Thursday, November 30, 2006

Was Gordon Gekko* Right?

Christmas is fast approaching, and that can mean only one thing… do you know what that one thing is?





It’s greed.

The children, and let’s be honest, some adults, are getting greedy and The Peanut Butter and The Jelly are right in line with all the other 3-10 year olds.

Now I don’t think this is something that purely affects my children… I think all children of a certain age experience this concept of greed at Christmastime… it’s natural… they’ve been getting these brightly-wrapped packages that they are not only allowed to tear open, but are encouraged to tear open, and inside are things they get to play with or wear… how could they not get greedy?

The Peanut Butter and The Jelly are four, and they now know that Christmas = Presents. It’s a pretty easy equation along the lines of 1 + 1 = 2 that anyone (save for our current “President”— sorry, I should save that kind of talk for my poli-blog) can understand…

We as parents try to teach them the true meaning of Christmas, whether it be from a secular (the birth of Jesus) or non-secular (love to all mankind) standpoint… but who can compete with the constant barrage of catalogs, friends & cousins, TV & radio commercials and the like that are children are being inundated with?

At our house, we’ve been receiving gift and toy catalogs since mid-October… and the girls seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to those. They can sniff ‘em out and pour over them faster than people running from a Kevin Federline “concert.”

So where should we, as parents, place the blame?

Ourselves? I’m a firm believer that it’s up to the parents to make sure a child does what is right and doesn’t do what is wrong, so with that I say yes, but with a qualifier: we were probably the same way when we were their age and we turned out alright. And as I said above, we try our hardest to teach them the true meaning of the holiday, but sometimes we’re outgunned and outmaneuvered and it’s easier to pick your battles and know which ones can be won or lost.

Who else can be blamed?

Cousins? Well, I could blame a couple of my nieces and nephews who seem to exacerbate the greed with The PB & The J, but that would be unfair…

The media? Well… the media definitely seems to be an aggressor/agitator/make-it-worser (it’s a word it I use it) when it comes to children and greed, but I don’t think I can place the blame solely on them.

Greed is not necessarily a bad thing in moderation, and odds are my kids will grow out of it eventually… I did. But for now, “get while the getting’s good” seems to be the mantra for Christmas 2006.

Next year, I bet it will change….

* “…greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works.”