy wearing something butter-soft to bed?"

OH great idea!!

Does she have a favorite show or character?? Would she like new bedding in that theme?? Or a DVD box set of that show?? (My So Called Life comes to mind)

Maybe something a bit more adult - a mini make over?? Hair cut/styling, manicure and a facial?
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[User Picture]From: radiantsun
2004-02-03 05:58 pm (UTC)
Games for the game cube?

Does Dance Dance Revolution come with game cube? I think that is about the only game I like to play on friends t.v. related game machines. (I don't know all the correct terminology)

When I was twelve I got my ears pierced.

When I was 15 I was really pissed because my mom wouldn't let me hang out with my friends and instead wanted me to stay home. She said I'd be glad I stayed home when I got older, and I'm still pissed. Though that's not really relevant um . . .

I like the party idea. What about singing lessons?

Does the older daugher have any ideas?

Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:27 pm (UTC)

Re:

She doesn't want to get her ears pierced - it's a rite of passage in my family, but alas.

Singing lessons have been procured.

Older daughter is eqaully at sea.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:28 pm (UTC)

Re:

She wants a gift, she just doesn't want anything. She has a boombox.

Grr.
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From: fmh
2004-02-03 06:37 pm (UTC)
She have a camera?? 12 isn't to young for a decent camera. When she's older she's gonna wish she had pictures of those years.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:39 pm (UTC)

Re:

Ooo, another excellent suggestion!

It will be investigated!
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[User Picture]From: queeniex
2004-02-03 06:47 pm (UTC)
charlotte is 11 and is getting harder to shop for too...
i've been telling ppl to get her gift certificates to music shops or for clothes and her favortie now..the disney store..

on her birthday i took her to the mall and let her shop where she wanted...
she had alot of fun picking her own gift out..
then we went out to dinner..
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 06:49 pm (UTC)
When she was here at Christmas we were supposed to do that for her Christmas present, and she couldn't think of anything she wanted. Her other parents, because they were at a loss for Christmas prezzies, bought her new bedroom furniture. She was thrilled.
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From: (Anonymous)
2004-02-03 06:55 pm (UTC)
a weekend with just her mom

They grow so fast.
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[User Picture]From: dawntreader90
2004-02-03 07:13 pm (UTC)

Re:

i like that idea. just chillin with the mom.

you could splurge to get haircuts or your hair styled at a pampered type salon before you go out on the town for the day, and each buy a new outfit to wear. then you could take her to a movie, out to eat, go ice skating, or whatever it is you guys would like to do together. even hiking or hang out at a park (if it's not too cold.)

her tastes probably don't run too expensive if she's not into clothes in the first place, but the whole world looks better when you have on new jeans :)

since i lived with my mom and got to see her all the time, some of my favourite special memories were the times i spent just me and dad. it didn't matter what we did, as long as we did it together.
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[User Picture]From: myshanter
2004-02-03 07:00 pm (UTC)
A cell phone so she can call you whenever, and her friends. Of course this only works if she can be responsible with it.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 07:30 pm (UTC)

Re:

I'm not QUITE ready to trust her with that. Not a bad idea, but only if I can make her wear it on a string around her neck, and I'm not seeing that as a go. She's prone to losing things.
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[User Picture]From: sageautumn
2004-02-03 07:08 pm (UTC)
Again leeching off anothers idea... (I'll give you mine in a sec)... if her computer is set up/powerful enough to do it, a software package that would let her make her own CD's? Mix the music, add her own tracks, etc...

Newer board games maybe? Scattagories and Apples to Apples come to mind... both take some thought, are fun for parties/slumber parties/etc, and can work for any age group.

Even though she's a young twelve... starter jewelry might be a thought, as an 'in addition to' gift. If you pick a stone (color) she really likes, or a certain item (necklace with pendant), you can easily start a tradition. And twelve is the perfect age to start one of those! (A different necklace each year... or something with a aquamarine/garnet/whatever.) Personally, I'd go for something inexpensive, but not cheap... young-ish as in simple, but something that could also be worn ten years later. ... I guess what I mean is 'real', but not expensive enough to freak out if it got lost. (I'd also go for the necklace, just because it's an easier thing to get more sophisticated and expensive with later.)



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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 07:27 pm (UTC)

Re:

She loves Apples to Apples. I was debating whether to get that for her, or whether to save it for when she's here visiting.

The jewelry idea is actually a good one, too. Her birthstone is amethyst and she loves it.
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[User Picture]From: mightydoll
2004-02-03 07:14 pm (UTC)
well, you can say she's not greedy. :)

I was gonna suggest a karaoke machine or dance dance revolution too...so chalk up another vote for those. :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 07:31 pm (UTC)

Re:

No, she's not greedy. She's actually a pretty content kid.

