As we barrel past Halloween in the next few days, many thoughts will turn to the holidays–and getting gift buying out of the way! Dr. David Elkind puppyaddresses several issues concerning gifts to kids in this blog post.

I am not a cynical or skeptical person, but I do believe that when dealing with businesses, we have to always be on the alert. Businesses are in the business of making money. They are not in the business of keeping our or our children’s best interests in mind.

Toys are for fun. Toys are for pretending. Toys are for being active. Toys are for relaxing. And when those things are in place, toys are then for learning and growing.

Anything more or less is junk. Or pure unadulterated “make a buck off a kid” marketing. Businesses really cannot have it both ways, saying that a “toy” promotes responsibility and caring–and then making it impossible for a child to be responsible and caring. (I say impossible because a child with the toy but without the money, ie, most children, cannot play. This has always been my main problem with Pokemon as well.)

Imagine being a child and still learning about the world. What message does this “toy” send? If I don’t have money, I can’t be caring? I can take care of things for a while, but when it becomes inconvenient then it’s ok to let things die? Or playtime, leisure time, down time can only happen if I have money?

Webkinz is not selling a toy here. They are selling a product to make a buck, pure and simple.

Where’s their responsibility? Maybe they played too long, didn’t pony up, and are now inured to what real life caring and responsibility are like.

Shop wisely this season,