12.16.2011

Call me Scrooge

Or maybe the Grinch.

I've seen this story floating around facebook today. If you haven't seen it yet, take a moment and read it, then come on back and read what I have to say.

Let me start by saying I'm all for helping out people in need (around the holidays, or any time). I'm glad that there are people out there in the giving spirit helping kids have a merry Christmas. I don't want to down-play their generosity.

However, my first and most prevalent after reading the article was: "What four-year-old needs $200 worth of toys?" I honestly don't think we've spent that much on toys for all five of our kids combined. And I'm not talking about Christmas this year.

I'm talking about ever.

Combined.

And my kids have plenty of toys.

Sure, some of their toys are second-hand. Sure, they've gotten plenty of toys as gifts from grandparents and others. And yes, I am probably exaggerating, especially if you include books and movies. But I can't fathom spending $200 on toys for a four-year-old. For one occasion.

Is it just me? Am I a hard-hearted villain straight out a child's story? Or does that seem exorbitant to anyone else?

{In a similar vein, I've always had a hard time with "Toys for Tots" drives that specify "new" toys. I'm sorry. I'd love to donate, but my own kids are getting thrift-store treasures for Christmas. Why is that not good enough for other kids?}

7 comments:

Bethany said...

Holy crap that's a lot of money for a 4-year-old! You aren't Scrooge, you are resourceful and prudent and a great example.

mrs. olson said...

I totally agree. Kids are just as happy with used toys so why waste?

------------------------------- said...

AMEN Sister! I was JUST telling my husband that I would prefer someone anonymously send my kid to college than give them a material posession. That will teach him that "things" are valuable. I always felt bad getting Carter the "Thrift Store Treasures" because I have found waaaaaaaay nicer stuff than I would have ever bought him new.

But really, teach a man to fish - don't just give him the fish.

~Lisa~

Hendershots said...

That was one of my thoughts too...I love the idea of what people are doing but I think that scaling back could have reduced the need for the layaway in the first place...?

Neoma said...

Amen.

Zach said...

you are right on many points but I would just like to put one thing out there. Toys for Tots used to collect used toys and repair them and then give them away but it be came a dump for junk toys and they couldn't handle the repairs. if people could learn to give good gifts from their kids old toys that would be the best. if it is garbage and you can't fix it...just throw it away. I am sure the thrift stores would appreciate that too.
I definitely think that people need to learn to live within their means and you are a great example of that. you have been blessed with great thriftiness and ability to make the most of what you have. You have also been blessed with generous parents and friends.
Parents do need to learn that kids can be happy with one gift and teaching them thrift and gratitude really is the greatest gift you could give them.
I am sure that the gift card payers had the best of intentions and it is a pretty creative way of giving.
Lead on with your great example of thrift and resourcefulness. You are a great wife and mother and example to many! Thanks (sarah, not zach)

Momma Strain said...

The other year we were watching the news and they were talking about the angel tree at the mall where you could go pick a child and buy them christmas and on the angel was a list of wants and needs. they read one and it was a new xbox and a little ninetendo player and a new bike and dvds and games and an itouch all this expensive stuff. i was like REALLY?! whatever happened to kids being humble and happy to get what they get?! I get that every kid has wants, but I dunno... maybe be grateful instead? Totally turned me off to going out to get a angel off the tree! No thanks! I'll do something else.