My mother, without fail, would ask me to make my Christmas list every year. Like clockwork, she'd take it, go shopping, and more or less ignore it. I think it took a fit of hysterics at age seven or so to get her to finally listen to me. To her credit, she did take me to Toys R Us twice the day after Christmas to try to get a Power Glove that worked (little did I know it never worked in the first place).
Yahoo posted a bit today
about how parents regularly screw up requests from their kids for games and consoles for Christmas. According to a survey with Weekly Reader Research, 60% of kids expect to get a game they didn't want or ask for. Grandparents also were expected to give wrong gifts (although you kind of expect that from grandparents, regardless).
I think I mostly got the game gifts I wanted because my parents let me pick them out myself, which is probably a good way for kids to avoid this problem. I do remember the year I got the Super Nintendo, my grandmother shipped my NES to my cousin without asking. In her mind, the SNES replaced the old console, so I didn't need it anymore.
The Fresh Prince was so right.