Tuesday, December 12

All I Want For Christmas or What a Parent Won’t Do

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Shopping for that One Toy your Child Dreams of for Christmas…

The yuletime season is upon us and this year I have launched the Santa Claus madness for my son full on. We went to see Santa at the mall, we wrote a letter, we watch every Santa Christmas special on TV. It’s no wonder with all the lore he is expecting certain things of Santa, like Gordon, the blue engine.

For those of you who do not have four-year-olds at home, Gordon is part of the Thomas the Tank Engine set. Every Christmas has its it toy and though this year there seems to be no Furby or Cabbage Patch madness, the it toy for me is Gordon.

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Let me tell you, in this city of three and a half million and surely thousands of toy stores, there is not one Gordon to be found. I looked and looked and then looked some more. Now, this has to be a special Gordon, the plastic one made by Trackmaster, not the wooden one, because the little munchkin has a set of tracks and other engines by Trackmaster and he likes to lie on the floor and watch the trains go by.

This is the first year he believes in Santa, therfore Santa could not disappoint. So my family and I scoured the city for Gordon. By the 19th, Gordon grew to the size of the French TGV at least.

I naively thought I was the only one who got caught in this madness so I didn’t tell anyone outside of my immediate circle about the Gordon quest. But one shopping episode showed me the error of my ways.

I went to a toy store at the Toronto Eaton Center in the vain hopes that I would find something Gordon-related. The store was packed with parents getting stuff for their little cherubs. I did not see a man crouching in front of a display of dolls. I bumped him and he almost went flying to the floor. I apologized profusely, but he said “Don’t worry, it is way too crowded here.”

Then he wailed “All I want is Cinderella with a plain dress on. Not the ball dress, we have that one!

Me: “All I want is Gordon” I chimed in. Oh, how I felt  his pain!

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I related these incidents to my husband and he reminded me of one he witnessed at WalMart a few years ago. An older lady was shopping during the Christmas rush. She spoke very little English and was clearly instructed by a granddaughter to get the monkey character “Boots” from the Dora the Explorer cartoon.

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She went up to a salesperson and with plenty of hand gestures said both loudly and with great care of pronunciation: “Dora – Boots!” Large emphasis on the word “Boots!”

The salesperson took her to the shoe section and showed her their array of winter boots. “No, no!” the lady got impatient. “DoraBoots!” Back to the shoe section.

Finally someone took pity and explained to the salesperson that the lady was most likely looking for a stuffed monkey named Boots. Try the toy section. I beleive that the gentle elderly woman’s efforts were rewarded with this desired toy.

This is how our story ends.

Merry Christmas, Good Luck Shopping for Your Child’s Toy, & Happy Holidays!

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