Living In a Material World

My 10 year old told me a few weeks ago that he'd done really good on his list to Santa this year.  He said, "Mom, I'm only asking for a couple of things!"  Squee, much? "Yeah, I'm only asking for a flute, a cell phone, a Nintendo DS, a digital camera and a laptop!"

Now, my initial reaction was shit oh shit fuck shit I'm screwed shit.  And then I remembered the smartest lie I've ever told my kids; Santa only brings what's truly in your heart, that he brings what will make you the happiest.  Really, borrow that one.  You'll need it someday.

Santa tends to pick one item off their humble *cough* lists and that's what he brings.  The rest is up to mom and dad.  And as a rule, Santa does not bring video games.  Santa has had a long conversation over eggnog and cookies with mom and dad (Skype, yo) and we have all agreed that video games are more of a birthday gift.  The elves hate making them anyway.  They're all wirey and circuty and the elves prefer bringing self-powered toys, like bikes and hamsters.

Santa doesn't bring laptops, either.  FOR ANYONE.  Just throwing that out there.

What Santa is totally okay with bringing is clothes, awesome toys, the occasional bike and even the errant musical instrument.  It just depends on the year.  It also depends on how easily Santa can create a theme around the gifts.  Like, one year everyone got music.  One year, everyone got bikes.  And then one year, those little boys became preteens and stopped sharing even one interest, and now Santa is scrambling.

Santa has a plan.  Santa's got a mall flyer and isnt' afraid to use it.

Now, yes; I am all about handmade gifts, and gifts made by local companies, but sometimes there's nothing that can bring a bigger smile to a kid's face than the really bad ass toy they keep seeing on tv.  See?



That is the look of a kid who just got an iCoaster.  Coolest toy I've EVER bought.  I swear, I play with the thing more than he does.  It's a roller coaster meets Magnetix meets Legos.  Dude.  Get one.

Other cool stuff that you have to get at the Big Evil Retailers?  These:



That is a Ridemakerz car.  They are cars that kids can build, customize, and drive around with remote controls all by themselves.  The kids' godfather once bought my boys cars like this, only WAY more complex.  We loved them, but I still can't quite figure them out.  These are supposedly simple enough that a kid could do it alone.  We've got a big kit coming in the mail (we couldn't wait for Christmas on that one); I'll let you know what we think.  They look RAD.

Oh, and Webkinz.  Whoever invented Webkinz can bite me.  Hard.  Right *here*.  Do you know what Webkinz are?  They are $30 stuffed animals that you have to take care of.  Online.  These freaking things are ALL OVER my house.  My 10 year old go 5 million of them for his birthday.  My 8 year old has 2.  Guess who has Webkinz on their list this year?  Guess who's mom would be really annoyed if they weren't so freaking cute?



That's kind of cute, you've got to admit.

And of course I give my kids clothes.  Because I'm too cheap to buy them nice stuff any other time of year.  They've shivered all through November and December, and I am totally waiting until Christmas Eve to bust out these bad boys.



Could I buy coats cheaper somewhere else?  Probably.  But those coats are going to last through the kid they're meant for, the kid younger than that one, and then get sold for $9.99 at a thrift store somewhere to someone who could use a great coat for $9.99, and it will still be in fabulous shape.  Gap, here I come.

Could I buy them coats from some local retailer and help boost my neighborhood's economy a little more? Sure. But if everyone stops shopping at The Gap, The Gap goes away. I don't want The Gap to go away. The Gap makes nice things, and those things last. I'll totally support them, too.

So there is it, my Mallrats post.  I'm only missing one thing from that list, and on that subject...anyone have an old flute their kids abandoned for chicks and video games?  I would love to buy it.  Santa doesn't much like asking his elves to make flutes, either.  Those little felt pads make them take up the drink.