Monday, December 3, 2007

gifts of the season

There are moments when you realize that blogging, or the internets, or something has affected, if not your life, at least your perspective. Every December, our office has a program where you draw the name of a needy kid and make sure he gets the presents on his Christmas list. Every December, I ignore the whole thing, thinking in my own cynical way that the kid's parents are likely gaming the system in some way and that what the kid really needs are things that I can't possibly give him. But this year, when the email went round, I asked myself, "what would Painted Maypole do?" and signed up.

Of course, I got the kid who wants an iPod, a personal dvd player, and the Xbox 360. 'Tis the season.

19 comments:

Waiting Amy said...

Wow, I get the "dream big" sort of thing -- but that somehow makes me sad. And sad that you are right, he probably needs things you could never give him.

But then I guess for some with nothing, a Christmas with something fancy could be life-altering.

As always, its about perspective I suppose.

MissedConceptions said...

I think one of the cameras from your previous post might be nice. It is techy and useful, without costing a fortune.

You could even throw in a book on photographic technique?

Beruriah said...

Hmm. One of those cameras would be nice but s/he would need a computer to store them on.

Wow. Expensive taste that kid. It's not his fault s/he's simply imbibing the culture of her/his surroundings.

Thinking of Julia's post yesterday, and knowing the weather where you are, the kid probably really needs a big tank of oil.

Becky said...

I'm thinking that the kid needs socks. And underwear.

Sheesh. *I* want an iPod.

Lori said...

"Needy" is certainly open to a wide interpretation, isn't it?

LAS said...

Uh oh - I think this is a sign. My firm does this - and we got the email last week. I let it sit in my inbox...thinking, I'll do this, I'll just sign up next week. I got to work this morning and swiftly cleaned out my email - it went out with the "trash." Whoops, well, purposely. Darn it - now I am thinking I need to undelete the email and sign up - and not be such a scrooge. I'm not really actually that big of a scrooge - I like to give gifts to other people. I must have just had a little slip of perspective or something this morning. Ah well, I have to go find that email!

slouching mom said...

Oh, they always want pie-in-the-sky things like that.

My kids have been begging for a Wii -- and what's funny to me is that they don't really even know what it is.

thrice said...

Hmmm. I don't blame the "kid." The sociological and economial, imbalance is so great these days, it probably seems within reason to ask for all of it. Where else is he or she supposed to get if from?

Not that I expect for you to do it either. It's hard to understand how society gets more fucke dup as we move along.

akeeyu said...

Really? The last time I did that, I got a kid who wanted a warm jacket.

I got her a warm jacket, but I also stuffed the pockets with gloves, a hat, a scarf, a phone card (in case there was someone she or her family wanted to call), a tube of sheer strawberry Lip Smackers, and then jammed a disposable camera and a barbie down the sleeves.

That was pretty satisfying.

The problem with an iPod, a dvd player, and an Xbox is that they all require further cash expenditures down the road, so they don't seem practical for a family of limited means. Not that kids are practical in their requests, of course.

painted maypole said...

you thought about what I would do? I'm flattered.

and oh so sorry that you ended up with a kid who wants an ipod. Yegads. I can't afford that for myself. I am shocked that whoever puts the list together lets them put things that expensive on there. I mean, even needy kids want what all the rest of the kids have, but yikes! there really should be some kind of limits, or at least a drawing for really, really generous givers.

meg said...

Yeah, I would be avoiding that office draw, for sure. I wish blogging could change the way I feel about stuff like this, but I'm still the same. Maybe next year?

niobe said...

I can almost feel my two-sizes-too-small heart growing. When I checked this morning, there was still one kid left on the list. If no-one else picks her by the end of the day, I'm even considering taking that one too.

ms. G said...

Niobe, sadly, your comment "the kid's parents are likely gaming the system in some way and that what the kid needs I can't possibly give him" is how I start to feel about these things. I think I just have seen too many "low income" families with the Ipod, Playstation, etc.

Like someone else said, I guess you can't blame your kid for being taken with what has become our society's norms. I do like the camera idea though.

Tash said...

I agree with everyone above that this kid wants what he wants. In a way, it's rather bittersweet that he'd prefer something to play music on than mittens. But kids are like that, I find, no matter their economic backgrounds. I really v. much like akeeyu's practice, and am going to copy that. I always pick the teenage boys off the tree because I find people usually pick the babies, and kids, and girls because they're easy: barbies, barbies, barbies. I have on occasion bought the cheapest cd player available (and they're pretty cheap), batteries, and a Target card for cds. It's not an iPod, but it's the thought that counts, right?

Julie Pippert said...

I love that you wondered what PM would do! And I second the camera idea. Mix it with something practical.

Julie
Using My Words

Kami said...

My husband and I were part of Big Brothers / Big Sisters for a few years. One kid got more free gifts from charities and such programs than my entire family of adult siblings. They had a 5 foot by 3 foot stack of free gifts and our little brother felt that he deserved more.

Karen said...

go for the camera - there is some pretty powerful stuff out there about giving kids the power to "frame" in that way.

Eva said...

You're very sweet. I can't believe they let a kid request that stuff. I would SOOOO not comply.

Furrow said...

yeah, I'm surprised. I always see things like "socks and gloves" or "Homeward Bound 2 (the movie)" and wonder what kind of limits they place on kids for these kinds of things. Maybe it's a regional thing.

You can't blame the kid for trying.

BTW, personal DVD players don't cost that much anymore (seen them around $40), and you can get other, non-iPod mp3 players fairly inexpensively.A 2GB Muvo is $40. Of course, that reminds me of when the Cabbage Patch Kids came out and I really wanted one, but instead, I got the cheaper Carrot Top Girl (or something like that.) Didn't do it for me.

Do you have to get all three?