The holidays are coming! That’s supposed to be celebratory, not a lament, but for millions of moms looking for the “it toy” of the year, it can be a struggle. Christmas shopping is hard enough, but when your realize your kids want the one thing they can’t have, it can seem even more daunting. They say there are five stages of grief, but this situation has an additional phase.
1. Confusion – your kid asks for the magical thing of robotic unicorns or whatever and you just stare at them, slow blinking, like what the heck even is that? Where do I buy it? What do you do with it? Is it maybe made of gold? Is it powered by actual unicorn tears? Are the unicorn tears provided or do you have to source them yourself?
2. Denial – Not just a river in Egypt, it’s also the spirit inside of you that encourages you to try to obtain the coveted item. HOW HARD CAN IT BE? I mean, I’ve found matching socks on laundry day and a silver lining to almost every ridiculous parenting situation so far. I can find this random toy.
3. Anger. What do you mean it sold out four weeks ago and can only be purchased from the back of a van for 700% of the recommended retail price? Capitalism is what is killing the spirit of this season. Why did they not make enough for everyone? Why didn’t they stock more of this clearly amazing item? Where did the retail supply chain fail? I MUST SPEAK TO A MANAGER.
4. Bargaining. This is where we play “Let’s make a deal.” You walk around the mall eyeing packages that are shaped like they might contain that which you are seeking. You’re searching Craigslist. You’ve called your credit card company to see if you could actually afford 700% over MSRP. Is the black market for kidneys actually a thing or is it a figure of speech? I’m just a mom, standing in front of a till, asking you to check in the back for one more Hatchimal.
5. Depression. That sinking feeling you get when you realize you won’t successfully complete your mission. There’s an overwhelming sadness that holiday victory will not be yours. You wanted so much to deliver on your child’s Christmas wish, but it’s hopeless. Cue the sad trombones.
6. Acceptance. At a certain point, you just have to make peace with the reality that this isn’t the year your kid is going to have that popular toy and that’s just going to have to be okay. There will be other years and other toys, but your kid only has one mom. And deep down, you know they wouldn’t have it any other way—and neither would you.