How a local family feels about the change in trends for children’s holiday gifts

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Professor in Advertising and Public Relations Dr. Pat Huddleston said there has been a dramatic change in when holiday advertising begins.

Local father of three from East Lansing Todd Vanderbur says his kids’ Christmas wish lists are always changing, and shopping for all of them has created a diverse shopping cart.

Lizzy Lafave

Vanderbur

“I think it was Best Buy that was the first big one to stay open for Thanksgiving,” said Huddleston. “Other stores feel like they need to meet the competition, so we started seeing Sears and Kohl’s and JCPenney staying open as well.”

Local father of three from East Lansing Todd Vanderbur says his kids’ Christmas wish lists are always changing, and shopping for all of them has created a diverse shopping cart.

“My kids range in age from 24 to 13,” said Vanderbur. “The 24-year-old wants tires for his car, 21-year-old wants a new car and my 13-year-old, Addy, wants a hedgehog.”

While Addy may not have asked for a fancy gadget for Christmas this year, Vanderbur says that is only because her phone takes care of most all her gadget needs, or wants.

“After she got her phone, she was set with electronics,” said Vanderbur. “If Addy didn’t have her phone, then yes I know she would be pestering me for one, or an iPad, or both.”

The need for the smartest and shiniest electronics started young for Addy when she asked for her first ipod.

“Addy started asking for an ipod when she was 8 or 9,” said Vanderbur. “She was 10 before she got one, but it definitely fueled her need for more. Soon after she was asking for a phone.”

Vanderbur says he has no doubt this is because of all the exposure she has to trends in electronics.

“We’ve been seeing increased advertising of electronics to kids for a long time now, and it increases all the time. “ said Vanderbur.

Addy said that the number of electronic toys has increased along with the ads about electronics.

“Basically all of the toys I see are some kind of robot toy or something that needs batteries,” she said.

Vanderbur says there is one gift that will always wins against every other gift — no matter how advanced and shiny the gadget.

“The one thing I will say, the gift that still trumps everything — puppy,” said Vanderbur.

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