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Those of use who were young children in the 80s have probably heard the stories of our parents and grandparents waiting in line for hours to get the must-have toy of the day, the Cabbage Patch Kid. If one store ran out, it was on to the next.
Today the parental desire to get the latest “it” toy is still there, but we have a lot more options as to how to get it. We can go to multiple stores, like our parents did, or we can surf the internet to find that impossible to get toy.
This year the hot toy seems to be the Hatchimal. They sold out on Amazon around Halloween, and in stores around the same time. Miss O asked for one, but if they’re out, they’re out. She’s pretty chill about getting gifts, and is grateful for what she gets, so I’m not worried about a Christmas day meltdown.
The problem is that the internet has opened up a whole new avenue of purchasing; Resellers. These resellers predict what’s going to be popular and buy them up before the shopping season gets going full steam. Then, once the toys are no longer available through traditional stores, they open up their stock at hugely inflated prices.
Yep, $339 for a $60 toy.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have the money and don’t mind paying 4-6 times what a toy is worth, that’s your perogative.
For our family, it’s not going to happen. We have a budget, and we stick to it. $339 is more than I plan to spend on all of Miss O’s Christmas gifts combined.
I understand the instinct. Your child wants something and you can provide. Even if it’s not financially responsible, reasonable, or sensible in any way. But there are 3 things I think about when the urge to overspend on a toy pops up:
There will always be another “hot toy”. Next month, next season, next year, something else always comes around. Today’s hot toy is next year’s yard sale item.
That’s a lot of pressure on your gift, and your kid. Imagine spending over $300 on a toy only to have your kid lose interest in it after a few days. It would be really hard to just let it go. I know I would do everything I could to get Miss O to keep playing with that toy. And forced fun is never fun. For anyone.
The better gift is a financially stable home. It’s not sexy, and it won’t get a big reaction on Christmas morning, but it will pay off in the long run. Kids know when we’re stressed. They know when we’re worried. And I guarantee you that your kid would rather have a happy, relaxed mom than the latest “must-have” toy.