There are problems.
And then THERE ARE FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS.
Like these real comments left this week on Disney’s Facebook page by irate mothers who can’t find Frozen merchandise for their children (source):
I have been staying up late every night checking the site. I didn’t think the site would refresh during the day. SO irritated! My girl has been waiting for a classic Elsa doll since Christmas. She can’t understand why Santa didn’t get her one since it was what she wanted most. Now she is hoping that the Easter Bunny will put one in her basket. She has been so patient. I really think this might be what stops her believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny. I can’t afford to spend over $100 on eBay for a $16 doll. This whole situation makes me so sad and angry. Thank you Disney for killing the magic for my 6 year old.”
And there’s this gem:
WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THE HOLD UP, DISNEY? ARE YOU STAFFED ENTIRELY BY SOULLESS. DREAM-CRUSHING MONSTERS??[…]UGH. I AM FURIOUS. HENCE ALL THESE CAPITAL LETTERS. […] UNACCEPTABLE, DISNEY. YOU’RE LITERALLY RUINING LIVES WITH YOUR EVIL WAYS. FOR SHAME.
These are just a couple of the hundreds of complaints against the mouse-magic-makers. And parents are in crazy bidding wars on ebay trying to buy $150 deluxe character dresses for over $1000.00 and $30 plastic dolls for $300.
Not to mention the speculation about how Disney is meeting this demand in some factory in another country…
So, this is what it’s come to, huh? Blaming a huge money-making empire for ruining Jesus’ birthday and His Resurrection because we can’t give our kids more stuff?
This is the culture we live in–we are waisting time and money on nothing. That doll or costume or whatever it is we chase and pursue and spend so much of our attention on won’t last. It’s embarrassing.
In an effort to create a magical childhood, we are forgetting what our kids really need: an intentional one. This isn’t about making our kids happy. That’s not even our job.
This is about the competition to keep up and the guilt that drives us to think that more stuff will make our kids happy. This is about winning some game that’s not worth playing. This is about scoring the latest fad or being the highest bidder that might fill some void in us.
I know most of you are probably like me and would never pay outlandish prices for the latest must-have thing. My 7 year old got some Frozen merchandise for her December birthday.
By the way, they are now for sale.
We can let them go… Kidding.
I get it. I really do—this urge to give our kids what they really want or what we really want for them. But what price will we pay? How far will we go to create “happy” kids.
Because this isn’t just about stuff. It’s about making disposable things more important than they are.
How often do we freak out over the mess on the kitchen floor or try to control our children (impossible, ask me how I know) or waste hours on trivial things that are temporary.
Seriously, let’s remember what really matters–
And let the other stuff go.