Santa dilemma

by humanmama on December 29, 2012

Happy Christmas! Happy New Year! Hope they are both fantastic for you. Now, let me get down to business. I need your help.

The kids are 6, 3, and 5 months old, and what that means is that they really aren’t too attached to what they got for Christmas. Except for the big kid, the little ones are pretty content getting an empty box. Pretty much every gift Lilly, age three, received this Christmas was greeted with the phrase “THITH ITH JUTHT WHAT I WANTHED!” So, that’s awesome. And Benji, sweet baby, his only and most favorite gift was that we suddenly remembered he was over 5 months old this week, and could feed him, and he’s been eating like a starving refugee ever since. So pretty much for those two, “anything” and “rice cereal” we’re the big favorites.

But then there’s being six. It’s more challenging. There is more expected of you. You’re getting adult teeth for heaven’s sake. Things are just a little different. Six year olds make Christmas lists. Six year olds remember what’s on their Christmas lists.

All she wanted was this stupid pony. This one:

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the FurReal Friends baby pony. She put it on her list, and didn’t mention it at all until Christmas Eve, when she said (as she drifted off to sleep), “I just can’t wait to get my electronic pony. Santa knows. It’s okay if I don’t get anything else,” and such other things that made me want to sink deep into the shell of guilty/ awful/ ignorant parentingness since I didn’t even realize she wanted that damn pony so much. And it is so expensive. And we just can’t afford it. At all. Christmas Day came and went, and although she really was disappointed when she went to bed that night, I said to her, it’s okay, blah blah blah, need versus want, blah blah, love and family, blah blah, Santa doesn’t bring everything we want, blah blah, have all that we could use. And she said to me in a moment of epiphany,

OH WAITAMINUTE! My other grandparents are coming!

And instantly fell asleep. Happy. Knowing.

They came. She did not get said electronic pony. I looked on Craigslist on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day. And then when third set of Grandparents came and left I began searching with an urgency like nothing else. She only wanted this one thing, I thought to myself. Why didn’t I get it? Well, it’s super expensive and we really didn’t have the money for that. And, it’s just one more stupid toy. And it’s big and unnecessary. And.

And I was about to get it with some old credit card just now online and write “Sorry I’m late! Love, Santa!” On the gift card. But I thought I’d put it out there, to you. What was your Christmas like? What did you do? Any big winners? Any big upsets at your house?

Ah, children. Nothing says Christmas like credit card debt and guilt, right? I know it’s not the point. But can it still be magical? Should I just find it somewhere, damn the cost?

-Sigh.-

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jess December 30, 2012 at 11:13 pm

We blew it too. The video game Ben begged for didnt work with our old XBOX, and apparently all the Lego’s he asked for he’s just too young to put together. Luckily Grandma still had a gift to buy for him and she didnt arrive until 2 days after christmas. She got him a gift he (and we) didnt know he couldn’t live without until after I saw it on someone else’s blog. In our case however it was only a $30 Imaginext Batcave.

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aj December 31, 2012 at 6:25 am

Ooh, right here with ya. Maybe next year we’ll do some advanced research. Oh well–it’s still magical, right? ;)

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Katie B. January 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Erin was upset she didn’t get her 2 front teeth. It was on her Christmas list… Sometimes you just have to shrug and say this too shall pass.

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aj January 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Ha! Then she couldn’t whistle for Christhmath!

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hollyweasel January 9, 2013 at 1:19 pm

When I worked in the toy industry (for an effing decade) – there were always these fads. We (reps) would very nicely take our buyers out for lunch and in exchange they would hold for us whatever toy our kids wanted the most (normally this was a tickle me Elmo or Furby that was nearly impossible to get a hold of). I did this year after year for my cousins and one year I realized something – us, the adults, were the ones that put our pressure on ourselves. Some kids had thier heart set on something (as yours did) but generally the kid either didn’t care when Xmas finally rolled around – or wants and likes had shifted to something else. This, by the way, is what drives the toy industry – fads. Fads fed by commercials and cartoons and – well – everything vendors pay in to. The FurReal series (I believe by Mattel?) is to counteract the downturning sales on Barbies and other dolls while appealing to a larger age range. Mattel (and MGAE, makers of Bratz) realized through a number of lost sales at mass market (I know this is boring now but it’s always fun to see behind the curtain) that Barbie dolls that girls would play with from ages 4-13 were now considered “uncool” by the time the double didget ages rolled around (this is one reason why Bratz and now Barbie is more FASHION driven than life changes (i.e. jobs, ken, little sister). That being said, turning to fashion was not enough. Toy manufacturers realized that some of the best selling toys had animal componants (often called “sidekicks” to fashion dolls). And low and behold, in studies, all age groups stated that the reason the doll was appealing in the first place was the animal sidekick. Hence, you have a huge barrage of animal-styled dolls and action figures that have been controling the girls toys ailes since 2005. So whats the point? Here it is and what toy companies have figured out – kids have short attention spans. High ticket products have a higher margin that they can offer. You will notice that the vast majority of the high-margin products are electronic and come with small pieces. This is not an error. This is because if a child looses interest in a high-ticket product (<$79.99) there are a great number of people who will attempt to RETURN it. If pieces are missing it's impossible. So long story (well still a long story, sorry I love what I did – and what I do) is give her time to earn the cash – and I can bet you that by the time that rolls around, she will be on to something else. The toy industry is now primed for another fictitious character that doesn't draw from vampires/monsters/etc. If I had to bet money on it – look out for another Furby.

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