Was Mr. Gates The Grinch to his kids’ Christmas this year?

Bill Gates created a decent amount of hatred and anger towards him over the holiday season this year. Not because of Microsoft itself or indeed any of his business endeavors. No, everyone is so annoyed with Mr. Gates because of the gifts he gave to his kids for Christmas this year. Perhaps a petty spark for an argument, but it does raise a good question about the lives of the families of big business CEOs.

You see, Gates’ two daughters and his son all wanted Apple products for Christmas this year; iPads, Macbooks, apparently the norm for many this year. However, I’d imagine they weren’t too pleased with what Daddy Claus left them under his big Microsoft tree. Nope, not Apple products, rather Microsoft Surfaces. Melinda Gates had this to say to Radio 4 in the UK about the kerfuffle:

Asked whether her two daughters and son had asked for an iPod, she replied “of course they ask”.

“But they get Windows technology,” she added.

“The wealth from our family came from Microsoft so why would we invest in a competitor?”

Cult of Mac’s John Brownlee answers her question for us:

“Because it’s Christmas, and on Christmas, you try to get people the things they actually want instead of the things you egocentrically want for them to want”

Now, this raises the question of whether the parents of the Gates family were ‘Grinches’ because they gave Windows products rather than iOS or Mac OS X. The easy answer would be: “no, because it’s the thought that counts” followed by a handful of points about morality of kids and how Christmas isn’t about being materialistic etc.

But when you dig deeper into the question, you’ll think further than just the predictable clichés. I know we’d all hate to admit it, but I reckon that for most of us, Christmas is about giving and receiving gifts. Sure, you’ll spend time with family and possibly celebrate religious events, but for many, the presents make it special. And when the child of a multi-billionaire asks for a present, I’d imagine that they expect it. But does that make Bill Gates a ‘Grinch’? Well, probably not, but he still shouldn’t have let his business mindset get in the way of his kids’ Christmas, nor should he have forced his ideas upon them, but that’s just my opinion.

Once again I’ll refer to Cult of Mac to leave you with this to think about: “how can a guy like Bill Gates, one of the most generous philanthropists on Earth, so misunderstand the point of seasonal giving?”

Whatever you think about the situation, leave your opinion in the comments below.


Via: Cult of Mac


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  • lean6rtj2

    Important lesson behind these Microsoft gifts, if you ask me. These kids have the lives of privilege that they enjoy because of these products. Because of that, they were not only born into privilege, but also into some level of responsibility until such time that they are ready and willing to talk to/fend off the media themselves. They can go buy their own Apple products if they want them badly enough. That would be like a team founder betting against his former franchise. You don’t have to bet on them, but it’s foul to bet against them.

  • Goldenzeal

    They should be taken off the will for even asking.

  • Ted Rakowski

    The children should be the ones to understand the horn of plenty and have the sensitivity to perhaps suppress all desire for Apple. If this is not the case then something is not working perfectly within the family.

  • Guest911

    I think you are missing the bigger picture. Bill Gates’ own kids prefer Apple products. That fact itself would drive him nuts. Who cares about gifts!

  • guest

    children choose what their friends have, not because it a superior product but because that is what they think they have to have… I do not like apple products, but i am aware that they make a good product…. i stll believe that android or even microsoft is a better option, so my kids get them, and once i show them that they do more and easier…. were all smarter.

  • RaduTanasescu

    Bill has shareholders in mind. Immagine the headline “Gates family uses Apple products”.
    Plus, Gates and Balmer never really understood what makes people want Apple products. They see no reason why their children would want them. In this respect their own kids understand the industry better, this is what Jobs was referring to when he said Microsoft has no taste.
    I think it’s also personal. After all it must suck for your own children not to want your products.
    But lets not cry them a river, when I was a child I would have never dreamt of having any kind of high tech gadget or computer. I would have been happy with any, Apple or not. And I was, my first PC was a 5×86 computer, the Pentium 3 had already come out but I didn’t care.

  • Cento

    @guest Or in assuming you know whats best, you are making your kids dumber.

  • Jasper

    He wasn’t being the grinch. I wish I could’ve gotten a surface or anything for that matter for Christmas. I bought my own PS3 that I had been saving up for as my Christmas present so these kids shouldn’t be complaining. Seriously? The already privileged demand more? Get it yourself.

  • ramon1093

    Just a question. If he had gave the ipads and mac books, what would be the title of this article?