Fur Real

Every Christmas, I vow to find a way to combat the rampant materialism in our culture. I usually fail. I’d like to think I’m waaaaaay less materialistic than the average American, but that’s really not saying much.

This year, I am DETERMINED to take a stand against it. (Mostly.) We’re doing the 3-gifts-only thing for each of our girls for Christmas. Of course, they will have 6 other family Christmases to make up for it. I convinced my dad’s side of the family to omit the gift exchange this year, and I’m thrilled with this small victory. “So, we’ll just eat and play games and stuff, then?” my aunt wanted to know. Yes, exactly. We will feast and fellowship and remember what Christmas is really all about. We don’t do a gift exchange on my mom’s side either, so we’ll just have 2 on Gabe’s side–as well as Christmas w/my parents and siblings and then w/ Gabe’s.

I asked Livi the other day (did I already blog about this??) what Christmas gifts she remembers from last year (she probably got 40 or so). She couldn’t remember a single one–and then she thought of “my princess tattoos from Aunt Bethany!” That’s it. All those gifts and she remembers a 59 cent sheet of tattoos. Sigh.

Oh yeah–the point of this blog. So, I’m at Target just now with Ava and Nina, successfully navigating my way around all the Christmas stuff without buying any of it–okay, except for mint M-n-Ms and chocolate-covered Oreos on sale for $2. 🙂

And I see it. This lovely horse. This $249.99 toy ($269.99 online) that every child needs to make her life complete. She is Butterscotch by FurReal. She is an interactive almost-life-size pony that “eats” carrots, nuzzles you when you brush her mane, and probably even leaves horse droppings–who knows. I let Ava play with it while I shook my head in disbelief. What is this world coming to? Gabe’s parents just bought a real horse for not much more than Butterscotch costs.

Then I saw the note. Due to high demand, Butterscotch is temporarily out of stock. Product will be available on a limited basis throughout the holiday season. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Inconvenience? Inconvenience?!? An outrageously priced, insult-to-God’s-real-animals is out of stock, and people are feeling inconvenienced?

Kroger running out of milk–now that’s an inconvenience. The gas station running out of gas–inconvenience. Target running out of diapers… But a $250 stuffed pony?

That’s all I have for now. Monday is my day to catch up on life, not jump up and down on soapbox trampolines. Have a good one!

16 thoughts on “Fur Real

  1. biblestorebrowser

    j.me: That IS a really tough question to handle because you’re dealing with other people’s feelings, esp. if that’s her love language. My aunt and uncle didn’t like people to give their kids money and such and I think it hurt my grandmother’s feelings. I know that as one whose primary love language is apparently gifts, I would feel hurt and embarrassed to be told not to give so much.
    Maybe you can continue to accept the gifts, but put them away on a rotating basis. Then after an acceptable amount of time, perhaps they can be donated.
    Another thing you could try is something in the tradition of an angel tree. Make a list of things your kids want/NEED (like clothes) and offer that to people who want to participate in a gift exchange. My cousin’s family did that one year where the girls made a list of not-too-expensive things they wanted (like a photo album) and their mom coordinated the gift-giving. That way everyone got things they would use and the gift-givers didn’t waste money on frivolous things given for the sake of giving.

  2. jbnygaard

    I’ve been really trying as well to keep our gift numbers low this year. It is SO hard to though!! But I know once Christmas comes, I will be thankful! I was reading Marketer319’s comment about how it irks her when people allow others to shower their kids with gifts. How do you tell people (my in-laws) to “cool it down” of the gift giving? Especially when I think my mother-in-law only knows how to express her love by giving gifts. To me, that is a hard one.

  3. rachmckinney

    well, i have to say i struggle with these same things at the holidays. it ‘d be nice to say i didn’t but it’s so hard. there is so much out there and so many things pulling our attention to them. this year i am very aware of my pull towards things and i am working on it. i would love to buy so much for the kids. sometimes i feel like we dont’ do enough. however, the truth is that’ not what it’s all about. so, we only do 4 thins for the kids…it’s not a set rule, it’s just we don’t like to overdo it with them(that does not include small stocking stuff) anyway, i am working on talking to my kids so much more abot it this year. we’re working on things now for thanksgiving, focusing and being thankful and not asking for more things or not beign grateful for what we have. e. is at an age of wanting so many things(hense why the shoebox thing is so great this year!) and anyway, it’s just a battle to overcome. so i totally relate to what you’re saying.
    crazy about that pony! never heard of such a thing.

