NEW YORK (AP) — In a season that inspires earnest letters about toys, one notable batch is being sent not by kids to Santa's workshop but by parents to the executive suites of real-world toy makers.
The message: Please, in these days of economic angst, cut back on marketing your products directly to our children.
The letter-writing initiative was launched by the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which says roughly 1,400 of its members and supporters have contacted 24 leading toy companies and retailers to express concern about ads aimed at kids.
I've been having this conversation lately with a few different people, and I thought it might be a good topic for some discussion here. Do you think that the way the economy has turned south might change the way people celebrate Christmas on a long term basis?
If you've ever happened to read Laura Ingles Wilder's books, you might remember tellings of a Christmas that was celebrated mostly as a special occasion and was barely focussed on gifts at all. It's hard to believe that as a society, we've gone from a Christmas that was all about family to a holiday that's all about who can spend the biggest amount of money to make their family happy - in only the space of a longer lifetime.
Now, however, we're faced with a Christmas where the economy is doing so poorly that people can't afford to be nearly as extravagant with their gift giving, and odd as it may sound to say, it might actually be a good thing in some ways. If we can make a really concentrated effort to make this season about family and friends again, maybe in the Christmas's to come, the ones where money isn't as much a concern anymore, we'll still remember how good it can feel without all the fancy new toys we've come to expect. Maybe... just maybe... we can learn to cut back on going overboard, on a more permanent level.
What do you think?