Sunday, July 31, 2005

Musings: Too Much Stuffing

Now, if you are like me and have a young girl as your offspring you know why so many companies can spew out millions of tons of stuffed animals and remain in business.

I say to those wanting to buy presents (oh, lord how little girls get presents) if you want to buy something for them - try bonds or an RESP contribution please - or even cash. Cash is good. Yes, future dollars towards education is a worthy gift and so much more environmentally sound - and it doesn’t clutter up the house with stuffing.

And if you think I am exaggerating let me tell you a little story.

A few years back (two or three) my wife and I went on a tear to clean up the overabundance of stuffed items my daughter had received since birth - (and actually months before as well). After an hour of sorting and searching (kids can stuff stuffed toys in the strangest of places) we had six garbage bags stuffed with stuffed toys.

Yes, six garbage bags.

And I have no idea of the actual number but it was in the many dozens. They all went to other needy children via goodwill and diabetes pickups, so were not wasted (stuffed in the landfill), but why the cultural need to spawn so damn many of them? Oh I forgot - inexpensive to make in China and large profit margins...

Oh, and teddy bears. Guess how many of those alone? Well, let me tell you. She had a grand total of 25 bears. TWENTY FIVE. And do you know how many mom and dad bought her? The answer to that is - two. So, it meant we had received, over the course of three short years, twenty three stuffed items in the form of bears alone.

And don’t get me started on pigs, dogs and cows. Yes she even had seven cows.

Seven stuffed cows.

Seven. Cows.

Blows my mind.

I’m not altogether against stuffed animals. She uses them to read to, play with and even directs them in the finer details of "playing nicely" with each other. I myself even have a stuffed (actually referred to as "plush") Cthulhu - but I mean it’s Cthulhu. And I can assure you, Cthulhu is not a bear.

So, if you are thinking of something to buy your niece, friend’s daughter, little girl of any sort anywhere on Earth - please consider not buying her a stuffed animal.

Even toys that take batteries are preferable...

Did I just say that?


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