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Parents and Christmas Commercialism

"I am going to be broke. My boy just had to see the movie. He had to have the meal that went with it. He had to have the special toy and the watch, too."

"I don't want to spoil him, but his self-esteem will go down at school if he doesn't have these things. I'll feel like a bad parent."

"I want my kids to have everything I didn't have. It breaks my heart not to be able to give them what they want."….

- Comments of actual parents, collected by a Washington Post reporter, 1998

Is children's self-esteem really tied up in the things they possess?