Thursday, December 08, 2005

Toy Prices

I look in the paper and see the prices
of toys for kids. I am amazed at the
prices. And thankful that I don't have
to buy for kids anymore. I just send
a card and some money to the
grandchildren. 99% of them live out
of state. So this way I know I got the
right size, it is in style, the right color
and the shipping is only 37 cents
(until the first of January).

But the other part I wonder about
was the kids themselves. If you pay
$399 for a toy, and then are
encourage to buy the $299 package
of accessories that go with it? Also
the games that go with it run from
$29 to $49. What do you do next year?
What is the kid expecting from you.
And only present? No, they refer to
presents, in the plural sense.

When I was raising mine, they got
clothes as their main presents. This
was replenishing the school clothes
time of the year. Then they got several
small items that were $5.00 or less.
The older the child the closer to the
$5.00 they got. And then there was
the big toy...$25.00.
Now times this, for each kid.

I know this added to my bah humbug
attitude that I had to hide from my
kids. After all how can you compete
with the other families? When they other
kids come back to school with the stories
of their great presents of stereo's and etc.
Then if you all visit on Christmas day... and
your kid breaks their kids
The paying a price that you never would have
spent for your kids. That is why we never
visited on Christmas day. Didn't want my kids
breaking others toys, or have their kids break
my kids toys. Beside you have all week to visit.
Christmas day is for your own family.

I do have to say, my kids were great. They were
always, and I do mean always, grateful
for what they got. They never sat there with a
long face on Christmas morning, because they
didn't get the latest greatest toy.

I know just because they make it, doesn't mean
the parent has to buy it. After all they make
Cadillac's and Rolls Royce's, but we all don't
drive them. But there is a lot more pressure
on parents by kids and ads. And when you hear
a kid say, "well it is only $400", like it was only
$5.00 well, I don't know about you, but I gringe.


granati said...

i'm already feeling the pressure of the prices of gifts, and i still have years and years to go. but, at the same time, i know that (or i hope) that my kids will always be grateful for what they get. i know that when i was growing up, there were times that i was disappointed because i didn't get that particular "gift", but in the whole scheme of things, it would have wound up being junk...

little ol' me said...

Hiya, Cis...see, I do stop by occasionally. There's a TV commercial where a young girl is asking her dad for 80 bucks so she can buy a pair of designer JEANS!

I think the most expensive gift I got was probably one of those old GE stereo's that folded up like a suitcase...I got that when I was a teenager, and it probably cost 40 or 50 bucks (of course those were 1960's dollars).

I never wanted the big high-priced stuff. Us kids would buy records, or maybe we'd go play pinball for fun. One Christmas, all I wanted was an Etch-A-Sketch. That was what I really wanted. That one thing. Maybe I was as selfish and materialistic, in proportion, as today's kids are, but other than adding to my record collection whenever I could, I just never wanted a whole lot of bells and whistles. I'm still that way today.

So, it's gotta be oversaturation by the toymakers and big-box stores, combined with a parent's accepting that these multi-gig electronic pacifiers will babysit their kids, so they'll cause less trouble. You tell me you're old, Cis...well, I'm 51, and I tell ya, there's a whole way of life that's just up and disappearing. Oh well, whatever. I'm pretty happy.