This morning I was about 2/3 done my Christmas shopping for my kids. I had ordered things online, but I still had some things I wanted to pick up. Some books, a few small toys, and I felt like I was missing that one, big, marquee item for my daughter. The recent cold snap has not encouraged me to go out, and I was starting to stress over when I would get this done (because I DO NOT go to the mall after December 1.)
A commercial came on TV. I can’t remember what they were trying to sell. The end of it is a girl opening her gift, getting an “Oh my GOD!” look on her face, then they pan to the mother, who grins contentedly behind her coffee cup. The voice over says (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Remember what your face would have looked like if you’d been given that one perfect gift? Put that look on their face this year.”
I stood for a full 30 seconds with my mouth open in disbelief. They might as well have said “Mom and Dad’s generation worked hard and was smart with their money. You have access to all kinds of credit and a ridiculous tolerance for debt! Keep it up! You’re super!”
After the obscenity that was last Christmas (We filled the back of a mini-van with gifts. The 3rd row of seats had to be taken out.), I knew I’d been buying too much. (I’d already limited all other family members to a “One small gift per child” policy.) And I did have a vague idea it had to do with the extremely lean Christmases I’d had as a kid. But this company was seriously going to try to use that, so painfully obviously, to sell me something? Two words formed in my mind: Nuh. Uh.
I’m done shopping for my kids. I may even return a few things. While I don’t want my kids to have the Christmas memories I do (Did you like the winter coat we had to buy you this year? I hope so, because that was Christmas…), I cannot see how remembering vast piles of plastic, thoughtless, Made in China toys is going to make them into better people.
All this heavy crap already. It’s not even December 1. And people wonder why I’m such a bitch/so drunk/such a drunken bitch by Christmas Eve…