money, shopping

Boxy Girls

I saw a commercial on TV while visiting a friend, and it stuck with me. And disgusted me a bit.

Or a lot.

Have you heard of Boxy Girls? (It’s an awful name I know, but clicking that link is SFW.)

These are dolls that come with 4 boxes of accessories for you to “unbox” with them.

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I know unboxing is a huge YouTube thing, and I’ve seen kids watch videos of other kids (or adults, yikes!) unboxing toys and getting excited about adding a bunch of plastic to their collections.

I don’t mean to be all down on people’s hobbies, but the whole concept of unboxing seems so heavily focused on consumerism and having more More MORE! And it’s disgusting. Why do you have to buy so much? What satisfaction do you get from recording these unboxings? What satisfaction do people get from watching these unboxings? I’ve tried, and have to stop when we hit the 2 minute mark and all I’ve seen is the box from all possible angles. JUST OPEN IT!

I understand being excited to open something. Hell, I got excited to open my monthly Subscribe & Save boxes, and they were just things like dish soap or cleaning products. But I never felt the compulsion to record these and make it like some great reveal meant to inspire envy in others. Now there is a toy you can buy (and unbox! since it’s “As Seen on TV”) and then unbox her boxes! Wait – would you record your unboxing of the doll, then record HER recording HER unboxing of the accessories? So meta.

If you want to watch unboxings on YouTube, why don’t you give Dylan Marron some views and exercise your brain?

holidays, money, shopping


I used to love getting presents. I would snoop in my parents’ closet weeks before my birthday or Christmas, trying to sneak a peek of the toys they bought me. As I grew older, I still liked gifts, though they became more practical, like books or bags or stuff for my home.

Now when I think of giving a gift, I like to think of it as giving an experience. I like giving someone tickets to a play or concert they’ve wanted to go to. I like taking my son to the Children’s Museum or the zoo and leaving without a souvenir. His memories can be his souvenirs. (And, let’s be honest – I’ve taken plenty of pictures we can look over.)

Some of my favorite gifts have been tickets to an event: on my 16th birthday I got two floor seats to an upcoming Aerosmith show; for Christmas two years ago I got tickets to the musical Matilda; for two occasions I’ve gotten tickets to see Jerry Seinfeld live… I can remember these all so clearly. But other gifts are harder to remember, unless it’s something I use often and can remember when I got it, or unless I see pictures from the party or gathering and see what I unwrapped.

I don’t think experiences need to be saved to be given as gifts. We recently treated my son to Bubble Guppies Live! because it was in town for one night only, and it is one of his favorite shows. But overall, my favorite type of gift to get is an experience – and it doesn’t have to be an event! The act of being together, doing something together, is the actual gift. A handwritten coupon for a homemade dinner is just as great an experience – especially if the coupon includes the giver doing the dishes afterwards!