Due to the nature of my job as a blogger, I get quite a few toys and gadgets to review throughout the year. The downside to this scenario is that my kids can get a bit commercialized. Every time the UPS guy comes to our door, for example, they start naming all the fun things they hope will be inside (things that I’ve never even heard of, but that they’ve seen on a commercial.) I’m always worried that this constant exposure to products will make them unable to truly appreciate things – especially around the holidays.
What amazes me, however, is that it tends to have the opposite effect on my kids. Instead of expecting grand things during the holidays, they use the occasion to ask for what they truly want. These things are far different than the items we review year-round, and they are actually much smaller than the things they find delivered to our door. To prove this point, here is a sampling of this year’s holiday letters to Santa. These are the true desires of my children’s hearts:
- My 8-year-old son wants clothes, a Ben 10 watch, and a big lollipop.
- My 6-year-old son wants a spider bracelet, a remote for his Xbox, a chocolate bar with nuts, and a bird book with stickers.
- My 13-year-old daughter wants clothes, an iTunes gift card, and a t-shirt from her favorite band
- My 4-year-old wants Dinosaur Train toys, a new sled, and a chocolate bar with nuts (I’m sensing a theme here with the candy.)
My children’s letters to Santa weren’t all requests, however. They had some very nice things to say to him, including this compliment from my 4-year-old:
“Your beard is cute, handsome, and white! Your elves are cute, handsome, and small. Thank you for the presents you gave me in the past.”
So while I browse the aisles this year, looking for the perfect gift for my kids, I am thankful I can skip over the “hot toys” and hundred-dollar electronics in lieu of moderately-priced toys that encourage “open play” and small trinkets of affection. After all, it is what they truly want, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint!
Do you feel the need to buy your kids a certain dollar amount of gifts? Is there a special experience you feel will be missed by not “going big?”