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I have entered the stereotypical, statistical parenting phase of my life.

I stood in line to pay $60 for the “hottest toy of the season”, Elmo Live.  I also went in search of the best price on a Playstation Portatble (PSP).  Then I bought the games, memory card and every other damn thing the sales kid told me I had to buy for it to work.  I argued for an item in a toy store…and won.  The smile on my face was quickly replaced with a blank stare as I realized my own mediocrity.

Some ultra-wealthy parents buy their kids cars, apartments, ponies or spa memberships.  And lots of ultra-granola parents buy their kids a tree to plant and a card memorializing the contribution made towards saving a gorilla in their name.  Not me.  I go straight for whatever I’m sold by the capitalist marketing machine.  Stir the economy stupid.  However there is one big difference in how I operated this year compared to the majority of American consumers: I paid cash.  There will not be one credit card debt in our household as a result of this holiday season.

So what if I bought my child portable attention deficit disorder (see PSP) when he didn’t even ask for it.  I know he will wear the paint off the buttons.  And if Logan only laughs at Elmo singing and dancing for 15 minutes well, that’s what I paid for.  And don’t get me started on what I spent on Amy.  She’s getting less gifts and for more money than either of the kids.  If it wasn’t made by a brand name designer or personalized she isn’t getting it.

Ya I’m a mediocre consumer drone and I don’t care.  I give the gifts people want without pretending that I’m giving them something they need and won’t give a damn about.  Christmas is about want, not need.  Don’t ask me what I “need”.  I’ll buy what I need.  You get me what I can’t or won’t buy for myself (my dad is pretty good about following this rule).  That’s the real spirit of Christmas, like it or not.  That is unless you are the purist of Christian and genuinely celebrate the season based on it’s original intent.  I don’t know too many of those people anymore.  That is, I really don’t know anyone who would display the same “spirit” of Christmas without giving or receiving gifts.  Do you?

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1 Comment so far

  1. Anna Moellman December 24th, 2008 1:13 pm

    I’m sure the look on the boys’ faces will be more than worth whatever you spent as a “mediocre consumer drone”! Isn’t that what Christmas is about? I think the turning point between being a child and being an adult is that time in your life when you derive so much more joy from giving than from getting. I know some adults who are still children in that respect, and a few children who could be adults. But here is something that has really started bothering me at Christmas…the giving of gift cards. Yeah, one or two for that person who is impossible to buy for…ok. But I know people who go out the day before Christmas and buy one for everyone on their list. Why don’t you just say “I didn’t feel like putting any effort into thinking about what to get you, so here, go buy your own gift.” Am I the only person on Earth who still feels that way?? Have we become so practical that we can’t even take a chance on buying someone a gift that they may not like? Big deal!! How many times have you been given a gift card for somewhere like Wal-Mart, and all you got for it were lightbulbs, toothpaste and deodorant? So I say thank you, Todd. Thank you for being a husband and father who cares enough to go and purchase ridiculous gifts for those you love. It will come back to you ten-fold on Christmas morning! Merry Christmas (no, not a Happy Holidays from me). I’ll see you in a couple of days!

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