I’m going to test your memory a little, think back, what is the first Christmas present from Santa you ever got? Since my birthday was this week, and I added another year, it does seem to be getting a little more difficult. But I do remember, it was a Tonka toy, a three wheel car with Police on the side, it must have been a meter maid’s or something. We were home at the Grand folks, and Santa must have found me there. A few days later when we got back to Savannah, I remember it was late in the evening, but I had to sit in the car while Mom and Dad checked out the house before I could go in, and what do you know, Santa had been there too.
I even got a “Dennis the menace” crash helmet. When Momma left us I found them in her attic, all these years later. Mom never threw away anything. I’ve got them now, but one day, when my kids are cleaning out my stuff, well I guess they will finally be gone.
I guess what got me to thinking of this, I really haven’t seen any toy commercials on TV this year, come to think of it, except for the Toys “R” Us ones, none really. I don’t count video games, to me they aren’t really toys. Toys are things you have to use your imagination for, I don’t play them, but from the outside looking in, it looks like your imagining is done for you.
Have you noticed something lately, just about every other commercial you see is for a cell phone or one of those tablets? Like most folks I have both, and I use them, but I sometimes wonder if they’re really all that great for a eight-year-old. I remember one time we took Granddaddy’s saw horses, and threw Momma’s throw rugs across them for saddles; we played Roy Rogers for days. We all had two gun rigs, and a piece of rope we found somewhere. We rode the plains for hours. I wonder if the kids today could still do that. That’s without Google-ing how to do it.
That’s like the Sears Toy Catalog, I haven’t seen one in years. Do you remember those? We waited, and waited on that every year. Then we’d fight over it. Man, they had toys we never heard of, and to be honest could only dream about. Like a car you could actually get in and drive. Of course they were way out of most Santas’ budgets.
Every year Momma would hand us an ink pen and tell us to circle and write our names on three or four things she had to tell Santa about, oh sure we had to write him a letter, but she did too. I guess I’ll never forget the Christmas I wasn’t a kid anymore, that year I got a small black and white TV. I was proud as I could be, but when I saw Joby and Roger playing with their toys, I kind of felt left out. But the kid in me could help it, when they weren’t looking, I’d sneak off and play with them for a little while, the spirit of a child is a hard thing to lose.
But like I said, I’ve gotten a little older this week and Christmas around the Bruce household has rolled with the tide. No longer for my girls are there tricycles and baby dolls; it’s clothes, and all kinds of female do-dads. But every year, Santa still comes to my kids, and some where among the perfume and pocketbooks, a doll baby still smiles at them on Christmas morn.
I know we try to give our kids all they could possibly ask for on Christmas, every generation tries to out do the last. But let’s not over do it, so they lose one of a child’s greatest gifts, their imagination, for if we do …
One day Santa will slip away too, and be just a memory.
You can reach Robbin Bruce by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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