Hello. I’m Bookshelf Q. Battler, a world renowned poindexter, reviewer of pop cultural happenings, epic nerdventurer and a champion yeti fighter.
Additionally, I’m an accomplished philanthropist and activist. My causes include “Stop Lightning Infused Toaster Pastry Toilet Death” (a rare condition that occurs when the subject eats a toaster pastry that has been struck by a bolt of lightning, then dies on the toilet while trying to expel the aforementioned lightning bolt) and #OscarsSoPretty (a movement dedicated to giving more golden statues to people who look like bronzed gargoyles).
Today, I announce a new cause – “Don’t Buy Your Kids a Bunch of Presents on Christmas Only to Then Turn Around and Complain That Your Kids Got a Lot of Presents.”
How it Starts
Mom and Dad work hard all year and spend a bunch of money on toys to make kids happy. They put a lot of work into it – shopping, hiding the toys so the kids don’t find them early, wrapping them, putting them under the tree and so on.
Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles often get into the act. They love the kids so they get the kids presents, wrap them…the adults in the family will coordinate and ask each other what the kids like, what toys do they already have so they don’t get the wrong thing and so on.
And then after they do all this work, they just ruin it by turning Christmas morning into one long, drawn out bitch and moan session about how these kids have it so good and they had it so terrible.
:::Kid opens present:::
ADULT #1: Oh look at that! Aren’t you special?
ADULT #2: Yeah, when I was a kid I didn’t get anything like that.
ADULT #3: My parents made me get a rock from the back yard, draw a smiley face on it with a magic marker, then bring it inside, wrap it, and put it under the tree myself.
ADULT #4: You had a magic marker? Ha! My parents couldn’t even afford markers. I just had to pretend my rock had a smiley face.
KID’S BRAIN: Umm…I’m sorry?
The Two Types of Kid’s Christmas Present Complaints Made By Adults
#1 – That didn’t exist when I was a kid and I wish it did.
This one is a little more understandable. Time marches on. Inventors invent. Scientists science up some shit. New products are created.
You wish you had better toys to play with when you were young. Even aside from toys, you think your life might have been better had this product or that product been around when you were younger.
I feel your pain. I am unwaveringly convinced that had YouTube existed when I was twenty, I would have gotten a spot on Saturday Night Live and be well into my movie career by now.
But hey, just because today a creative person can buy everything they need to put on a web show at Best Buy for a reasonable price doesn’t mean I should hate on youngsters who do that, or hate on myself because of…what? I was born in a time when video cameras where giant contraptions you had to hold on your shoulder and even when you did record something there was no way for the average person to share it with the world?
Be happy that science is constantly creating new inventions. Hopefully, science will eventually find ways to save the world and bring about peace and so on.
Don’t be sad whatever you are interested in now wasn’t around when you are a kid. If you are healthy enough to complain, then you are healthy enough to go get whatever it is now and use it.
Hell, if I weren’t so wretchedly ugly, I’d make my own YouTube show. Sure, I was wretchedly ugly when I was a twenty year old but people would have been like, “Good for him. That wretchedly ugly twenty year old is doing something with his life.”
Today, if I did it, people would be like, “Eww…that wretchedly ugly man is trying too hard to look cool.”
And who knows? Maybe all these new inventions aren’t great. Maybe we were better off without them when we were younger. Maybe we talked more. Maybe we were more willing to listening to different points of view instead of retreating into Internet bubbles that rehash our viewpoints.
Maybe life was better in the 1990s when people would have thought you were an asshole for taking pictures of your lunch to show people what your lunch looks like.
#2 – My parents couldn’t afford something like that.
Sorry to hear that, but when you make this complaint, you’re missing the big picture.
You’re making this complaint because secretly, or perhaps not so secretly, you are jealous of your kids. Your parents struggled and didn’t have much money. Thus, you had to go without. You would have enjoyed fancy toys and so on as a kid.
Yeah, your childhood was hard, but if you are complaining that your kid got something you didn’t get, then don’t be sad your kid got something you didn’t get. Be happy that you overcame your past and put yourself into a position where can afford to buy your kids things that you weren’t able to get as a kid.
And you know what? If you are healthy enough to complain, then you are healthy enough to play with that toy now. It isn’t too late. Grab it while your kid isn’t looking and play with it or hell, you’ve got the money now, buy yourself one of your very own.
Christmas is supposed to be great for everyone, but really, it is the best for kids. They don’t have money. They have no ability to get any. They have minds full of mush. They still think the world is a magical place where a wonderful flying fat man can make all of their dreams come true.
Don’t worry about knocking them down a peg. As soon as they grow up and venture into the real world, there will be a long line of people (employers, boyfriends/girlfriends etc.) who will be more than willing to tell them that they aren’t good enough, so let them enjoy the toy that wasn’t around or that was unaffordable when you were a kid, because once a kid grows up and realizes dreams don’t just magically happen, even when you do try real hard, the holiday season begins to lose its luster.
Don’t put a lot of time, money, and effort into buying your kids presents only to turn Christmas morning into a bitch and moan session about how lousy you had it and how great your kids have it.
Kids hear more than you think, and while they may not understand certain things you say today, they might look back as adults and realize what you were saying, that you were mad at them for having something you didn’t have.
If you really, truly, honestly can’t help but hate on your kids for having a better Christmas than the ones you had growing up, then just save your time, money, and effort and don’t buy any presents. Tell the kid to go into the back yard and pick a rock and imagine that it has a smiley face.
Sure, the kid will be sad now, but when he is an adult, he won’t have to deal with all of the emotional stress that comes with feeling bad because he got better presents than his parents did.
So how should Christmas morning go from now on?
ADULT #1 – Hooray, you got that toy!
ADULT #2 – Good for you! Have a lot of fun with it.
But seriously, in private, when the kids aren’t around, feel free to bitch and moan to each other all you want and hell, if you can think of a nice way to say it, maybe remind the kids now and then that money doesn’t grow on trees so they should take care of their toys and don’t break them and shit because there are starving, toyless children in Africa otherwise they might grow up to become self-absorbed douches.
Ahh hell…what do I know? Do whatever you want. I’m not a child psychologist. Merry Christmas.