This is great, though. I'm getting a lot of good ideas.
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[User Picture]From: sassamifrass
2004-02-03 07:16 pm (UTC)
I work at a science centre, so I find a lot of interesting gifts there. Like a make-your-own-balloon kit (you squeeze gummy stuff out of a tube, blow air through it with another tube, shape the balloon until it dries).

Maybe a poster of something she likes? Favourite animal, musician, movie, etc...

An empty notebook with an interesting cover, puffy stickers and cool pens? i was always a stationery girl, I always found uses for notebooks, but then I was rather bookish too.

Kareoke machine and camera both do sound like good ideas :)

CD-walkman?

Binoculars? Book with large, colour-illustrated images of birds in your area? One thing I wanted at 12 was some bird-watching binoculars.

Hope you find something fantastic that she loves to bits!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 07:29 pm (UTC)

Re:

Binocs and a bird book are another excellent suggestion. Cape Cod is a good site for birding, her dad used to be quite avid, and it's something they could definitely enjoy.

She has a discman, not much for writing, but the binocs are another real possibility.
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[User Picture]From: wilfulcait
2004-02-03 07:39 pm (UTC)
Mine was never into presents either. It's a good trait (means she's not feeling needy, for one thing) but hard to shop for.

What we finally resolved on was that anything we could do together worked. A gift certificate, no big deal; a shopping dollar limit and a day at the mall with Mom, heaven. Mine (13) is not a girly-girl at all, but she loves having getting fake nails with fancy designs and colors. This year my mom got her a membership in the pool that's near her Other House, so she can go swimming whenever she wants (my mother, inured to my silly life, even got a membership for Other Mom so that my daughter would have a ride.)

The other things she's been really enjoying are paid membership to various online fanfic groups, so she can write and post stories.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 09:20 pm (UTC)
Hmmm.... Fake nail craziness for the slumber party....

More to contemplate. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: tristanter
2004-02-03 07:40 pm (UTC)
For my 18th and 21st birthdays, my Mom bought me really nice jewelry with my birthstone in it. It might be a tradition you could start with her on her 12th...
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 09:21 pm (UTC)
That would be a good tradition.

I've gone from not having anything to spend money on to having way too much!!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-03 09:23 pm (UTC)
Oooo....

Wonder what's playing in Boston....
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[User Picture]From: albumlady
2004-02-03 09:22 pm (UTC)
Okay, I'm sure this isn't surprising coming from me... BUT... I suggest a nice 35mm camera that has a little zoom lens and an appropriately leveled book on how to take great pictures...

A digital camera and photo editing software can be amazingly fun at that age as well.

Hope this helps a bit.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-04 11:16 am (UTC)
I am checking with the other parents to make sure she doesn't already have one, and if not it's definitely going to be at least part of her prezzie.
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[User Picture]From: ministry_victim
2004-02-03 09:42 pm (UTC)
How about professional singing lessons to cultivate her ability and encourage her to explore her possibilities more?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-04 02:45 am (UTC)
Already happening - she's starting in a couple weeks.

Good idea, though!
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2004-02-03 10:03 pm (UTC)
Ok reading the list, I would chime in with:

Karaoke Machine (the kids on this block LOVE it and take theirs outside)
A way to do DDR (Gamecube doesnt have it but does she have a PC?)
Camera, digital is better since she wont have to pay to develop and get film all the time. I remember taking pictures of all my friends at that age (and younger) and my daughter, although younger, loves using my old digital camera. ANd with digital you can erase the bad ones, and just keep going and experimenting. Most cameras come with decent software editing programs so she can make cards, calendars, emails, stuff like that.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-04 02:47 am (UTC)
I think we're gonna take a miss on DDR, but the camera and karaoke are definitely strong contenders.
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From: barryr
2004-02-04 05:45 am (UTC)
Try to find out if she's getting anything with the Gamecube. Then get her some combination of:
Mario Kart Double-Dash
Super Smash Bros Melee
maybe a couple Wavebird wireless controllers if she doesn't have a full set.

Accessories are always useful.. and those are a couple of the most popular games for all ages. ^_^ or you could just bring her to Walmart and do it that way.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-04 11:08 am (UTC)
Also good ideas. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: wilfulcait
2004-02-04 01:36 pm (UTC)
I talked to my daughter about this and she had a couple more suggestions -- a lava lamp, black light or disco ball.

Also, one of the most useful presents she got for that birthday was a battery charger and rechargeable batteries for all the electronic stuff. That's saved her and us big bucks and lots of inconvenience in the last year.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-02-04 01:42 pm (UTC)
Not bad ideas. She would have fun with those.
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