by Lisa Sisley on December 21, 2011

My 7-year-old nephew Nathan is one of the best people I know—smart, funny, kind and loyal. He also knows his own mind when it comes to gift giving. We had our family Christmas this weekend, and I thought he was going to explode as he jumped up and down and watched his mom, my sister Allison, carefully unwrap her present from him (she is not a ripper-tearer like I am). We already had an inkling that this was going to be something special because my brother-in-law Brian told us, “Nathan saw this on TV and knew she’d really like it.”

And this is what she unwrapped.

Chia Tree

Yes, a Chia Christmas Tree. A “tree-a,” if you will. With a star on top. As Brian shared with us that they had to visit multiple KC-area Kmarts and make a few calls to other stores to track one down, per Nathan’s vehement insistence, my husband Ken and I laughed so hard we cried. Silently, pretty much strangling ourselves not to make a peep, because we’re not ogres, we didn’t want Nathan to see us laughing. Our daughter Anne punched me to make me behave, with little effect.

Allison is a tasteful person and has a well-appointed house, to say the least. The thought of a Chia Christmas Tree blooming away on her kitchen window ledge was more than Ken and I could stand. And of course, I made sure to tell her how much I was looking forward to checking on the tree-a’s status throughout the coming year.

The marketing implications of this little story are two-fold (and not very profound, but they still bear repeating):

  1. TV ads remain very, very effective, despite DVRs, fast forwarding and the mute button.
  2. Kids control a lot of family spending.

The more important point is this: something about the Chia Christmas Tree said “mom” to Nathan (the rest of us are still trying to figure out exactly what that was), and the little sweetie persisted until he had tracked down this perfect gift. He was absolutely as excited to see her open the tree-a as he was to open his Dr. Dreadful Zombie Lab (“Eat Everything You Make!”). And that made this a Christmas as good as any I’ve seen on TV.