When that must-have gift just isn’t going to happen

Some toys are in short supply this holiday season. Here’s how to help children deal with that disappointment.

For weeks, Jay Deitcher has been on the hunt for a specific Miles Morales: Spider-Man toy from Spidey and His Amazing Friends. “The thing that makes the toy special is Miles’s mask flips up to show his face,” Deitcher says. “My son is Black, and it would be great to have a Spider-Man figure that looks like him.”

But even though the father of two from Albany, New York, started shopping for Hanukkah earlier than usual, he has yet to track down the elusive toy, which is sold out at many retailers. “We were already expecting a shortage, so we got him most of his other presents,” he says. “If my son is disappointed, we’d just give tons of empathy and tell him how much we wish he had it, too. Disappointment about things like this is totally normal.”

Deitcher is not alone in worrying about a child’s disappointment when products aren’t available. Because of a complex web of delayed production due to the pandemic, scarcity of materials, higher freight prices, congested ports, and truck driver shortages, items like the latest iPhones and video game consoles have been hard to come by in certain regions. And those supply chain issues are also causing even early shoppers to have a hard time finding gifts.

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