My friend Kim K. sent me this video today that some parents sent in to Jimmy Kimmel. The premise essentially is giving your kids shitty gifts to open before xmas and taping their reactions. I think it is BRILLIANT. Anyone that thinks this concept is mean should probably just stop reading now. My mom always talks about the “spirit” of Christmas more than the actual gift-giving but presents are always exchanged. In her defense, she usually throws in a big-ticket item that I was never even expecting. Love you mom – plane ticket this year? I know I said I would stop being such a grinch but kinda like the n-word, I wish Christmas didn’t even exist. I don’t mind getting and giving gifts but I sometimes think the world would be better off if there weren’t such ridiculous expectations around holidays like Christmas.
Here’s the deal, from early on we instill these expectations in our kids. I for one, can’t really remember any Christmas’ prior to age 5 and sure as hell can’t remember what I got prior to age 8. So why are we spending all this money on gifts that our kids def won’t remember and don’t even know how to appreciate? Until they are older and are expected to give presents as well as receive they will never truly understand and appreciate the gift-giving process. If you start giving them jewelry and go-karts at age 2, then what do you think they will EXPECT to be under the tree by age 10? Nothing short of a spaceship I am assuming.
I do not have kids, nor have the desire to have any, anytime soon. I think my mom did it right. I can’t remember if she gave me anything as ridiculous as a half-empty bottle of V8 for xmas (so funny) but there was never any need to get me anything ridiculous. As I mentioned in my Tis’ the Season post, I never ask for anything extravagant and I think it has 100% to do with the way I was raised. I have my spoiled moments but I am extremely grateful, for everything I have, big and small. When your parents teach you (or you are forced to learn yourself) the value of paying for shit yourself, you learn to appreciate the insight that comes from such a simple concept.
If you pay attention to the video, the younger one is perfectly happy with the roll of paper towels! Why?
a) He is too young to understand the value of anything, so paper towels are just as wonderful to him as a shiny new bike.
b) He hasn’t been ruined by materialism in modern society.
c) Paper towels are awesome.
I wish I could turn back the hands of time where all I wanted/needed in the world was a Bouncing Baby Doll that I probably ripped the head off of anyways….