"What do you want for Christmas?" we ask our kids every November. They might start with something crazy, like when my son wanted a GoPro camera, so you gently steer them down the road to "What do you want that Santa can actually afford, and that you won't break in two seconds?"
And when you finally land on an item that is both your child's wish and something you're willing and able to buy...well, obviously it is Purchase of the Year. And you have about a month to do the shopping.
The question was theoretical. Maybe if someone were actually in a store that ran out of, say, Hasbro's My Magical Unicorn, they would log on to a website and just order it rather than physically harm someone. After all, since the 1996 Tickle Me Elmo craze, there hasn't been a toy that was really, truly hard to get ahold of.
But, as my coworker reminded me, it's not just the threat of a gift disappearing before you can buy it—it's the idea that you need to buy it on the right day, when the best sale happens. That might be Black Friday or Cyber Monday or part of some Christmas-Countdown sale, but the pressure, she points out, is to not just get the gift but also score a deal.
All of which is fairly exhausting. So maybe the real question is, "Would you knock down another person to have all your holiday shopping done with?" Most everyone would still say "of course not," but...a little part of us might fantasize about it.
Jessica Hartshorn is Entertainment Editor of Parents magazine.