My son has everything. He has an iPod, a DS, Xbox 360, Wii, and we even fixed up one of our old PC's so he has his own computer.
I am at a loss for what to get him this year. His birthday was in August and he got all of the video games that he wanted. He's got a new bike and he's not really athletic so any other sporting goods aren't an option. I just don't know what to get him. Any ideas? I'm willing to spend up to around $200 for his gift.
|WWUJD? (What Would|
Uncle Jesse Do?)
This, of course, got me to wondering about the implications of that family. $200.00 for the "big gift" may well be more than a lot of families can afford for all their kids this year. I personally know a guy who drops $500 apiece on his two kids every Christmas, and he's firmly lower-middle class. Everyone's budget and priorities are different. Knowing the retail prices of the devices the OP mentioned adds up to a hefty sum, but we don't know which models he has (an iPod Shuffle is $49; an iPod Touch is $249), or when he received them, or that they all came from mom. Conceivably, a grandparent gave the X-Box for his last birthday, an aunt, the Wii in 2008 and so on.
|You could give 249 McDoubles to the|
hungry instead of buying this.
What is it about us, then, as a society that we feel entitled to pass such judgments based on so little information about someone we don't know? One poster in the thread attributed it to mere jealousy, and I think that's partly it. Surely, it's got to rub a lot of people the wrong way to read something that smacks of frivolity during a time of such economic hardship. There are millions of people anxious about whether they'll even still have a home for Christmas, much less a tree in the living room with gifts under it. To know some 11 year old kid will be adding yet another $200 video game console to his massive collection of them just feels insensitive.
On the other hand, I'm of the mind that I do not begrudge anyone their good fortune (unless they mistake their being lucky along the way for evidence that they're a better person than those less fortunate, in which case I despise them and wish I could be there when the truth is revealed to them). For all I know, this woman singlehandedly has kept a business afloat that employs a hundred people who, thanks to her efforts, are not among those who will go to bed tonight afraid this will be their last month as a homeowner. Maybe she's a researcher trying to cure Crohn's disease. Then again, maybe she's nothing more than a trophy wife and her husband is one of the villains of the economic collapse who managed to get away with murder. Since I don't know any of this to be true, I don't feel entitled to pass judgment on her. To be honest, even if I did know any of that to be true, I still wouldn't feel qualified to pass judgment.
Several people have insisted she should donate the $200 to a charity, or have the son spend the money on things for Toys for Tots, etc. We don't know anything about the family's charitable giving from her original post (though it is later stated that they do, in fact, make a point of charitable donations). I would posit that we are not entitled to demand she, or anyone, make such a contribution. I personally am reluctant to donate more than a dollar or so at a time to any given charity because I frankly am too suspicious that it will ever actually manifest itself in a meaningful way. I've done the odd good deed here or there, but I consider it vulgar to cite any examples here and anyway, I resent being made to feel that I should prove my generosity to anyone. I suspect most of us feel the same way, and yet there's clearly a sense that if you're going to tell us how many expensive things your son already owns, you owe us a donation slip to offset your selfishness.