I had a discussion with my sister last night. She asked what the kids want for Christmas (not that she ever goes by the suggestions anyway). I told her whatever she thinks the kids will like but we would only like wood, fabric, wax, etc. I even said if she would like to grab one of the fallen branches in her backyard, cut in slices with her big saw, and sand the blocks down it would be a wonderful gift for all four kids. She thought that was nuts - I was just trying to save her some shopping and money since they're strapped right now. I also said books are great and always read many, many times. I said she could use her sewing skills, she really is very good, to make something. Play food, costumes, a doll sling or hammock. It would save her lots of money and she has the time.
Then she went into how she's the only one who gives the kids 'real' gifts and 'normal' gifts. She doesn't want the kids to be 'freaks who've never played with normal toys'. She said she feels she is doing the kids a great favor by giving them mainstream plastic toys. Last year she asked if my daughter likes hanna montana. I said she doesn't know who that is. She asked is my daughter likes barbie. I said she used to have one but never played with it and chose to donate it. So what did she get my daughter? You guessed it - a hanna montana barbie doll. She was even so kind as to take it out of the package 'because you'll just return it'.
Do you feel like others give your child 'normal' toys because that's what they think is best for them?