I can’t believe I’ve reached the point in my life where I’m telling “walking uphill in the snow” stories – but here goes: when we were kids we were allowed to ask for ONE thing that we really wanted for Christmas. Then we would wish and pray and hope that either Santa or one of our parents would understand our immense desire to own this thing – and present it to us on Christmas. It was glorious. Now – what do you think would happen if kids were presented with the option of asking for ONE thing that they really wanted? Methinks all hell would break loose.
I’ve been thinking about this because I wrote a story about gift registries for children around the holidays a few weeks ago, and all the comments said things like “this seems totally reasonable to me – you are stupid.” I’m paraphrasing. But really, everyone seemed to think that this was a totally fine idea. Either I am stupid, or we’re just so used to consuming so much that this idea really does seem reasonable. Maybe it’s a little bit of both.
My children are too young to really ask for anything. My 3-year-old understands there is a holiday coming and he may get stuff. He doesn’t really get the whole “Christmas list” concept yet – primarily because we haven’t explained that part. My sister asked me what I was getting him for Christmas and I said “a Jessie doll.” He loves Toy Story. She gave me a blank stare that sort of said and? She’s not a crazy consumer, either. But when you tell someone you’re getting your kid one thing for Christmas – they seem a little confused.
This is a financially hard year for us, so the one gift for each child makes the most sense. But as they get older, I really want to make sure I don’t fall into the trap of going totally overboard with gift-giving. I just don’t see the point.
(photo: Getty Images)