Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Case of the Gimmeees

How do you keep Christmas from becoming a commercialistic romp?  Every year the toy pundits come out with their hot toys list and people trample each other for this year's Tickle Me Elmo or Cabbage Patch Doll.  Remember the scene from Arnold Schwarzenegger's Jingle All the Way?

I never wanted to succomb to the ad driven need for the "it" toy.  My kids could be happy with the bounty of toys beneath the tree.  They didn't need the hot toy of the moment.  But that was before Skylanders and the little hot mama known as Stealth Elf.

SB received a Skylanders starter pack for his birthday last month.  He and his best friend, the Princess, have been playing it non-stop.  They play with the game itself, and they play with the actual action figures outside of the game.  As the weeks have passed they've each received new figures, and have collected a fair amount of skylanders, but not the elusive Stealth Elf.  I've found myself stopping at Target twice a day to check for her.  Walmart, Best Buy, and Toys R Us, too.  CG actually saw one in a woman's hand last night at Target, but none on the shelf.

To balance out the rampant commercialism that has descended upon our home, we've adopted a family for Christmas through the Family Enrichment Network.  This is a local program that allows us to purchase Christmas gifts for children in need.  Our adopted family has 2 boys, aged 4 & 6.  Each boy has a list of wants and needs.  The boys need snowpants, hats, and gloves, and listed under wants are crayons, markers, coloring books, Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat, and Wolverine and Spiderman action figures.

Contrast that to my boys' lists that included a Nintendo 3DS, an iTouch, Nookreader, and other items that cost a couple hundred each.  When I discussed the adopted family's wish lists with the boys, SB piped up and said, "I have a Wolverine in the car, maybe we could add that to the top."  So we'll tie it on with ribbon to decorate the top of one of the boxes.  I love that we're teaching our boys about giving, and that they're truly getting the message.

How do you all balance commercialism and the true meaning of Christmas at your house?

Thanks for popping in and shopping with me.  I'm still trying to get my dead camera situation squared away.  Hopefully I'll have some project pictures to share with you soon.


  1. no matter how hard we try it does seem to happen at one time or another. I love that you're adopting a family. We're doing the same and it's a great way to teach kids to support others.

  2. Have you tried to find that elusive toy online. Walmart was running a special, on certain items shipping to your home is free.

    My kids always seemed oblivious to the in toys! My grandson is the same way if he likes it he ask for it. But just like when my kids were young I stress to my grandson that just because you ask for it doesn't mean you're going to get it.

  3. How lovely that you're teaching the children to consider others. It's so important these days and it helps them learn to feel good by sharing what they have. Bravo Mom!

    The other day, DH was remembering the Christmas market during the time he spent in Germany and how there were so many wonderful small things to be given. I wish we had more of those here.

    Always nice to stop by and see what you're up to. Jane

  4. The kids drove me a bit nuts this year with brand name items... Nike this or Adidas that. And specific styles and colors. What happened to 'sweater' or 't-shirts.' None of mine listed what would be considered toys... Even the 7 yr old. What's with that?!

    We also had fun choosing gifts for kids of deployed military personnel whose families needed help brightening Christmas.


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