Being a kid was kind of the best — and being a kid around Christmas was double the best. There were zero worries, responsibilities were scarce, and there were no cares to be had. Concerns of timely bill payments were not a thing. Probably the biggest bother was figuring out how to eat as few vegetables at dinner as possible, and then trying to squeeze in a few extra minutes of TV before bedtime. Childhood was a simpler time indeed. But being an adult is also kind of the best. While we do have more stress to deal with, we also have more power and more freedom. And we have access to alcohol, so that's fun.
In terms of Christmas wish lists, the priorities of an adult compared with those of a kid are different in every possible way. Children typically like great big things with a million tiny parts. They like items that create messes, and the practicality of a gift is not even a consideration. Adults like shiny things too, but convenience, durability, and cost are all very important aspects that influence a grownup's interest in a gift. Let's take a moment to celebrate our adulthood by comparing all the gifts you didn't want as a kid, but would love to receive now.
1. New pajamas
Bedtime was such a dreadful time of day as a child, that you never really thought about what to wear. It just didn't matter because you were trying to avoid sleep at all costs.
For an adult, sleep becomes a luxury, and any way to improve the quality of it is key. Also, as we grow up and are forced to wear boring and mildly uncomfortable office attire, getting into a pair of soft pajamas with a quirky print at the end of a long day is basically the most satisfying experience ever.
2. Bath products
I could have been surrounded by an army of rubber duckies in the tub as a kid and I would still loathe bath time. Kids have no interest in getting clean. They just want to wash up as quickly as possible so they can return to their toys and/or Nickelodeon shows.
Grownups see an empty tub and envision spending an hour just basking in candlelit silence with calming soaps and oils. Rubber duckies are still welcome, but their presence isn't required to have fun.
3. Anything coffee-related
Coffee tastes like rat poison to most kids, because it's bitter and dark and weird. A child's tastebuds crave sweet and sour flavor explosions, so anything that doesn't taste like it contains a bucket of sugar is disgusto el barfo. And it's not like kids don't enjoy a caffeine boost. But soda has bubbles AND a bucket of sugar, so coffee just doesn't stand a chance here.
Adults on the other hand, need a legal drug like caffeine to pull them out of restful slumber because without it, there's no way we can handle all the adult-y things we have to deal with. That's why Keurigs and thermal travel mugs are such exciting gifts to unwrap.
When you're young, pillows are just parts of the house, in the same way the washer and dryer are. You have them and they fulfill basic needs, but you don't fully appreciate them as you should.
In adult life, pillows provide comfort and decoration. A new accent pillow for the couch means a sense of pride every time you walk into your living room and lay eyes upon it. And if it's cute AND overstuffed, then you are in for one stunning nap sesh.
Kids love posters. Adults love artwork. At a certain point, you graduate from thumbtack-displayed images of boy bands and opt for more interesting framed pieces. Posters are fun to stare at, but art is personal, timeless, and a good investment.
6. Gift cards
Kids leave the gift buying up to Santa. They write down everything they want, and let the big man figure out the purchasing logistics. But adults enjoy the freedom of going through a vast retail inventory and having a free way to select and order chosen items on their own. It's way more fun being an adult, if only for the chance of receiving a gift card.
7. Gourmet food
What kid gives an F about top-quality olive oil or lavender gluten-free cookies? None is the answer. That is because kids consume food like little vacuums, and adults enjoy the process of savoring something. Maybe it's because adults are closer to old age and then death and so they're in less of a rush? Just a thought.
Outside of a bed, a dresser, and maybe a nightstand or a desk, the kiddos don't care about furniture. If they're in their rooms, they're playing with toys, not mapping out a room makeover. But a new lamp or side table or a vintage chest are exciting treats for adults, because we're all on a budget and household items like this are harder to justify financially and not a priority.
9. Staple wardrobe items
I think it happens right after college, but there comes a time when the concept of quality over quantity in clothing becomes a must. Fashion experts recommend buying well-made closet staples like beige trench coats, jeans that fit perfectly, LBDs, and a (somewhat) comfortable pair of heels that will last for years. But quality often equals expensive, so requesting any of these staples as Christmas gifts is wiser than anything the Three Wise Men have ever done.
10. Fancy appliances
The only fancy appliance a kid would be interested in is a brightly-colored, Disney princess-themed dessert factory. Adults though, understand the value of a Magic Bullet, a barista cappuccino machine, or a salon-level curling iron. All of these things can lead to you being a better version of yourself. Who wouldn't want a gift like that right before New Year's?
I feel like sense of smell is something that gets stronger with age, because kids don't seem to mind if they smell awful, or if their room smells like a heap of garbage. There are so many terrible smelling things in the world, that adults have undying appreciation for a long-lasting, cupcake-scented candle. Candles make the world a little more pleasant, and are always well-liked gifts.