I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be the kind of parent who does not buy presents for Hannukah. I would absolutely, positively LOVE to be the kind of parent who has succesfully convinced her children that experiences, or possibly even charitable contributions suffice. (Hell, I would also like to be the kind of parent whose children have never heard of Family Guy but I won’t be greedy.)
Instead, I am the kind of parent who brought this shit into my house on Night Two of the Festival of Lights:
I blame my sister and brother in law for this. They didn’t buy it, but my five year old saw a picture of her beloved cousin with a life-sized Elsa Doll and demanded that THIS monstrosity be hers for Hannukah. She specifically requested that the doll be large enough so that she herself would be able to climb into the box it came in. This thing is over three feet tall and graces just about every room in the house. She is wherever I look. The other children are scared of her.
I wanted to be like a friend who gave her daugher Jewish Feminist t-shirts for Hannukah. They are fantastic and we do have quite a panoply of women from which to choose. (True, with my luck all the Gloria Steinems would be sold out and I’d be stuck with a Bella Abzug shirt. I love you Bella, but I’m not sure I would wear you across my chest.) Instead, I welcomed a life sized-Barbie into my home. I’m not even going to discuss the lip gloss palettes I bought. I feel sick just thinking about them.
My seven year old always asks for something odd and then regrets it immediately. (One year: A “baby clothes waching machine” that was basically a wooden box with a door which we now use to store other crap in.) This year she wanted a remote-controlled car. I went one step further and got her a kit she has to build and then can control. Whoopeee! Was I finally getting a girl who wants to build? Could I humble brag with reckless abandon?? (Aw shucks, I just wish she’d ask for the damn lip gloss.) True, I myself cannot navigate the Goldiblocks/lego world (it all looks the same to me, sorry) and I used to cut up jigsaw puzzles as a kid just to make the pieces fit… but if I have an offspring who wants to do this, then why not encourage it?
Of course, said child took one look at her remote control lego car and another look at Godzilla Barbie and almost lost her mind with envy. I pulled her aside and whispered something about lip gloss on night six. That did the trick and I officially suck as a feminist mother.
I like to think that it’s because Hannukah came so early this year; I didn’t have time to be the kind of gifting parent I want to be. But I know better. Even if Hannukah came on December 25th, I’d leave this all to December 22nd (if I am luckly) and buy up all this crap in a panicked frenzy, giving no thought to the substance of it all.
Oh well, maybe next year.