Dec

18

Last night I visited the local EB Games store with the idea of picking up a few DVDs for my kids. While I was there I took a look around at the videogame equipment, immersed myself in the state of the art, which is currently Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. It appears PS3 is the 'it' game right now, and is selling out. Amazon says: We are currently out of stock. Allocations of the PS3 have been very limited but we are working with Sony to secure future allocations. We will send email notifications and provide updates on the product detail page as well as in the customer discussions on the this page when we have availability. At the EB Games store, several parents had glommed onto the salesclerk, hoping he had tips on where to get a PS3. Then one parent said she'd heard the local Circuit City was "getting a shipment of 17 units in Monday morning," and the chatter turned to how early (5am, 4am, 3am?) to get to the parking lot to camp out pre-open on Monday for the privilege of buying a toy that costs more than a computer. For a second I thought (hoped?) they were joking, but soon realized they weren't. In a rare display of good sense (that didn't even require my wife's kicking me in the shins) I refrained from joining the conversation. Had I chimed in, I'd have offered:

Forget the Wii/PS3/XBOX360. Instead, write on a piece of paper: My gift to you: every week of 2007, all 52, I will walk with you in the woods on Sunday afternoon at [around us, Brett Woods, Devil's Den, Lake Mohegan would be appropriate] for an hour. We'll look at the frogs and turtles in the summer, the deer and turkeys in the winter. And for the entire hour, I'll listen to you, with my full attention, and without offering criticism, advice or suggestions. Then, tear up the piece of paper (your 12 year old would think it's some sort of trick anyway) but commit fully to it in your heart. And on Christmas day, tell him you have a special gift, but can't deliver it until next year.

Mike Desaulniers adds:

And for the entire hour, I'll listen to you, with my full attention, and without offering criticism, advice or suggestions.

As a gift, this is technically cheating, because, of course, this is when you get the most back from them. But they don't realize that.


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