“What are you going to ask Santa for Christmas?” I strategically asked my seven year old.

“An iPad.”

Things sure have changed since I asked Santa for that Little Orphan Annie Mansion over two decades ago.

Right now my two year old is playing a game on my new iPhone. He’s somehow figured out how to unplug it from the charger, slide over the access bar, select a game and play. He’s two! I doubt my kids will ever learn the Dewey Decimal system. They can’t even watch TV without a DVR.


“Mom! Something’s wrong with the remote control! I can’t pause my show!”

They find regular FM radio exceedingly frustrating.

“Mom, rewind that song. We like it.”

“I can’t. It’s radio. That’s it.”

“Come on Mom! Stop kidding around and just rewind the song!”


We cut our cable a couple of months ago. No more TV for us. A throw-back to simpler times, or so we thought. But now we all find ourselves huddled over our iPhones each evening in search of backlit entertainment. Who were we kidding?

I can’t even stand to read paper books anymore. I prefer them on a Kindle. My husband listens to several audio books a month via his iPod. He’s learned how to double the speed and now finds the regular mode painstakingly too slow. I expect him to start talking like that Micro Machines spokesman from 20 years ago, or an auctioneer any day now. Somehow actual page turning has become too laborious for the likes of us.

But I’m determined not to give in to an electronic Christmas this year. My kids are all still little enough to enjoy real, actual, clutter-my-life toys. Crafts, puzzles, Shrinky-Dinks…I’m even going to shell out for the Legos this year. Electronics will not own our leisure time!

Of course, since I can’t stand all of the hullabaloo at the stores this time of year, I’ll be doing all of my Christmas shopping online.


Margaret Anderson is a BYU graduate, freelance writer, returned missionary and mother of four small children. You can read more on her blog at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com