Sunday, November 28, 2010
The Littlest Consumers
A week before Thanksgiving the Toys R' Us Great Big Christmas Book arrived in our Sunday paper. What used to be an actual book of 60 or more pages of toys has been reduced to a 12-page flyer. But regardless, they knew which ones to include to make my kids' eyes wide as saucers.
Marissa began going through the flyer and putting a big "M" on all the toys she wanted.
"Mommy, I want this Barbie horse," she would say.
"You already have a Barbie horse."
"Oh yeah." (Scribble scribble). "Well, I want this Barbie car."
"You already have a Barbie car."
"Well, this is a Barbie van, I want a Barbie VAN."
On and on through the book she would go, circling items very similar to ones she had asked for and gotten previously. So we went for a little tour through our house.
There's the Barbie house.
There's the Thomas the Train set.
There's the kitchen set.
There are the dishes that go with the kitchen set.
And then we pulled down the picture of our sponsored child in the Phillipines, and talking about what she might like for Christmas.
"She is probably going to get a new pair of shoes for Christmas," I told Marissa, who wrinkled her nose at the idea.
"Shoes?! Why would she want shoes?" she asked.
"Because she doesn't have any; her old ones wore out."
We also talked about other things that might be on her Christmas list: a new white shirt for school since she wears a uniform, some paper and pencils because the ones supplied to her at the beginning of the school year were probably gone, maybe some long pants to keep the bugs off her.
I'm not sure if Marissa truly believes that the smiling little girl in the photo really doesn't have those things, but I noticed that later on she went back through the wish book and crossed out things she had previously circled.
She probably won't remember this conversation on Christmas morning when she rips open her presents, looking for that one special one that she really wants. But I will do my best to remind her of the things that she has that many others do not.
What do you do to remind your kids of their good fortune? How do you temper the wish list from becoming 10 pages long?