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My son and I don't have cable. In fact, we don't even have local television. We have Netflix. So, my son doesn't watch commercials and I don't have to hear a whole lot of "I want that" through the Christmas season. Thank God! In fact, he's only asked me for 2 things, neither of them super expensive. He'll probably get those 2 things, but there are some other things he's going to get just because I feel there are certain things a tween boy needs to have. They're simple and inexpensive, but serve a purpose for every tween boy in my opinion.

Large boxes and rope: You think I'm kidding. I'm not! Every year I try to make sure that he has some large boxes and some rope. It doesn't even matter what kind. Boys are creative enough to create an entirely new world with these Christmas items.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney: If my son didn't already have every book in this series, I'd be sure to get those for him. He loves those books because they're written for kids his age and he can relate to the characters. They have cool pictures and are actually quite humorous. Since he does have these. I'll just have to pick some other books for tween boys, like The Dangerous Book for Boys. Okay, so what if I'm super curious about what that book says!

Hygiene products: This is the age when boys really start paying attention to what they dress and look like. They aren't babies anymore so they don't want or need crayon soap or things like that. What they want is something to make them look and smell good without being treated like a baby. Hunter has his favorite soap, shampoo and so on. He actually asks me not to use it. So, I might just get him a boys grooming kit and some sort of container to put his hygiene things in.

Something educational: Hunter loves science. He likes to combine things, take them apart and understand what does what and why. For Christmas I hope to get him something that he can enjoy and learn from, like the Scientific Explorer's Disgusting Science - A Kit for Studying the Science of Revolting Things. In truth, when I was a kid the educational stuff was the absolute coolest stuff we got because they challenged, entertained and taught us all at once.

Traditional: In my house, we have a couple of odd traditions. We lay under the tree and look at the lights. We give homemade candy to strangers. We tell children not to play with the lights because fairies live in them and are busy making tinsel. We also enjoy good jokes. And every year Hunter's stocking includes a variety of practical jokes. Usually I can get them at the dollar store for just a few bucks. Of course, every now and then I find something that just cracks me up like the year I bought Hunter the Original Fart Machine #2 - Remote Fart Machine. I actually borrowed it from him and took it to work one day. I think the adults liked it more than the kids! So, our version of traditional Christmas presents might vary a bit from what that term usually means, but e have our own Christmas traditions to consider and those are the things I look forward to the most.

Of course there are other things that boys need too. They need socks and boots and coats and gloves. I can never figure out one child can go through so many pairs of gloves in one season, but he really can. And just so I don't have all the tween boys thinking that I didn't know what I was talking about, let's not forget the video games, Legos and action figures. Hunter's has already let me know that he wants the LEGO Prince of Persia Battle of Almut (7573) set, but I had already ordered him a ton of Lego accessories.

If the tween boy you're shopping for likes sports, you probably want to get him something with an aim toward this interest. Hunter and I both enjoy swimming, but I really can't hook him up with a pool for Christmas, though I did rent us a room at a golf resort for a Christmas present one year just so we could swim. I hope this gave you some ideas for the tween boy on your Christmas shopping list!

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