Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Personal Christmas Toy Hot List

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

This week, the ten hottest toys list for the 2012 Christmas Season was released.

All the usual suspects were there on the list.  Most notable: There is a doll set featuring the Most Favorite "Fill in the Blank" boy band.  Also, apparently, Furby is back, or retro Furby.

I don't remember the rest because quite frankly, I never paid attention to the list when my kids were toy-buying age.  And, I don't have grand kids yet or anybody I can buy toys for this year.

A part of me kind of admires the parents and grandparents that always strive to get the best or latest and greatest toys for the kids on their Christmas shopping list.  They're the ones that will stand out in front of the store for two days in the bitter cold to be the first to get the best, latest, and greatest for their children.

But, in my case, from personal experience, those are not the gifts that stand out in my mind.  My favorite gifts, that I received when I was a kid...the ones that stand out in my memory were not the latest and greatest at the time.  They didn't even show up at Christmas time or have a bow and wrapping paper on them.

Like the time, when my Dad, after teaching my brother and I how to play baseball with old mitts and bats surprised us one spring afternoon with brand new Rawlings Baseball Mitts.  But it really wasn't the glove, which I still have to this day, that was the special thing.  It was really the vehicle to many wonderful afternoons playing catch and talking with my Dad about stuff that had nothing to do with baseball.

My Grandma Florie would always send me a subscription for National Geographic as a gift.  She would do this for many years through my late teens.  At first, I didn't really appreciate it until I had received a few issues.

Through amazing photographs and stories, I learned about life beyond my four walls through that magazine.  It was like traveling to other places and having wonderful adventures.  I learned about Space Exploration and about other lands that I wanted to visit.  That gift was special...because I received a wonderful education.

When I was a little boy, my Dad and Mom didn't really like to go out in public to watch movies that much.  I think my Aunt Doretta picked up on that.  One of the gifts she gave to my Brother and I was to pick us up and take us to the glorious Fox Theatre in town where we witnessed for the first time movies on the big screen.  That gift didn't have a bow on it either or necessarily come at Christmas time.  But it developed a love for movies and film that continues to this day.

Plus being in the company with my Aunt was special in itself.  She was an Elementary School teacher so when we would visit with her she would always try out class projects on us.  We made some real fun things like paper weights.  Special gifts we made ourselves.  Memories to last a life time

The point is, parents and grandparents, the latest and greatest toys are not always the things that we remember.  It's more about the thoughtfulness of the gift and more importantly the time spent with our children.

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