Warning, Rant ahead...
I am sorry but is it really necessary to go shopping at 5 am? This whole "Black Friday" thing is totally ROT (imho) Everybody out spending $$ on plastic crap and things that they and their loved ones really don't need.
Don't get me wrong, I like Christmas and gift giving. I just don't think this created frenzy is needed. I love creating or picking out the perfect gift for people.
Last year we told the family "Please, no toys." Books, art supplies and clothing are great for kids. So are classes. How cool would it be to get rock climbing classes or art classes or anything where a new skill is introduced. Santa brought a few toys and he will again this year. But he tries really hard to present "open ended" toys, things that feed imagination and don't squash it.
For the first few years of Robyn's life I was able to get away with the No batteries allowed rule but a few have snuck in, when the batteries die we didn't replace them.
All this crap being offered for infants and toddlers that sings and talks is bogus. buy them a book, sing them a song, just interact with them and for god's sake do not buy the damn sippy cup that talks!
When we watched the parade yesterday and when the ads came on, we talked about how most of it was junk and would fall apart or get boring after a short time. I believe in giving kids hobbies and skills rather that stuff.
Hobbies aquired in childhood will be generally be revisted when you are an adult and that makes for a more interesting and well rounded person.
I know I am probably preaching to the choir here but we need to let the rest of the world know.
Ok, I am done now but please spread the word, we need to let parents know that it is ok to NOT buy their children crap.
(Notice I didn't go on about product tie ins and merchandising? That is another rant for another day ;-) Now go have some turkey leftovers and enjoy your family!)