First of all, thanks for your feedback. What prompt me to this ask this question was the thought of how my son's reaction would be like in future towards Christmas celebrations. As a parent, we would want to give the best but I believe that doesn't mean by giving the best toy on the shelves. I would like to teach him that Christmas is time for family to get together, the joy of celebration and love. But honestly, i think kids these days would like to see something 'tangible' and that was advertised on tv.
Alecia, i agree with you that there is an over focus on gift-giving.. and unfortunately these expectations are perceived as a 'norm' which shouldn't be the case.
Moonfairy, I too agree with you..I was doing last minute shopping for a few Halloween stuff on Halloween day itself and found the shelves that used to stock Halloween goodies were replaced with Christmas goodies. It was crazy when Halloween is not even over yet and retailers already started with Christmas.
I was reading an article not too long ago and it says that an average family in Ireland (where I am residing ride now) spends an average of over €900 for Christmas and almost €500 of it are for gifts and that is speculated to be the average spending for this year even with the economic downturn. And people are taking loans out to buy gifts so that the family could be happy? I think that is partly why the country is having so much problems because the nation is on borrowed money.
I am not against gift giving but spend within our means and I think that kids have to be taught that there is more to Christmas than just loads of gifts and I hope that I will be able to teach my son that.
For now, I am lucky enough that my son is still young and don't understand it yet. We will see how it goes in years to come..will i succeed or will i also succumb to the pressures of the media!