Friday, December 26, 2003

The gift greedies got my daughter yesterday, and I wasn't impressed.

The whole "giving and getting" emphasis has rubbed me the wrong way more and more as I've grown older. As a kid, I remember looking forward to getting some presents, but as I've aged, the gift desire (and pressure to get just the right gifts) seems to have become more and more pronounced in society. The merchants(by way of the media) have been happily pouring fuel on the fire, aiming at the most vulnerable and easily-swayed of the population - children. Almost all of the children's' programming has some sort of commercialistic tie-in. Some of the television programmes (Yu-Gi-Oh, Bayblades, Card-Captors, to name a few) are barely entertainment, and totally aimed at selling the accessories, not even *trying* to disguise their consumerism.

"Gotta catch 'em all, Pokemon!" Right?

"Grandma? Grandpa? I need 'em all for Christmas, just like the theme songs says. Please?"


So here it is, Christmas Day, and I'm watching my kid have a meltdown because she didn't get *one* of the gifts on her list. To her credit, she made an astute comment in the car ride home from my parents house (where we had Christmas dinner). She said that she "must be tired, that's probably why I feel this way." Good for her. That shows a lot of self awareness. I was totally beat, which wasn't helping my mood and tolerance of the situation, either.

I was pretty disappointed in my daughter and fear that I took it out on her by being extra-stern and very, very unsympathetic that she hadn't got one of the gifts (of the many) that she asked for.

I have to remember that kids don't have the power (money, access to stores, etc.) to get the things that they want. They have to rely on benevolence (in the form of events like Christmas) to get those things that they desire. Maybe I had misjudged which of the items on her Wish List she had placed the most importance on. I, as a parent, have to have to temper my judgment with this knowledge and remember what it was like when *I* was a kid.

Reason and empathize, Sean, reason and empathize.

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