Friday, 25 July 2008I went Christmas shopping yesterday. Every year, Target has this humongous toy sale, where most things are half price, and you only pay 3 dollars to put it all on layby no matter how much you buy and they will store it there until Christmas eve.
As I compiled my list of things for the kids the night before, I am reminded again just how expensive everything is getting over here. Most items at half price were still around $20. We had to quickly revise the $100 per child thing we've had going. At most, they'd get 5 things. I'm a gift giver. That just don't cut it in my book.
Or Santa's, for that matter.
Of course, the smallies could get away with less. As my brother would say, they barely know they're alive.
I understand that having 5 kids will always bring up these issues, so I wasn't too fussed about it. I have about 18 weeks to pay it all off (I like to have it all in the bag by the end of November. Then I don't stress out.)
Last year, Adam was able to come with me, and we filled two trolleys. Granted, we had some big stuff in there, skateboards, and Tonka trucks and doll prams and the like. No one really looked at us, because, well, we could just be two people who didn't know each other with a full trolley each. No biggie. There were lots of people like that.
This year, Adam couldn't get off work. So, I had the smallies sat, and after the three older ones were at school, armed with my list, the catalogue and a pen, I braved it on my own.
I had to stop three times to repack my cart. I also managed to stick a blackboard under it and use it as an extension to pile more stuff on. I did well, I got all but a few items on our list. This year, we also got the kids bikes and I had to get a staff member to carry them to the layby counter for me. I was prepared for all this. It comes with the territory.
What I wasn't prepared for, were the condescending looks that people kept giving me, obviously thinking I was completely over indulging my kids. 10 presents each, they had in my cart. That's 50 items people. With boxes bigger than necessary for the small thing inside it. I had also bought gifts for my niece, my mother, and a couple of things for Adam.
I decided, by the end of my 2 hour trip, that next year, I'm wearing a sign that says I HAVE FIVE CHILDREN... DO NOT JUDGE ME. I was sick and tired of explaining myself to people, either because of they way they looked at me, or because they actually felt it was their place to comment. And then of course, I had to cope with the "Oh my God, you're crazy" comments.
So, peoples, next time you're shopping at Christmas time and you see a parent with their trolley piled impossibly high, please realise that they may not just be shopping for 1 spoilt child. There may be another 4, 5, 6 kids that you don't see.
Also, read this. You might get where I'm coming from.