It started a few weeks ago, at a friend's house where the kids are really into Pokemon keychains, of which Luke had exactly none. He hasn't loved Pokemon anything in several months, but for that afternoon, you would've thought he lost his dog, he was so sad about not having a handful of these keychains.
Then, at a birthday party yesterday, the newly-8-year-old boy got so many cool Star Wars presents that Luke actually turned green during present-opening. It doesn't matter that, at home, we have 3 lightsabers of our own, plus at least one floating around on loan from friends, or that we have so many Star Wars action figures, starships, books, playsets and Gameboy chips that we're swimming in them. Confronted with all this new, cool stuff, none of what we have at home really mattered.
And so, Ben and I look at each other and ask, what can we do about this extreme case of toy envy? I say extreme because for the last few weeks, Luke's been dedicated to the accumulation of more stuff. We hear things like, "I don't know what I'll do if I can't have Obi-Wan boots just like Sam's!" We are subject to tirades of whining, crying, begging to go to Target and buy... everything in the toy department.
We are considering removing quite a bit of the Star Wars stuff we've got - not permanently! we're not that mean - from Luke's room to help him appreciate what he already has.
Also, we'd like to find a way for Luke to see, up close with his own eyes, what true deprivation is by volunteering to help a poor family in some way (scant details as yet, but when we figure out how to do this, I'll be sure to document it in this space.)
Suggestions are appreciated...
And in the meantime, we'll re-watch The Story of Stuff (see the link, right over there ->) to help remind us that consumerism ain't everything.