Monday, January 21, 2008

They Just Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To...

...and that is not a bad thing at all.

My son turned eleven last week. We had a party for him on Saturday, downstairs in the Young Life building. We borrowed and scraped together two XBoxes, a PlayStation2 and a video projection unit. The XBoxes were going full-time and the projection unit alternated between PS2's Dance Dance Revolution (an interactive dance game where kids choose a song and then go head-to-head testing their dance skills on pressure sensitive pads, following the directions given to them on the screen--very fun to watch), and a sci-fi movie on the big screen (actually a white shower curtain hung on the wall, but don't tell). Between the multiple screens and the air hockey and pool table, and the pizza and junk food that I set out for them, the boys stayed very busy and very happy for five full hours.

Tano's friends report that it was one of the best birthday parties ever. Aside from a couple of hours of technical set-up, it was fairly easy to put together and very low-maintenance once it got rolling. And with the food being the only expense, it was also inexpensive--a good combination all around.

But this 21st century birthday party with all its high-technology was not the only new, hip and cool thing about the day for the boy. I don't know if the whole country is moving this direction, or if it is only a local phenomenon, but either way, I'm liking it: kids are moving toward just tucking a $10 bill into a birthday card and forgoing the traditional gift-giving. Around here, it just makes sense, as stores are far away, but also, at this age, what can you really get a kid for a reasonable amount of money, considering all the other parties your kids will be invited to over the course of the year? The moms here are homing in on the fact that this is easier, cheaper, and actually more desirable to the birthday boy/girl.

Tano raked in $100 in cash, not including grandparents' gifts.

That's a lot of green for a kid. Including a few of the dollars from grandparents, he has spent a total of $109 in the last twenty-four hours. But get this--we have helped him become a very smart little eBay second-hand shopper, so here's what he has to show for Saturday's little birthday party: his own XBox game system with four controllers and fifteen games included AND a pair of Heelys skate shoes with the cool little wheels--both things he has been salivating over for years. They will arrive later this week. And yes, that $109 includes shipping.

Whoosh. That's a little different than a Nerf football, a model car kit and some Legos. Times have changed.

He has a bit of cash leftover and is now scanning for an inexpensive MP3 player to replace the one that he bought with last year's birthday money. That one was stolen out of Daddy's truck when the truck was stolen back in the fall. Once he has his tunes back, he will be all geared up.



Sherry C said...

A note on the fifteen XBox games included with his game system:

After doing a little research on the titles, I've concluded that he will get to keep eleven of those games. The others he can put back up on eBay. He knows that at least a couple of them will be re-sold--it was part of the deal from the start.

Think of it like a rebate, we tell him.

Mister Ed T said...

Wow Soundas great. What a changing world we live in.
Glad you are teaching him shopping values. Maybe you could add that to "You might be a Young Lifer if..."

Anonymous said...

How timely it was that I should read your post... Trey has a friend's b-day party tomorrow for which he's stuffing a 10-spot into a card, too. Loving the affirmation! Glad to hear Tano had a great day. T&L will look forward to playing the "Box" with him this summer! Laura