To be honest, kids do not need most of the expensive things we buy them, but we get them anyway. This is our first Christmas with a kid but I can safely assume it will only get worse.
What two month old, needs two electric cars he can ride in, a train he can ride on, a menagerie of stuffed animals that could fill a zoo, and so much more? Oh, that was little me, twenty-nine years ago? Adjusting for inflation, providing my son with anything less would be hypocritical and un-American.
For the most part, we are online shoppers but even that has it’s pitfalls. The actual buying isn’t so bad. Sites like Amazon make it so easy with their “one click” purchase option. Hmm, do I really want a new iPad? Oops, I guess so, because I accidentally clicked. Too late for buyers remorse, it’ll be delivered tomorrow. Actually, the remorse sets in around mid-January when the credit card statement comes but let’s not worry about that until next year.
The real downside of internet shopping is the tracking and delivery. I become obsessive, checking updates every hour. Oh, it just left the shipping center. An hour later, Hey Bex, it’s in . . . Kentucky? Well how does that work? It’s supposed to be here tomorrow. Sure enough, the next day there is a package at my front door. At least that’s how it worked before our landlord upgraded the property.
They installed an electric gate that requires a key fob for entry. Now how are the boys in brown going to deliver packages? The short answer; they don’t. If I miss them at our gate, the UPS delivery worker leaves us a little post-it note on the mailbox with instructions on where I can pick up my boxes.
I’m all for safety but this new gate system is starting to impede on my laziness. Now I have to get out of my bathrobe, put on pants, and drag myself two entire blocks down the street to a questionable butcher shop that doubles as a UPS pick-up spot.
I deem this place “questionable” for a few reasons. First of all, the floors are filthy. Second, its hot in there. I don’t fault them for not having a/c but it’s about ninety degrees. Now, I’ll eat pretty much anything but I need to draw the line somewhere. Yes, I’ll take two spoiled T-bone’s and a rotten rump roast. The greener the better, my good man. And while you’re at it, I have a UPS delivery.
Or am I in a scene from ‘Goodfellas’?
“Psst. Fella. Yeah, youse behind da counter. Johnny No-Thumbs said chu got a package for me?”
“Sure thing Mr. G. Lemme go get it outta the back.”
Just for giggles, I suggested we visit a local mall. I’m not insane. I’d never do my serious shopping this way. But I thought it would make for some entertaining people watching. I was not disappointed.
The mall was packed with crazed parents pushing and shoving through the aisles to get that perfect gift for Billy and Louise. Their viciousness made the Hunger Games look like a day at Disneyland. I like to wear Luke in a baby carrier. Normally I’ll get smiles from passersby and people generally give me room as I move around with him. Nobody respected the baby-space on this mall visit. I was shoved and pushed just like every other shopper as I shielded Luke from their blows. Someday when he’s older, I’ll tell him the story of how I protected him from a building full of violent zombie savages and it won’t be a total lie.
If anything, that trip to the mall reminded me of all the unnecessary stuff we buy during the holidays. Instead of buying things to show people we love them, why not just show them how much you care?
Luke got his first Christmas gift in the mail yesterday. His Uncle Mike spent two months hand-cutting vinyl to create this amazing custom wagon. It’s a work of art and exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a gift that brings Luke as much joy as it does for Bex and I. We’ll take it on trips to the park, to see Parades, and maybe for a ride around the living room. Okay, we already did that last one. And so what if it was me riding in it while Bex pulled us around the apartment singing the Batman theme song The point is, Thanks to Uncle Mike, my little Boy Wonder can roll up to the playground in his very own Batmobile.
I know what Luke really needs for Christmas is a safe and calm environment. He needs parents who play with him. No electronics, expensive toys, or gadgets required. Maybe we will all ride down to the street in his new wagon and spend a quiet Christmas at the park. A quiet Christmas? Ha ha. Well, maybe next year.