I saw a question posted the other day asking for Christmas ideas for children under the age of 10. My first thoughts were things like Legos, small toys, games, and books. Then I read what the person had already bought: a DVD player, a TV, and some electronic game systems & games, and I wondered, am I just a dud? Or are pricey gifts like that normal for young children now?
I find it hard to consider buying gifts like that. This isn’t to say that I haven’t bought some things for my son that is similar: I got him a used, free, barely-working computer at a young age. I got him a used Gameboy when he was seven (strangely, because I wanted him to learn to enjoy reading – and it worked!). I let him spend his own money that he earns (by literally picking up crap) on a World of Warcraft subscription. And he gets to go on about half of the trips we take, sometimes to some pretty fabulous places like Hawaii and Europe.
So I wonder, are we as a society raising the bar way out of hand? Will kids take one look at a new pair of jeans you bring home for them and be happy, or will they toss them away in disgust because they’re not the latest 7 for all Mankind brands? Are cellphones and teen Pottery Barn fridges for the room becoming “indispensable”? What happens when they get out on their own and suddenly can’t afford all of the “normal” things that they’ve grown used to?