This is usually the time of year I ask inanimate holiday store displays to at least wait until Black Friday to assault me with their raised red and green elven fists. Don’t get me wrong–Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’ve just always felt that when stores crank up the Jingle-Bell Muzak while vampire costumes and Jack-O-Lanterns are still in stock, it undermines the experience of Halloween and Thanksgiving–both excellent holidays in their own right–all to make a few extra bucks. Plus, decking the halls that early and intensely has often left me tired of open-fire chestnut-roasting, intentionally-kitsch reindeer sweaters, and that impressively obnoxious Mariah Carey song long before the actual December 25.
At least that’s what I used to think.
As a parent, you rediscover to the wonder the world inspires. You see things “again for the first time” through your children’s eyes. And that’s why this year is different. This year, my wife and I will be giving the Twins their First Christmas Ever, and we are so psyched for it that we’ve been discussing its grandiose possibilities since June.
This fervor was recently amplified by the arrival of the Target Holiday Toy Sale catalog.
As a kid, the arrival of the coveted phone-book-thick JC Penney Christmas Toy Catalog marked the official Opening Ceremonies of Christmanticipation. My two younger sisters and I would dutifully write letters to Santa using it as our reference, citing page and model numbers, which my mother had explained was very helpful for Santa. However, as JC Penney Catalog Arrival Day grew in popularity over the years, my mother learned it was smarter to sign both herself and my father up for the mailing list in order to prevent the inevitable tooth-and-nail sibling tug-of-war for the first crack at The Book. With two copies, I could look at the “boy” pages at my leisure while my sisters would conduct an animated roundtable discussion of this year’s girl toy line.
I will definitely keep this two-edition tactic in mind as the Twins approach the knock-down drag-out age.
For now, though, my wife and I find we’re browsing the Technicolor toy pages with the same excitement as when we were children–maybe even more so since we actually have the means to choose and buy the playthings we covet (they’re for the kids–I swear), rather than the yearly live-action commercials we’d perform for our parents to sell them on the awesomeness of Red Rider Air Rifles and Nintendo Gameboys.
Flipping through these sacred capitalist texts, I think what I find most amusing is the child models’ facial expressions.
It is possible that my wife is even more excited than this little ranch hand, however. As I was hard at work the other night hating dryly-written academic journals, she was perusing the catalog and exclaimed the following:
That is one SUH-WEET dump truck!
I had no idea my wife was such a dump truck enthusiast, and until this moment, I don’t think she did either.
. . .
Like multitudes before me, I’ll concede that the Holiday Season is incredibly over-commercialized, which often takes away from the True Meaning of Christmas. This varies depending on who you talk to, but I think we can all agree the spirit is rooted in Being Excellent to Each Other.
As a parent, I now live to make my kids smile, and even now that we’re a single-income household, I’m totally okay with saving up so we can afford items such as the World’s Sweetest Dump Truck to see those ear-to-ear grins on Christmas Morning.
Especially if there’s a coupon.
You may also enjoy:
If not, did you SEE that dump truck? Man. That’s is suh-weet.