My main (or only) contribution to gift-giving for my kids this holiday season was a biggie: I bought them a multi-function color laser printer. (Don’t worry, my wife bought them a ton of other presents that are a lot more fun.)

I got the idea to buy a color printer because my son’s preschool prints everything in color, and the administrators there said that color printing is phenomenal for kids’ worksheets. Beyond filling out preschool worksheet, my son loves to take photos and to draw. Once he gets a newer iPad I’m sure he’ll draw more electronically and will love the ability to print out his creations in full color. My daughter will likely be printing out book covers. She likes to write and illustrate story books, and a color printer will allow her to do that with even more panache. She also makes lots of presentation slide decks for school, and I thought she might need to print them out to turn them in. It turns out that she submits everything to her teachers electronically, so that use case probably won’t pan out.

I didn’t intend to get a big, multifunction printer, though. I had wanted to buy a color printer, which was much cheaper. Due to the global supply shortage, I had to buy what was available, which meant ponying up for the next model up in the lineup, which includes a scanner, too. It cost a lot of money, and I’m well aware of how much toner and paper are going to cost me each year. I think will be worth it, though, to have a mini print-shop running in the family room from now on. My kids are both very excited to have it. I can’t wait to see what they do with it.