Never one to leave well enough alone, Mrs. Linklater can’t resist one more chance to butt into someone else’s life before Christmas. As usual, she first defers to the experts who get paid to do this for a living. Whereas our dear Mrs. Linklater does her spewing solely as a public service.
GIVE CHILDREN WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO HAVE
Published December 21, 2004 Chicago Tribune
Dear Amy: I'm perplexed by the mutation of the whole gift concept. I decided to give some young relatives a certain type of gift for the holidays, and I wrote to their parents telling them of my intention and asking for specific suggestions within this gift category.
The parents' reply was to merely suggest a different gift the kids could use instead.
I had been very clear that we had decided to give them this other type of gift and made no mention of needing any other suggestions.
These are nice people, Amy, and I know they meant no offense, but what would you say in my place? When did the holidays become a time for parents to place orders with relatives?
-- Not a Mail Order Catalog
Dear Catalog: I know it's frustrating lately -- it seems as if kids have so much already and yet they can be so specific, with recommendations of brand names and gigabytes, not to mention the whole Red vs. Blue Power Ranger question. No doubt these parents thought they were being helpful and that you'd appreciate some direction on what the kids would like to receive. (I live in fear of giving my nieces and nephews the equivalent of the bunny suit from my favorite Christmas movie, "A Christmas Story.")
Give these children whatever you would most like for them to have. But please don't hold it against the parents for offering you some direction -- after all, you did ask.
Sheesh. Where should Mrs. Linklater butt in first? Oh heck, let’s start with the “mutation of the whole gift concept.” I haven’t read Darwin’s Origin of Gifts, but it sounds like Catalog thinks that giving gifts to children should have nothing to do with what they want. They’re going to get what she wants to give them or else. Frankly, she’s the one that sounds like a mutant.
But – more important -- did it ever occur to Catalog that the children’s parents were trying to say THAT HERS WAS THE STUPIDEST, MOST INAPPROPRIATE GIFT IDEA EVER – only in a nice way? Apparently, that option NEVER made a blip on her radar [or Amy's for that matter -- tsk, tsk].
Even with a gentle hint from Mom and Dad, Catalog is going to stand on principle, dammit. Those kids are going to get the gifts she wants them to have and no one can stop this bulldozer when she gets it in gear.
So, in a way Amy is right [boy Mrs. Linklater hates when that happens]. There's nothing anybody can do -- legally -- just get out of the way.
And have fun with the Malibu Barbies, Billy and Tommy. Maybe you’ll get matching Ken dolls next year.