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Christmas Traps
by Dylan Reinhart., Grade 6, St. Anne's Elementary School, Peterborough, ON

You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I'm telling you why.

Christmas is covered in traps. They leave you when you're patient, they snap when you're in a rush. Don't worry about being good or bad, because they are sensitive when you're mad!

When the Christmas season comes around many people get angry, annoyed, and anxious. All of those people are what you would call - goal-oriented. Other people are patient, thankful and understanding - they are process-oriented people.

Take a guess about what is happening in this example. On Christmas Day a child get 15 presents from his family. He then says, "this Christmas was great!" even though it was a lot worse than their last Christmas. If you said this child was process-oriented, you are right. That kid is process-oriented because he thought about all the work his parents had to do to be able to provide him with his presents.


There are many Christmas traps that people who are goal oriented fall into.

The first one is the 'I want exactly this' trap. That trap is a trap that may drive parents crazy. I'll give you an example: you may have heard of the robotic pets: Meochi, Poochi, Super Poochi, Techno and Rocket. Let's say a kid want a Poochi, but on Christmas Day gets a Rocket. Kids who fall into this trap may say, "Mom, I wanted Poochi, not Rocket! This is the worst Christmas ever and you are the worst mom!" That child is goal-oriented and fell very much into the 'I want exactly this' trap.

The second trap I want to tell you about is one I like to call the 'advertisement influence' trap. This trap includes television and radio commercials and other types of ads. Including magazines. I have a subscription to a magazine named Disney Adventures. In the December issue they showed pictures of toys and wrote articles about them. For example, they gave a very brief description for the Cricket Mountain Board. Like all commercials they did not provide detailed information about it or any problems it may have. That ad along with other advertisements influence kids to bug their parents to get them that item for Christmas. Then, when they do get it, they find there is assembly required, or some other flaw.

The third trap is the 'last-minute shopping' trap - the week of Christmas. The reason last minute shopping is a trap is because lots of people shop on the week of Christmas. However, by then lots of the toys kids want are sold out. So what happens? People have to settle for the less popular game or toy. They think, well it a Christmas present the kid will like and its fine. You have to settle for it and it is better than no present. The child gets the toy and is happy with it. The child who say that is process-orients unlike the shopper who is goal-oriented. What the shopper didn't understand is that by running out Christmas Eve to buy a gift the process of thoughtful giving is lessened. Christmas isn't a one-day thing. Advent is part of Christmas and that is when process-orient people shop. Not Christmas Eve.

The last trap is the 'Christmas sensing' trap. This trap gets you extra excited about Christmas. It makes your eyes, ears and nose play tricks on you. Please note: Rudolf's nose wasn't playing a trick on him. It's like that all year long. This trap may make you see stuff that really isn't there like the word Reindeer instead of Reinhart in the title of this story. (ha, ha) This can happen to kids,parents, grandparents, and teachers. The smell of christmas candy, the singing of Christmas carols, the colorful packaging on christmas toys, the glowing lights of store signs. Wherever you go, there is something that reminds you of Christmas and entices you to spend more than you may have wanted. That is why the 'Christmas sensing' trap is the hardest to avoid.

My advise to you, Christmas shoppers
Watch out for the traps. Try to appreciate the present you get, whether it's Super Poochi or Techno. Don't forget to think about how much your parents have to work to make Christmas special for you.

Do you know the Christmas carol 'Its the most wonderful time of the year'. Keep that carol true! Don't forget the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Christ.

Keep Christ in Christmas.

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