Sunday, December 09, 2007

Parent's Economic Responsibility During Christmas

It was about 28 years ago now around this time that I learned to hate the accursed box.

Oh yes, the box.

The box that measured about 12"x5"x3".

For I had many boxes like that before and knew what was in that accursed box.

For 28 years ago I was 4 years old and right about this time in December the gifts started showing up under the Christmas tree and naturally you could pick them up and shake them to see what contents may be therein. But I had learned when I was 3, maybe even 2 to hate that 12x5x3 box, even if it was wrapped with surgical precision.

For I knew what was in the box.

For in the box was a sweater.

Or a shirt.

Or socks.

The standard 12x5x3 inch box that you got at JCPenny's for a single article of clothing.

The standard 12x5x3 inch box that you got at Sears for a pair of pajamas.

And there I sat in 1979, looking at another box with the exact same dimensions under the tree. Hoping it would be something different.

And so I pressed on the box.

Damnit! Smooshy!

A smooshy 12x5x3 inch box, wrapped with surgical precision confirmed my worst fears;

I was getting another sweater for Christmas.

Now I've carried this memory throughout my childhood and into my adult years. For I think childhood is special. It cannot be repeated. It is innocent. And though the forces of life have turned me into a cynical, cryptic man, I have not forgotten the sanctity of childhood and therefore try never, NEVER EVER to forget what it was like being a child.

This is why, in an ironic sense, I do great with little children. Because I remember what it was like being a kid and not getting what you want. I remember looking at my parents and relatives with a look of disbelief as to the sheer number of sweaters I would get and no toys. I remember the basic, simple common rule of childhood, CHILDREN WANT TO HAVE FUN, THEY DON'T WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE, GROWN UP ADULTS AND (are you ready for the kicker?)


So I am going to provide a little bit of advice to all of you parents out there who are so foolishly daring to think of buying your children something that comes in a 12x5x3 inch box.

Don't do it.

Things that come in 12x5x3 inch boxes are your responsibility of being a parent for the other 364 days in a year. If you had the child, you are to clothe and feed and shelter it. That is a STANDARD responsibility. You literally might as well buy your kid an apple or some cereal and wrap it up and present it to them for Christmas. For 364 days a year, food, clothing and shelter are a given and just come with the territory of having a kid.


that 1 day, known as Christmas, dare you be so stupid and cheap to buy your kid clothes I swear by all that is Halo and Call of Duty 4 when I am king I will make it a crime punishable by death to buy a child clothing for a Christmas gift.







10 out of 10 children according to the American Dental Association prefer toys over clothes.

Another study put out by Super NASA Harvard scientists concluded 100% of children would prefer to have toys than a sweater for Christmas (with a +/- 0% margin of error).

Or cash. Cash is good too.

So, mothers, fathers and all gift purchasing relatives, lend me your ears. Make it a merry Christmas. Take all your 12x5x3 inch boxes and hide them away for a day that is not a holiday. And instead go out and buy your children toys. They'll thank me for it, they'll love you for it, and they are 68% more likely to visit you in a nursing home when you are old and decrepit.


Ryan said...

These are horrible times.

Able Archer said...

I remember being kid also... so I couldn't agree more. It's actually very sad that we limit ourselves to giving toys to our kids only twice a year. If it was up to me, Halloween and Christmas should be quarterly events. My kids will get a lot of toys, and quite a bit of candy.

Andrew L said...

" . . . I swear by all that is Halo and Call of Duty 4 when I am king . . ."

The economic information is great, the political commentary is insightful, the charts are awesome, but to be quite honest what keeps me coming back to this blog on a regular basis are the little phrases like the one above.

Thart said...

Cappy Cap,

Do you play Call of Duty 4 for 360?
Lets play if you do.

thart400 is my gamertag.

COD4 > Halo3

Couldn't agree more about your post!

Captain Capitalism said...

