We all know this particular time of year, while steeped in tradition for many, has also become extremely commercial and consumer based. As parents, we attempt to balance the reason for the season with charitable giving and also the pure joy our son who is only 3 maintains for all things Frosty, Santa, and Rudolph. In fact, the other night MiniMac asked me to say his prayers with him. I thought it was very sweet. He got to his "God Bless" section and said, "God Bless.....Santa." I asked if there was anyone else. He replied, "Oh, and Daddy." Usually the list is quite a bit longer. Usually the list includes me. He is apparently praising his male role models this time of year.
But the balance between the purpose of Christmas and the commercialism will become more and more challenging as our son grows up. We are constantly asked what our son has on his list so this year he made a small list and I know I am personally looking forward to seeing the look on his face when "Santa" brings the new bike he requested. And we hope that teaching our son about gratitude will shape the way he views things. But there is no shortage of items especially created for children, and our son's list is very short.
Perhaps you too have lists of things to consider and select. With so many choices, it is a buyer's world. I have seen commerical after commercial with the newest toys, games, electronic equipment. But I did spy something I had never seen before. I am a proponent of learning and we introduce a variety of learning tools to MiniMac throughout the year.
But the giant stuffed eColi? Ummm, please don't put that in my stocking.It makes me think I would rather have a Care Bear.
Drew Oliver, a former Harvard Lampoon editor has created a company called Giant Microbes. His stuffed germs, popular amongst doctors offices as a teaching tool, now have their own Facebook Fan page.
And apparently there is a subculture of fans ever eager to buy the new releases. This year's version of beanie babies? Oh my. The newest release includes stuffed measles and stuffed rubella. The intent to help children understand illnesses and hygiene is a wise idea.
They even have a line of STD toys (clearly not marketed for children.) So if perhaps they can teach one person the importance of using a condom, congratulations. And maybe a few people you know deserve a giant stuffed version of VD under their tree.
An opportunity to enhance learning ? Great. And making science fun? Well, that would have been great to introduce to me 30 years ago. I applaud anyone who can create entertainment out of eColi but I am certain Santa has never seen this on his wish list. And we are likely not quite ready to bring it to our house. We will stick with the characters from Toy Story for now.
And yes, now you have heard it all, I know.