Toys in Babeland

I’m not sure if either one of us mentioned this but I’ve been sort of a super grinch.

RR will be six months old on December 25th.  I’m a haphazard Christmas celebrator – I come from a family of raving Christmas fanatics, but I have a lower key approach to the holidays.  Now, if RR had been six months on the winter solstice I’d have been delighted, but as it is, she was a few days late and a dollar short.

Speaking of dollars, I’ve balked at getting her a stocking – I admit.  I considered not telling you all, of course, given that you already think I’m a walking disaster (and if you don’t, you probably should) but I decided to cop to my grinchiness since we’ve over the hump and RR is now stocking-riffic.

My argument: she’s not even going to notice a stocking.  She doesn’t get it.  Doesn’t understand.  Maybe next year when she’s 18 months.  Maybe we should wait til she’s two and a half.  It’s not that I don’t want to buy her a stocking, just that it seems wasteful.  Also wasteful, putting anything in it.  I know she needs socks, but aren’t we just going to buy them anyway?  And she can’t even appreciate the orange in the toe. It’s not for her anyway, it’s for us (!) and I would be content imagining the whole thing.

But it gets worse.

I’m pretty opposed to toys.  We’ve allowed plenty (I think) into the house.  Other people have handed down things to us and I caved for the purchase of a brightly colored snail.  But it’s cluttered and I’m worrying that it’s sucking her imagination away.  I’m finally getting a bit of distance from this (I agreed to a couple of bigger toy purchases lately) but I’m still worried about her mental elasticity and, to be frank, the clutter in my house.

With all of this mental tug-of-war over gifts and stockings, I find myself wondering if we’re headed down the path of extravagant Christmas celebrations.  The sort my family had that included dozens of gifts for each child and hundreds of dollars spent on every person.  It was too much really, I couldn’t even look at all my gifts before the sun set that day.  I want RR to be able to savor one thing and then focus on using it.  I want her to still be human at the end of the day and not in a dazed toy overload that makes her a terrible creature.

And we’re not even talking about religion.

That said, I think – I hope – we’re headed for a modest Christmas this year with a little – I hope – kid stuff.  And perhaps by the time the lights come on December 25th I’ll have forgotten why I had all these rules to begin with!

2 Responses

  1. I’m with you. Until age 4 (or age 3, if the kid is born very close to Christmas and they’re a genius), they won’t remember it, care about it, or give a damn. I work retail and people who come up to the counter saying “I have to spend the same amount on each kid” make me want to scream. Kids don’t understand dollars, they understand that Timmy got 5 presents and they only got 4. I appreciate your anti-consumerism!
    As for toys and imagination…she’s got have something to imagine with, right?

  2. We’re doing so very little this Christmas. I live with Scrooge, too. It’s just the three of us and I’m already looking forward to next Christmas when he’ll be able to enjoy it more and we’ll (hopefully) be with more family.

    We’re not all that into toys either. I try to get ones I know he’ll use/like, but really, at five months it’s not like he can do much. He does love his bouncy chair.

    I hope you three have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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