I do, but not online. Had the free month online when the 360 had the three red rings of death. I know it's only $50 a year, but I'm just too lazy to call Microsoft and set it up.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I get to play CoD4 online for free, because I bought it for PC like a grown-up. :)

Not trying to trash on you guys who have to play a shooter on a gamepad. I'm sure it's just great.

das Kapitalist said...

Funny stuff Captain. However, I think your equation only applies to boys. Girls actually like getting clothes for Christmas. Girls enjoy clothes the same way boys enjoy toys. A favorite girl game, for example, is actually called "dress-up."

So when you become King maybe you could exempt parents who buy clothes for their little girls at Christmas. Something to think about anyway.

Captain Capitalism said...

Ryan, we all know that you bought the PC version because you didn't want real competition. ;)

Actually, now that I think about it, these young kids were just schooling me when I did have the online access. Took a while to brush up my Halo 2 skills to start ranking decently.

And yes, I guess girls can be excluded from the clothing rule. But they better be some fun ass clothes.

Thart said...

I was a hardcore PC gamer, but I got sick of all the different systems people keep playing on and having to consistently upgrade.

The xbox360 is virtually the same for everyone and I hardly have issues with lag. You might be able to be a teensy bit more accurate with the mouse, but I'm pretty damn accurate with my joystick.

Cappy Cap, you really should shell out for the xbox live. The system was made for the online play. You're missing out on some serious fun.

Anonymous said...

Well, I still am a kid, a 54 year old kid, and I'd still rather have toys rather than clothes.

I'd love one of those lightweight indoor radio controlled helicopters and getting one of those Legos Mindstorms robotic kits would be marvelous.

Santa, are you listening?

Anonymous said...

I had all brothers so at Christmas I loved getting socks and underwear. The rest of the year I had to hunt for those items because of brothers who sdidn't put them in the wash or a mother who couldn't remember who they belonged to. You should have felt fortunate to receive clothing that you didn't have to involuntarily share with brothers.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Anonymous said...

"Ryan, we all know that you bought the PC version because you didn't want real competition. ;)"

Bring it on! In the 75 hours I've played the game, I've racked up over 12,000 kills. Half that many deaths, but that's because I play crazy aggressive. When I just hang back, I get fewer kills, but usually manage at least three to one kill/death.

I'm a murder factory. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Captain, I got a 37 kill streak today on Crossfire. :)

Anonymous said...

When my kids get clothes for Christmas, it's really a present for ME, because now I can spend the $10-20 for clothes on myself. That said, getting your own children clothes for Christmas is a lot like giving them a "wrapped bowl of cereal."

Captain Capitalism said...

Yes it is.

Ryan, which game is Crossfire?

Anonymous said...

Crossfire is one of the multiplayer maps in CoD4. It's a fight down a wide street with buildings you can move through on both sides.

I got most of my kills with a Dragunov, but I swapped my pistol for an M4 to kill the people who tried to move in on me.

Kasia said...

OK, Captain, please riddle me this:

My nieces, ages 7 and 5, get MOUNTAINS of gifts each Christmas. Their parents get them a stack. Their grandparents, aunts and uncle get them more. They are so frenzied in the Christmas gift-orgy that they hardly notice what any given gift is until the end, when they cull through and focus on their favorite, and it invariably turns out to be something like the pink plastic electric guitar and spangled Britney Spears outfit. Something that I wouldn't buy for them even if it was in my budget, frankly.

I tried getting them a gift. One year I got them Play-Doh. Their mother thanked me very graciously; they could've cared less. Since then, I have done the WORST POSSIBLE GIFT any kid has ever imagined. No, it is not a sweater. No, it is not socks, or pajamas.

...a DONATION IN THEIR NAMES to a local homeless shelter. Or maybe this year it'll be Toys for Tots or the Goodfellows, so they can make the mental connection more easily. "What? Some kids don't get Christmas gifts?"

I know it's a wretched thing for them to receive in many ways, but they really do get a flippin' mountain of gifts, and nothing I've ever bought them has even made it onto their little radars. Which is fine in a sense, but if they're not going to play with it and enjoy it, why am I wasting my money?

What's the economic analysis of this situation?