Christmas disappointments: Are books the new clothes?

This YouTube video has been making the rounds of the book and e-book blogs lately, so far be it from me not to join the crowd. In it, a three-year-old is nonplused at opening a Christmas present and discovering it contains not toys but books.

His parents explain in a comment that this was essentially the boy’s first Christmas where he was old enough to understand what was going on, and Christmas’s presentation in the media gave him a fairly lopsided picture of what you’re “supposed” to get for Christmas. He does like books, he just wasn’t expecting them.

A number of grinches have apparently disliked and posted extremely negative comments about the review, but I find it rather charming actually. Kids that age aren’t old enough to know how they’re “supposed” to react, and sometimes that innocence can be fun to watch even if they have a negative reaction.

And I’m pretty sure I remember reacting in a similar fashion to getting clothes for Christmas when I was a kid. (I probably would have been thrilled by books. Even at that age I was already a voracious self reader.) Even after I learned better, I still never liked them.

At eBookNewser, Jason Boog wonders if the kid would have reacted the same way to getting e-books for Christmas. While it’s hard to say given that e-books are notoriously hard to gift, I would guess not—as I mentioned in September, studies have shown that kids love e-book reading.

Books for Christmas? Poo!
About Chris Meadows (4158 Articles)
TeleRead Editor Chris Meadows has been writing for us--except for a brief interruption--since 2006. Son of two librarians, he has worked on a third-party help line for Best Buy and holds degrees in computer science and communications. He clearly personifies TeleRead's motto: "For geeks who love books--and book-lovers who love gadgets." Chris lives in Indianapolis and is active in the gamer community.

4 Comments on Christmas disappointments: Are books the new clothes?

  1. Sorry, I have to disagree. This kid is old enough to have some manners, like being thankful for a gift, even if it isn’t what you expect.

    None of my kids have ever reacted that way to a gift, no matter the age (they certainly all loved getting books and clothes). When they were very young, they were always prompted to thank the giver as well. If one of my kids had acted that way, he or she would have been reprimanded and that would have been the end of the gift opening. The parent’s laughter was completely wrong, giving the kid the impression that how he behaved was cute and funny, instead of wrong.

    That kid is a spoiled brat and will only get worse with age. There’s another video that went viral a few years ago of a 16-year-old girl whose wealthy father gave her a brand new sports car for her birthday. Any other normal kid would have been over the moon but all she could do was complain about the color. She wanted red and it was blue. Even her brother, who was filming it, couldn’t believe it. That will be that boy in 12 years or so.

  2. Common Sense: …Dude, he’s 3. There is quite likely a /diaper/ under his onesie.

    …Hell, he’s wearing a /onesie./ Cut him a little slack.

  3. I agree with Common Sense. This year will be the 33rd Christmas for my children and every one of those Christmases included books as gifts — both to the children and from the children to me. Never has one of my children reacted like the video child to any gift — whether liked or not — but particularly not to books. When my kids opened book gifts at the video child’s age, they often would stop opening presents and ask someone to read the book to them. The video child acted as he did because he parents have failed to instill in him the idea that books contain knowledge and knowledge is the greatest gift of all.

  4. This is so funny and so cute I love this video.. I think some people that judge a three year old is a little off.

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