The hot toy of the year is the Hatchimal. Numerous stories have appeared in various publications of parents going to extremes lengths to get the elusive toy. Sol Mac Eoghan of Ireland even flew to Spain to get one of the toys. Online searches show that the $60 toys are selling for $200-$300 through sites like eBay.
Perhaps at this point, everyone needs to take a note from the Dr. Seuss classic, The Grinch. One of the greatest scenes in the animated version comes when the Grinch stews from his cave high atop Mount Crumpit. As he fumes he laments the consumeristic aspect of the celebration down in Whoville, he grumbles,
For tomorrow, I know, all those Who girls and boys, will wake bright and early, they’ll rush for their toys, and then. . . On the noise! Oh the noise, noise, noise, noise! There’s one thing I hate: oh the noise, noise, noise noise! And they’ll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing ‘round on their wheels! They’ll dance with jing-tinglers tied onto their heels! They’ll blow their floo-floobers, their bang their tar-tinkers. They’ll blow their Who-whoobas, they’ll bang their gar-ginkas! They’ll beat their trum-tookas, they’ll slam their slot-slunkers. And they’ll make ear-splitting noises deluxe, on their great big electro-Who cardio schnucks.
As he devises his plans and steals all that represents Christmas to the Whos, he believes that he can stop Christmas from coming. As he leans his ear toward Whoville expecting to hear the sound of disappointed Whos weeping the infuriating sound of the Whos singing their traditional Christmas song rings in his ears, as they sing,
Fah-who-forays, Dah-who-dorays, Welcome Christ, bring your light. Fah-who-forays, Dah-who-dorays, welcome in the cold dark night. Welcome Christmas, Fan-who-ramus, Welcome Christmas, Dah-who-damus. Welcome Christmas, while we stand, Heart to heart, and Hand to hand.
At this point, the Grinch realizes something that parents going to extremes to secure a Hatchimal would do well to recognize: Christmas has little to do with presents. While Christians believe that Christmas has nothing to the traditional cultural accouterments, even American society recognizes that presents are peripheral to the holiday.
Christians believe the reason for this lies in the transitoriness of the presents. The greatest presents under the tree for children will eventually end up in the trash can. Those with sentimental value may last years, but by and large, most will move from new and exciting to old and passé within a few weeks and months.
Perhaps it’s time for people to take a step back and get a grip on reality once again. Rather than placing such a high premium on what sits under the tree, we should put greater emphasis on things that cannot fit underneath a tree. For everyone, this can take the form of making memories with family and friends. For Christians specifically, this means elevating the incarnation of the Son of God to its proper place.