Children may get clothes for Christmas

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Yes, Virginia, there is a recession.

In what is shaping up to be a seriously grim holiday shopping season, retailers are projecting ("hoping" is a better word), that parents will buy "necessities," i.e. clothes, instead of electronic games and other high dollar purchases for their children this Christmas. This would be a great solution for Macy's but if the prediction comes true, there will be some unhappy kids this holiday season. Bottom line? You can't blame retailers for hoping that parents will just spend money differently.

A lot of us have thought for a long time that Christmas in America needed some adjusting. So here we are. But as a mother and a children's therapist, let me suggest that you don't buy young children clothes for Christmas. Teenagers may well want clothes but will be happier choosing it themselves (and you'll be a lot happier not standing in line for an exchange) - hence gift cards. For the 'tweens, it seems only fair to give them a head's up that this isn't going to be much of a year for electronics.

As for the little ones, there is so much to choose from in the classic toys. Consider a 64-pack of crayons and a stack of coloring books. Or for the slightly more advanced a good set of colored pencils or craypas, and an artist-quality drawing pad. Consider card games, Etch-a-Sketch, puzzles with their favorite animals, bags of small plastic animals -- ranches, farms -- and those big speckled cardboard blocks, Play-Doh. Bring back Mr. Potato Head.
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