This holiday season, I am really, truly, extremely, very much grateful for online streaming services. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +, you name it – anything but cable or satellite TV. DirecTV and Dish offer more channels and shows than streaming services, but each episode or sports game is served with a hearty helping of commercials. As a mother of three young children, I am relieved that my family is not exposed to all the toy and product advertisements that are rolled out in force this time of year.
We try to focus on the non-gift aspects of Christmas, such as looking at light displays, talking about Jesus’ birth, and making gingerbread houses. It’s so much easier to engage children in activities when they aren’t bombarded with images of other kids joyfully unwrapping towering stacks of expensive electronic gadgets every time they watch a show. Even if a parent limits TV time, the kids watch a few commercials and suddenly want every tablet and battery-operated motorcycle that they see.
Not watching all the toy commercials helps take the emphasis off receiving gifts. Now, we just need to work on those pesky holiday movies that revolve around one underdog character “rescuing” Christmas by finding a missing bag of toys/saving Santa/otherwise reminding young viewers that Christmas is about gifts. Because gifts shouldn’t be the focus of the season. Watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Netflix in my pajamas while drinking hot chocolate is.
Ha! But seriously, we’ll be streaming our Christmas cartoons this year, and I’ll be a merrier mom for it.