I’ll be the first to say it — my kids are NOT perfect by any stretch (for examples, see all of my previous posts on this blog). But they are good (for examples, see all of my previous posts on this blog).
So I shouldn’t have been surprised that when it came time to make Christmas lists, they didn’t ask for much.
- Joanna: cookies, milk, a Pillow Pet
- Ellie: a unicorn Little Pony, a Pillow Pet
- Cooper: a skateboard, a punching bag, a Pillow Pet
- Mitzi: skates, a lantern, a Pillow Pet
Seriously, this is all they asked for. I should be grateful — my wallet sure is.
Now, here’s the thing. Pillow Pets are out of stock.
I had no idea they were such a hot item this season. Sure, I could pony up $200 per Pet on amazon, but frankly, if I had that kind of money I’d probably be taking my family on a vacation. Or at the very least, not spend so much time worrying about the price of milk.
So I prod the kids a little. “There’s no toy you want?” “Nope.” Mitzi and Cooper huddle to consult each other and say they both want a DS. I get a cramp in my side from laughing so hard (no, my 7 & 6 year olds are not getting a DS. I don’t care a whit what other parents do. I might as well just flush a stack of twenties down the toilet).
That’s all I manage to extract from them during a 45-minute interrogation at dinner last night. Time is ticking. What to put under the tree? (Books will be given by grandpa, and my mom has come up with stuff on her own, plus is giving a game to all her grandkids.). But Santa? Grandma? They both need ideas!
It’s good that they are not greedy — given the amount of TV they watch, you’d think they’d be inspired by all those commercials. No, their needs are few. Pillow Pets.
And I feel badly. They believe in Santa. They believe that they are good and Santa will put presents under the tree, because, well, that’s how it works. I remind them that they are free to ask for whatever they like, but it doesn’t mean they will get it all. They never budge. They know what they want and look at me like I’m crazy because I’m asking them so often.
So can I go ahead and wrap up a bunch of stuff I think they’d like and leave a note? “Ho-ho-ho! I know all you wanted in your heart’s desire was a Pillow Pet, but I ran out, so enjoy this Barbie/light saber/Pretty Pony/stuffed animal, even though you already have a dozen of this item, which means you like it, which is why I am giving it to you! Ho-ho-ho!”
Yeah, it’s not a big deal. My dad will post a response (waves to dad) with very wise words about the meaning of Christmas and not being about the presents and it’s about family and love, etc., etc. And he’ll be right. Others might point out that I should stop whining and be happy my kids aren’t greedy. Yup. They’d be right too.
I still have this sense, though, that for kids Christmas is magical, when anything is possible. And we adults nurture this belief, knowing how fleeting it really is. We decorate and sing and bake and give all because of the season meaning. (We capitalize on it as a behavior-management aid — Santa’s watching, don’t be naughty!). So I think we ought to hold up our end of the bargain. I’m not for kids getting 37 presents under the tree — frankly, I’m horrified to the point of nausea to hear of parents who spend thousands of dollars each year. Does a five year old really, really need an Xbox? I don’t think so.
But, darn it. I’d really like to give them all that one thing they want. They didn’t ask for much else. They deserve it.
Hmmm…If only I could sew!