Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A note on our children's Christmas gifts

At some point during Christmas Day I checked my mail and Facebook (to send off a few Christmas wishes), and realized as I read my friends’ posts about what they were doing, that our children had received no electronic games or handheld gaming devices of any kind. A lot of posts read “Busy morning opening presents. Now kids are quietly parked in front of their new [insert any gaming device here].” My boys were patiently building 2000-piece Lego constructions or playing Christmas songs on their instruments.

I’m not trying to patronize or anything here – I think parents know best how to raise their own kids, and I have no opinion about what is best for other people’s kids. I’m certainly not an anti-electronics freak either. I love watching movies with the boys (William got Nicholas Nickelby from Santa, which we watched the next day) and let them play computer games too. It’s just that my kids do better with a little less gaming/passive watching and more reading/creative play/music/etc., and adding hand-held devices to their already busy spare-time would simply be too much. They have so much fun playing or reading or doing other things anyways, so why complicate things?

So, when I realized that we had somehow managed to not fall for the pleas of our boys and the general advertisements and trends all children’s Christmas gift shopping seemed to suggest we couldn’t live without - and that the boys had forgotten all about it anyways; that they were perfectly happy without a DS or PSP or any other acronym this Christmas Day – I felt very happy. A merry Christmas indeed.

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