Well, it’s that time of year again.  Winter is coming. That means it’s time to buy your children, family, and friends stuff that they don’t really want or need….all in the name of Christmas.  I have never understood how a beautiful religious holiday turned into the giant push for mass consumerism.  Still, I plan on participating to a certain extent.  Afterall, I have small children and they believe in their heart of hearts that a giant fat man in a red suit will soon be showering them with toys!

All I Want for Christmas is a…3DS?!?

Speaking of toys, I recently asked my 3-year-old what she wanted for Christmas.  She replied with the usual – art supplies, baby dolls, dress up clothes.  But she also said she wanted a 3DS like her friends have.  A 3DS? Hmmm…

I had no idea what it even was.  After a quick google search, I learned that a 3DS is a personal gaming console that costs between $160-$200!!!  Why are kid’s toys so expensive?  And why do her 3-5-year-old friends at daycare have toys that cost so much?!?

Really, it makes sense why so many people in this country are broke if they are buying their toddlers $200 gaming systems.  But still, she talked for hours about how her dream toy is a 3DS.  But what about my dreams?  I have a vintage Nintendo that I have had since before she was born.  Since she was a little baby, I have been dreaming about teaching her how to play Super Mario 3…then beating her ass at it.  Furthermore, $160 is more than I Santa spends on each child for Christmas anyway.  It just isn’t in this Santa’s budget.  Let’s just hope that she doesn’t spend Christmas day disappointed.

Santa’s Conflict of Conscience

I guess I just feel weird about the whole thing.  My 3-year-old daughter clearly knows what she wants for Christmas.  However, my 1 year-old couldn’t give two shits less.  She doesn’t need anything at all.  I could literally wrap up toys she already has and easily pass them off as new Christmas gifts.  Yet, I feel guilt-tripped into buying her new stuff since her sister has a better idea of what’s going on.  I feel like I have to participate in this or I may scar my children for life, leaving them with issues that they will have to deal with as adults.  I don’t want my frugality and dislike of “stuff” to cause them sadness or stress.

I also think that the world we live in is entirely messed up sometimes.  Across the globe, and even in our own country, children are starving and going without food – much less Christmas gifts.  Kids in other parts of the world may never see a toy and may never even live to adulthood.  Yet, here I am….manufacturing wants for an oblivious 1-year-old so that we can appear normal.  Sure, Christmas is definitely a time when people give to charity.  Yet, it is also a time that we give ourselves permission to overindulge to the max.  To me, it feels like a slap in the face to starving and poor children to be buying my kids stuff that they don’t need…just because.  I really wish that I could just live in ignorant bliss sometimes!

I also wonder what the environmental impact of all of our consumerism will be in the future.  How can we keep making, buying, and throwing stuff away the way that we do?  Where is it all expected to go?  What is going to happen to all of the snow globes, broken toys, worn clothing, gadgets, knickknacks, and kitsch that none of us want anymore?  Are there really enough landfills to hold this never-ending hoard of discarded junk?  Is that even what we want?   I can’t help but wonder when our earth will reach it’s breaking point and when we will finally stop to take a look at what we are really doing.  We just can’t keep making tons of cheap junk and throwing it away forever, can we?

I hate to sound so negative.  I do like Christmas….I am just starting to dislike what it has become.  I remember my mom once told me that she got like a potato and an orange for Christmas.  They were poor but they were happy.  What happened to the good old days when that was enough?  How are we going to continue to meet our children’s ever-growing expectations for Christmas?  Will I always be a cheap-ass Santa?