I have an 8 year old little brother...he is really into Transformers and Spiderman, and there are literally dozens of different things you could buy for him in those categories. Also, if he is into games, the Nintendo DS is really popular and there are tons of games available for that. Hope this helps!
My 9 year old nephew LOVES the Star Wars Lego sets, and they are available at a variety of price points. You can find them at Target, Kmart, Meijer, Toys-R-Us, etc., etc., etc. (and, of course, online at Amazon). Good luck!
My nine year old love Kynex's they let him use his imagination to build all types of things. Some are even motorized. He never ems to grow tired of them. Nerf guns are always a hit, no pun intended. J Gonzo
The 2 best Christmas presents you can give your child are a Bible (God's written Word) and the gift of your time. Take him to a homeless shelter and as a family, all of you give of your time preparing and serving meals to those who would otherwise not have a Christmas. Then go visit an elderly neighbor or someone who will be alone on Christmas Day and make their day brighter.
I have a 9 year old and he likes anything star wars, the swords that make noise, the figures, the movies. He loves his ds be sure to get games age appropriate. He has also started liking board games. The newest dvds cars 2, kung fu panda 2.
It's wrong to allow kids to believe in things like that, K Teague. A child needs positive role models. If the kid learns that the fictional Santa is based on a real person, he won't be so likely to feel betrayed by his parents later on when someone from his school tells him the truth that his parents SHOULD have told him.
My kids at 9 were kind of young to make any conscious decisions about a choice of any religion. I guess I could have coerced them to believe what ~I~ did, but I always sort of considered that more programming and obedience than true, personal believing. I know I am in the minority, though. We learn about different ones and they can choose (or not) when they know more and their frontal lobe/executive functioning is fully developed (which is usually in your 20s.)