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Holiday Hot Toy List: Helpful or Harmful?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Every year the biggest toy retailer publishes a list of the hottest kids toys for the holidays. The media runs with it and sure enough parents start sweating bullets about snagging the newest Elmo sensation for little Carly and Brock.
I've always wondered how long kids stay interested in these toys last after the hype of the holiday shopping season is over, the excitement of opening presents is complete, and the appeal of a shiny new plaything wears off.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-toy. I am anti-commercialization and media brainwashing. Who decides which toys are hot? And why do the hottest toys always cost a day's pay? In our slow-recovering economy do we really need toy companies pressuring parents to cough up $75 for a dancing muppet that will wind up at the bottom of the toy box in two weeks?

I long for the times when the holidays were are about spiritual reconnection and family gatherings. Gifts used to be a distant second and they were definitely not overly expensive. Toys were about learning and fun, not the latest fad (that is bound to quickly fade). 

As for me, this holiday season I will be focusing on ways to introduce my daughter to true reason we celebrate. As for the gift shopping, I will be thinking of toys that will teach her something and will have long-lasting appeal like a Melissa and Doug Art Easel. And I will be using a comparison shopper site to find the best deal because money doesn't grow on trees.


Krissy said...

I'm with you 100% on this girly. Everything I've bought for jas in the past 2 yrs she still plays with today. That shows me I've made good choices.

Unknown said...

Our daughters receive a few of the "hot item" toys from their father's parents. And lo & behold... they're forgotten and collecting dust in a few days.

I don't understand media hype on a toy. When I shop for someone, my main thought is what they would like/want/use/enjoy. My daughter is a huge fan of more classic items like her dress-up wardrobe, books, blocks, easel and art supplies, and the only purely "toy" toys are little people & barbies. The shiny musical obnoxious flashy toys are soon ignored and the lasting toys are those that I could have played with as a child.

Mama Up! said...

Harmful, for sure!

When they're little, it's pointless because it's only the parents who know what's hot or not. And when they're older, they get clued in to the hot toys and are envious when they don't get them. It's like Christmas (and other gifty holidays) become a competition. Which is really sad.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I feel like it's more harmful..I am not a parent yet but i know when my niece was younger she would get upset if she didn't get what she wanted! There's a loss of the significance of christmas! It's crazy how they have commercialize every holiday!

Betty Manousos said...

definitely harmful, i don't have kids of my own, but i couldn't agree more with you.

have a great weekend!

betty xx

Kim said...

I'm so with you on this! I dread the gift buying because it's so easy to get caught up in "getting just one more" for under the tree.

Maureensk said...

I find that most of the 'hot" toys are plasticy crap that breaks within a year. I'm into having fewer high-quality toys, though some would argue about my word choice in regards to "fewer".

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