  4. Abs7

    i saw that horse on display just the other day. i rolled my eyes and your same thoughts ran through my head. i didn’t get close enough to see that is was sold out, but i did see lots of girls doing their best to let their parents know that they would love that toy. it’s a sad, sad low that our society has reached.

  5. tonialynn59

    I really like that 3 gift thing.  We have gone round and round every year trying to scale back on Christmas.  It’s gotten way out of control and our kids don’t mean the real meaning of christmas.  I like Faithchicks idea!  Also Marla, do you still have copies of your book?  My mom is going to order one for my sister (a Cedarville alum too but we are before your time!:))  She wants it for Christmas.  See even though we are old, we still have much to learn!:)  Also meant to say that your little Livi is adorable!  Love the picture. 

  6. hcole86

    Hmm, great idea! I got two books for each of my family this year and I’m planning on giving them a TEAR gift also. I love the 3 wise men idea. That’s great!

  7. mrsnorthern8605

    Thanks for the prayers, you can go to Drew’s site and let him know you are thinking of him if you want. The link was in my entry. I was excited to drive…until my car posioned me! LOL!

  8. mrsnorthern8605

    Does some of that ridding of materialism go back to church yesterday? I know it hit me and I wanted to come home and just clean and cut out all the stuff I don’t need! (I didn’t do it…I slept!) But I have always know that my kids wouldn’t have an insane Christmas…I want them to get a few special things.

    That is a fun looking horse…makes me want it…only, not for that price and of course, I am 24 and wouldn’t fit on it! LOL

    Pray for Andrew, his uncle was found dead this morning (more info on my page!)

    Thanks for the stuff yesterday, see you later!

  9. faithchick

    gold=a treasure, a valued thing, a prime gift. So, the kids’ “gold” gift is the something they really really really want.

    frankincence was used for worship, in religious ceremonies, etc. So the kids’ frankincense gift is something related to worship or spiritual growth. (bible, worship music, video, etc.)

    And myrrh was used on the body as perfume, or emballming (or something along those lines-it’s a little foggy in my head ;-)) so their myrrh gift is something for their body (clothes, body sparkles, hats, perfume, etc.)

    kinda cute. I’m sure there’s some place online that explains it much better than I did…but there’s a basic outline!

  10. FindlayGirl

    What a wonderful lesson you are teaching your daughters. I wish that my family could learn to follow a similar strategy. My 7 year old nephew’s christmas list is looking more like a list of the inventory at a toy store than a wish list! If you have any suggestions on how to gently suggest how to cut back on the gift-giving frenzy in my family, please offer it!

  11. mtaviano

    I know what you mean, Gail. I love that “perfect gift” too. One thing I’ve done is to just surprise people with little things like that throughout the year for no reason–sometimes it means more then than when they get so many other gifts on Christmas. Just a thought. There’s also homemade gifts–I always think those are special.

    And Jess–yes, it’s because of the 3 wise men, but is there a story or something to go along with it?

  12. gsowell

    I struggle with this. I want to keep Christ as the focus of our Christmas, and not get dragged in to all this obligatory buying for someone just because they got me something, their feelings will be hurt if I leave them out, others will think badly of me if I don’t…blah blah blah! Yet, there’s a part of me that really enjoys getting that perfect gift for someone else. I learned it from my mother who gives tons of gifts at Christmas. I’ve thought about proposing the 3 gift limit for our family. Maybe we will.

  13. Marketer319

    Amen, sister!  Travis and I were just talking about upping the amount we are allowed to spend on each other, and decided against it because a) we don’t need anything, we are blessed, b) it forces us to be creative and really choose what we want to give the other and c) it’s not about getting more stuff for the sake of stuff.  It irks me, to say the least, to see parents showering their children with tons of gifts, or allowing others to.  It teaches them that getting stuff is important and that enough is never enough.  There, I think that soapbox has been sufficiently jumped on.

  14. faithchick

    hmmm…would the 3 gifts the girls are getting have anything to do with gold, frankinscence & myrrh? (SP?!?) if so-then you know what I’m talking about; and if not-tell me & i’ll tell you about a grand 3-gift idea my sister-in-law came across & used last year. 🙂

    Nice work with the christmas party victory. 🙂

    i’m glad you’re my friend, marla. 🙂 just thought you should know.

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