Parents, presents and profiteers
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really cute idea – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this toy! In fact, there will be a lot of excited kids come Christmas Day who will be lucky enough to find one under the tree.
But not my kids. This mom isn’t organized enough to shop ahead, and unless magical shipments flood the stores with a bounty of boxes of these little lovelies, my kids will be Hatchimal-free come the holidays.
And that’s okay.
But a quick search of Kijiji, Craigslist and eBay tells me that it’s probably not okay for all families.
Every year there’s a toy that becomes the hot holiday ticket. Cabbage Patch Kids. Tickle Me Elmo. XBOX 360. Furby. Frozen costumes. And parents, desperate to keep Santa’s street cred intact, turn to the profiteers who had the foresight to hoard stock of the sold out toy and marked it up to its weight in gold.
Profiteers, I need to tell you, you suck.
I get it, supply and demand. But these are holiday gifts. FOR CHILDREN. There’s something so sad about holding a toy hostage for what may amount to a car payment or half a month of rent. It’s a crazy market where somebody can prize the dollar this highly. I know, capitalism and all, but CHILDREN.
It’s just like scalped tickets for a concert or hockey game. It IS supply and demand. But in this case, where children are involved, where little wishes are crushed because it becomes unaffordable and unattainable, it just sucks.
But is gift-giving about spending $$ to prove your love?
The other side of gift giving and holidays with children is managing their expectations. My kids will not get what the neighbour’s kids get. They won’t get the same things their cousins or their friends or the Kardashian-West kids get.
We have mixed traditions and celebrate more than one holiday. We have more than one holiday party and our kids are so lucky to be showered with gifts from loving family and friends. If anything, the overabundance can be overwhelming.
Managing expectations means that they get what they get, and they don’t get upset. It means that they don’t ever demand presents and then become disappointed if they don’t get something. Of course there are going to be disappointments – my son asked for a brick of gold for goodness sakes.
So far we’ve been lucky in that our kids are gracious and grateful in this respect. I’m not sure if Hatchimals are on their list or not. I’m not going to lie, I wish I’d gotten them each one, but there is no way I’m paying the King’s ransom.
The truth is, it’s not going to affect their happiness one bit this holiday. There will be presents, there will be family, there will be fun and there will be food. All in copious amounts. We’ll enjoy our traditions regardless of the toys that get unwrapped!
And we’ll blame Santa’s elves if and when it comes down to it.