But one thing we won’t be doing this year in commemoration of the Nativity of Our Lord is buying our children any hideous, poorly designed, instantly disposable toys. You know what I’m talking about: the undifferentiated mass of junk in individual cardboard and plastic boxes you see at any big-box retailer or, more likely, on Amazon. Go to any second-hand store, and you will see where these things end up: pink and yellow plastic heaped up to the ceiling — an impromptu monument to our greed and tastelessness. Also to waste. These are not beloved objects that kids will cherish for years and save for the enjoyment of their own children and grandchildren; they are pre-trash, items of no value or consequence that will be tossed as soon as their tiny owners grow bored of them — or, more likely, as soon as parents decide that they are taking up too much space. Goodness knows how much of this stuff is eventually in landfills or in piles in the middle of the ocean choking fish and poisoning the water.
These toys are also, most of them anyway, condescending to girls. My daughters are not idiots. The older of the two has many favorite colors, and none of them is that especially hideous purple found nowhere in creation except girls’ toys which I call “vomit magenta.” Toys for boys come in every shape and color imaginable, but marketing hacks have decided that their sisters can only feel comfortable in a world full of bubbly-round plastic dyed with synthetic pigments. Not in our house!