QVC, on the 25th of every month, afflicts us with their "Countdown to Christmas." Today's programming is all things Christmas, like decorations, toys, gifts, and entertaining. They've been doing this since June or July. I nearly break out in hives when I absently check QVC and I'm greeted with Christmas stuff while the cicadas are still singing outside. I will not look at QVC today.
It makes me angry when Christmas gets rammed down my throat so early in the year. What about Labor Day and Halloween? Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving? Things are supposed to happen in some sort of order, y'know? The hype is absolutely crazy, and starting it early means my nerves are thoroughly frazzled by early December. By the 20th I'll be burned out and hating the whole thing.
Every year, The Oracle gets a bit cheated on his November birthday because going to the mall after Halloween means the crews are setting up the holiday decorations, and I refuse to look at them or start thinking about Christmas until the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
While my children are small, I dread Christmas for another reason: Toy shopping.
I love buying things for my children. I love spoiling them rotten. The thing I do not enjoy is that I am just about forced to place their materialistic Christmas glee in the hands of a nation who has no regard for human rights or the materials they use in the production of millions of items they export around the world. Yep, I'm talking about China.
There's a new guy in my "site seeing" list (thanks to vee) who blogs as East Coast Squarehead. (Do pay him a visit; you won't be disappointed.) He touched on the subject this morning and fanned the flames of my holiday worries. His fourth paragraph perfectly expressed my feelings about China and how deeply I loathe sending any money there.
What do you do, though, when the thing, that thing that a kid wants more than anything else in the world, the thing that may just "make or break" Christmas, is only available through the likes of Mattel or Hasbro or Disney, places who contract China's sweatshop factories to produce their goods?
For eleven months of the year, it is so easy for me to say, "Sorry, kid, it's made in a country I do not want to support." Aaaah, but while my children's faith in Santa is only exceeded by their faith in God (a hard balance to maintain in December!), saying "no" is next to impossible.
Dagnabbit, it taints my joy in the season. It's hard to stick to my convictions and give them what they want. Which is more important? Is their temporary joy over a piece of flimsy (and possibly lead-tainted) plastic going to outweigh the importance of supporting countries (especially mine) who follow proper business and labor practices? You can't exactly tell a kid that Santa boycotted China's toys this year when the kid next door is nearly buried alive beneath them.
It's times like these where I wish I could hide the world from my kids, even though I know it would do them no favor.