Monday, November 30, 2015

A Different Reason for the Season

I am VERY happy our two children are out of the buy-me-that-toy-for-Christmas phase; I'm sure they both wish their father were as well, but you can't have everything and in my house that's a lesson you can't learn often enough.

Almost two decades ago, I traipsed from store to store in search of Furby, an object whose appeal eluded me (and still does). Our little girl wanted one and that was good enough for me. I think she ended up with no more than two in the course of her growing up/my growing old though my recollection is that there were battalions of different models of these little dust bunnies available. I was always proud I resisted the temptation to train it to speak in incredibly rude sentences, but only just.

She, and we, collected beanie babies with a little more vigor than we pursued Furby, but their saving grace (when was the last time that phrase was used in connection with them?) was that you collected them all year long, they weren't specifically tied to this time of year (I keep visualizing the Gift of the Magi at the original Nativity where each of the Wise Men gives the Baby Jesus a different Beanie Baby. Just guaranteed myself another window seat on the bus to Hades.)

I know I've gotten old when I recoil in dismay reading about this year's hot toys though I needn't bother buying any of them for anyone. Star Wars toys we can pretend to be buying for nieces and nephews but never leave the original packaging and have a secret stash in the hall closet? Your secret is safe with me, my friend. I'm still working on who buys the Pie Face Game, from Hasbro. The 'why' I'm hoping is offered separately. 

I'm not sure how anyone can walk past one of the bell-ringers with the kettle this season and NOT put something in for those in need if they intend to give some of the stuff on the "hot toys" list to someone they know. And perhaps, in the spirit of the season, I should take it a little easier on these toys, and the people who give them, except we both know before the holiday season is over we'll read or watch reports of adult shoppers coming to physical violence over a store's last shipment of something and someone, somewhere will set up a cottage industry (if it hasn't happened already) on-line to sell all the accessories every child of all ages will ever want or need. 

And if the past is the prelude to the future, in a couple of years, as part of local collections to help the hungry and indigent, all of our now older children will be donating their now unwanted hot toys of Christmases Past to those in need of a roof or a warm coat. I promise when that happens to NOT point out that no one wanted a Jedi Master Lightsaber and we'll all pretend this will constitute a happy ending, at least until the next trend.
-bill kenny

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