They started right after Halloween.


“It’s the super duper Lego Power Ranger Elmo Star Wars action set!”


“My pretty, pretty, sparkling and shiny unicorn ponies!”


 “It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s the robotic hover craft helicopter! Results may very.”


They scream at me from my television screen. They splash across the ads mailed to me in the guise of magazines. They’re featured in displays, movies, cereals, and the end caps of grocery stores. They’re everywhere. And every single time my kids see them, I’m given a second phase of the onslaught as the beg me for this toy or that game. I stare at them in bemusement. I thought I’d done a good job in teaching them it’s not about the toys, what you get. It’s about what you give – in time and gifts of love. Obviously, I was expecting concepts a bit too big for children under five.


Maybe I should have explained those concepts with glitter and loud music.


The only thing worse than the commercials is the onslaught of contests.


“Mama! We can win a family four pack to DISNEYLAND if we buy this cereal.”


“Mama! We can win a trip to the beach if we order now!”


No matter how many times I try to explain the impossibility of us winning the prize, Joseph stumps me with his optimism. “But will someone win?”


“I’m sure.”


“Why can’t it be me?”


Trying to explain the laws of probability to a five-year-old will just lead to frustration. So I sigh and say, “You don’t even like that cereal.”


Have the commercials always been this bad? Have I only started noticing now that I have a child old enough to listen and parrot back the special, one time offers? I love Christmas, but it’s all starting to make me feel a tad bit Grinch-like. What do you do to cope with Christmas Commercial Overload? Do you put a hiatus on the television watching? Do you hide the ads?