I hate to devote a post to this, but I feel it’s necessary.
The lights aren’t even up yet, but the lists are already being written. It’s not even December yet and the it toy of the year is making many parents holiday season a living hell.
Those f*cking Hatchimals.
If you don’t know what these robotic demons are, they ‘hatch’ out of an egg to be taken care of. Their eyes glow different colours to indicate their moods and they make different sounds. They are basically a furby on steroids. A fuzzyish animal type creature that demands attention until their batteries die or your child loses interest. Unfortunately, even if you don’t know what they are, your children likely do. And if they know about them, they probably want one.
So, what is a parent to do? We’ve built these bubbles around our kids to protect them from the world. The holidays are sacred. Therefore, if your child wants the ‘it’ toy this season, come hell or high water, we are going to try and get it for them.
But at what cost?
Now that the stores have sold out and the manufacturers are saying there will be no more shipments until spring parents are faced with paying up to $800 ransom for these things. We aren’t talking about parents who have waited until the last minute to do their shopping and are paying the price. It is barely November and they already are facing this type of stress. People are taking advantage just to make a quick buck. Not my idea of peace and goodwill towards men. But, that’s just me.
If parents can’t fork over the cash, they will face the ultimate in holiday taboos-disappointing their children.
But would that be so bad?
Gratefulness is something I struggle to implement into my children. I will be the first to say that they are spoiled. They have every toy they could ever want, more clothes than can fit in their closets and regularly get spoiled with outings and excursions. They have so much but could never fathom the life of someone who has so little.
Each year I have looked at ways to teach the importance of giving. In year’s past we have filled shoeboxes to send overseas. This year I think we will focus on what can be done closer to home. We are planning a shopping trip to pick out a gift for the ‘kids who don’t get much’ and a trip to deliver supplies to the local humane society.
We also chose to tell our kids that parents send money to Santa to pay the elves to make the toys. If the parents can’t send money, the kids will not get any presents. People can donate toys for kids whose parents can’t afford to pay Santa.
I think my friend Elizabeth has it right. She tells her kids (five, four and almost two), that Santa knows what you like, and he will bring you surprises
I think my friend Elizabeth has it right. She tells her kids (five, four and almost two), that Santa knows what you like, and he will bring you surprises. I love this idea. She knows what kind of things will and will not get played with and makes sure that she isn’t going to waste her money on something like an ‘it’ toy that her kid only wants because every other kid does.
Luckily for me, my daughters aren’t really into the Hatchimal craze. My middle daughter did ask for a long list of toys though and she will not be getting it. We allow one present from Santa, one from me and one from dad. She asked Santa for three expensive gifts, one of which I knew she would never really play with.
So I’m not buying it. I refuse to waste money and overindulge a child who is, by my own admission, already spoiled.
Do I think she will be disappointed on Christmas day? Not likely. And even if she is, would that be the worst thing in the world? Nah. I think it’s a pretty safe bet she won’t even remember what she got for Christmas by this time next year; but she may remember her trip to give presents to the ‘dogs and cats.’ She might remember that not every child will get a gift from Santa so we should buy an extra one to share.
And isn’t that much better than forking over $800 ransom?
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.