Thursday, December 12, 2013

Santa Employs Sweatshop Labor

I surveyed the bounty of my daughter’s toys around me, and knew I could come up with a long list of what I would banish from Santa’s List.

There were the fine, easy plastic pieces that had spread out like a diaspora from their homeland toy. There were princesses taunting me with vapid, feckless smiles. I saw lego pieces that look innocent by day, but lie in wait to lodge in the tender part of the unsuspecting arch of the foot in the middle of the night. Then, the musical toys chimed in randomly with their voices of good cheer...oh, and the DVD’s that my daughter pesters me endlessly to watch...the dried-out markers and broken crayons...

Santa's list should not include these toys

The sheer amount of toys made me optimistic that Santa's unlist would be lengthy.

Q from James Bond, 007
Q is the man for the job!
That’s when I realized that an unlist just wasn’t going to cut it. I needed to consider a complete overhaul of the Santa system. No, I’m not recommending the demise of Christmas altogether. I’m not that Grinch-like. I’m suggesting something more along the lines of Santa hiring Q from 007 to ensure toys self-destruct just around the time that fat baby rings in the New Year.

Hear me out. What’s the fun part of Christmas for the kids anyway? It's the ritual of it all...putting out a plate of cookies and glass of milk, imagining Santa and his team on the roof, waking up with the sun, racing down the stairs and ripping the paper off the presents and opening the boxes for the big reveal!

Let's face it, after that's done, you get a few hours of toy contemplation and the Christmas booty gets relegated to the Land of Forgotten Toys. Or, worse! If Santa's treasures aren’t abandoned altogether, then, parental involvement becomes necessary in the form of a job that offers zero pay, no upward mobility and no benefits: toy management (aka picking toys up off of the floor once an hour every hour).

We all know Santa employs elves at sweatshop wages. Parents, we are being equally exploited here!

So, Santa, either we get a raise for our integral role in the whole merry-making system or hire Q. I know, I know. You’ve been at this a long time. It’s hard to change your ways. But if Jeff Bezos can revolutionize retail, I have all the faith in the world that you can put a finger aside your nose like a cherry and make it happen. Consider me a modern-day Natalie Wood. I believe, Santa, I believe.

If you and Santa need any more convincing of the necessity for dire action in this matter, go check out the unlists of my mom-blog friends. Not only are their arguments sound, but they are funny and smart (just like them). I'm proud that these fearless women are my comrades in the fight against Santa's exploitation...

Jean from Mama Schmama, My Child Models Deserve the Best

Kristi from Finding Ninee, Three Things I Don't Want My Son to Get for Christmas

Katia from I am the Milk, The Gift that JUST. KEEPS. ON. GIVING.

Jen from My Skewed View, Dear Santa, Please Don't

Sarah from Left Brain Buddha, Holy Testosterone, Batman! {Why are Superheroes So ANGRY These Days?}

Stephanie from Mommy is for Real, Thanks for Nothing, "American Girls" - Why I Hate American Girl Dolls 

Sarah from Sadder but Wiser Girl, Flaming Pillows and Other Christmas List No's

21 comments:

  1. OMG you stop it right now. This was hilarious and smart and wonderful. I think Q has already reached the big kid LEGO products because those suckers explode within hours of completing their construction!

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  2. That's opening paragraph, Rachel, was so clever! What a perfect way to describe and unmask our toy enemies for the terror they reign on us. I completely agree with Jean, so wise and wonderful.

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  3. I love this! Soooo brilliant! I believe, too! We really are being exploited. Who knew!?

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  4. I can't get the image of Q tinkering with the toys out of my head. Although if he could start employment next year it would be greatly appreciated. This year we got our girls a pair of power wheels and I would hate for them to explode.

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  5. Haha! The constant picking up after the children that goes on in my house-- so exploited, so exploited, indeed. This year my goal is to give the kids a few gifts that they can play with independently (and therefore, giving myself a little something too).

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  6. Yes, it's utter craziness how many toys we have to manage. Clearly, Santa needs to think about the welfare of parents.

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  7. How is everything you write so beautiful and deep? And here I am just ranting and cursing about American Girl Dolls! ;) You are right- the ritual is the beautiful part. Honestly, with my two year old, just the act of opening packages, even if it was filled with her own stuff, would be enough! You make a compelling point here!

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  8. Oh the toys toys toys toys! Sometimes my kids just seemed overwhelmed by the presents and toys... cutting back would do us all (esp. the parent toy picker uppers) a lot of good!

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  9. This is so true. Most of the toys only get played with for a few minutes. I told my sister in law not to buy her baby any Christmas toys, to come shopping at my house and she can take what she wants. :)

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  10. Seriously, the toy in the arch of the foot? Man...too many times! TOO MANY! You are so right too. I don't know if you saw my comment to Stephanie. The boy ONLY wants a Polar Express model train from Santa. Only last year he broke his model train. Big dummy here can't let the myth of Santa go, so he's getting another model train that will probably get crunched under foot within a month.

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  11. We would love to be receiving few toys this year. However, the grandparents don't seem to listen! Aaaa! They always overdo it. And then we wind up with way more toys than they will ever play with. Perhaps I need to direct the grandparents here, think they'll read your beautifully written words and listen. HA! Probably not, but I enjoyed this.

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  12. I used to feel sick to my stomach over my lack of willpower when it came to buying toys for the kids. I was a sucker for every new thing that came out and I bought it all. Then within weeks the kids would get bored with the toys and forget all about them. Now my kids are just older and like more EXPENSIVE, electronic "toys". Funny post Rachel and OHHH so true!!

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  13. I am cracking up. I just said to some one that the Elves really need to unionize. Maybe parents do to. Because I am sorry but picking up Barbie shoes is not exercise!

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  14. Hahahahaha. So true. I could barely even come up with a list of toys for Christmas this year AND HE HAS A DECEMBER BIRTHDAY. My family is all banging down my door and I just wish they would contribute to his college fund. Funny post!

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  15. Totally certain my list of toys not to get would include Play Doh, Slime, and anything that makes shrill, loud noises w/o volume control. :)

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  16. I would love it if all of the OLD toys would self-destruct to make room for the new ones! Cute post.

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  17. I don't think there has ever been a more accurate account written anywhere, ever! Sadly, I must report that Santa will be delivering more Legos to my house this year but I think my son has learned to pick them up pretty well. It only took one trip to his room with the vacuum cleaner to make him understand. That Dyson will pick up anything!

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  18. Just spent the afternoon "rationalising" (i.e. blackbagging for charity ) lots of toys. And this is before Christmas! Thankfully i seem to have got the message through to the Nannas - don't make my child into a greedy bee-atch please! Fingers crossed they stick to the script and get just the one present.

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  19. I'm here again, this time to wish you a Merry Christmas!

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