Because I like lists and because I like Christmas and because I like toys and playing with them (though I am way beyond the age at which one should admit to such things) here is the list of the top 12 toys for Christmas 2007 as chosen by The Toy Retailers association (in alphabetical order):-
- Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old – Hasbro
- Baby Annabell® New V4 – Zapf
- Barbie Girls – Mattel
- Doctor Who Dalek Sec Hybrid Voice Changer Mask – Character
- Flytech Dragonfly – Character
- Golden Balls – Vivid
- GR8 Art Bindeez Super Deluxe Studio Centre – Character
- In The Night Garden – Blanket Time Igglepiggle-Hasbro
- Puppy Grows and Knows Your Name – Mattel
- Roary R/C Car – Vivid
- Say What? – Radica
- Transformers Movie Leader: Optimus Prime – Hasbro
I am pleased to see one baby in there, being of the Tiny Tears generation, and of course I would have loved to have a dalek mask or a growing puppy! In fact, can I have a growing puppy?….
Have I got anything spiritual to say about this?
Only that I wouldn’t put much store by a list like this, children are notoriously fickle in their attentions and what is so important to them today, that they genuinely believe they might expire if they don’t get, it is forgotten tomorrow. Parents on the other hand can use a list like this to bludgeon both themselves, each other and other parents with – particularly in cases of divorce one-upmanship. We’ve all heard the stories of frantic parents trying to bribe store workers to smuggle them out that key doll or paying unfeasible amounts on ebay. Of course parents focus on these things as an expression of love for their children or, in fact, as a substitute for spending money on themselves. But it’s spiritually bankrupt to put so much store in things that it compromises standards of decent behaviour because it focuses so much on the temporal and the corruptible not the eternal.
Christmas particularly highlights the obsession with the physical in Western culture our faith in science and the tangible makes us put our faith in things, it’s as simple as that. Yet this is where it gets interesting because Christmas is about touching the intangible, it is about the spiritual becoming physical, the problem we have with it is that the divine becomes physical but doesn’t conform to our expectations of what it means to be physical. So Christ isn’t born in Herod’s palace with all the associations wealth brings and which we are pursuing when we physically fight off other parents, he’s born to a couple of peasants in a humble house in a nothing village in an oppressed country. Christ’s life was miles away from the comfortable warm existence most of us live but he remained true to what humanity should be, and free of the physicality that drives us to determine to buy our children a Dalek mask that will be disguarded on Boxing Day – whatever the cost.
His is not the physicality we think we want but actually it’s the easiest way to being physically free.
I still want a Growing Puppy though…and I rest my case.