Some moms love shoes and purses. For others it's all about the bling.
I confess, I have a thing for toys.
It is a volley on my senses strolling the aisles of a toy store. I am especially nostalgic this time of year when I think back on the toys from my childhood.
When I was a child, Christmas signaled the arrival of toys. It was the time to be rewarded for good behavior. Our moms did not give in to temper tantrums and fling a toy into the cart to appease us — toys were special, you had to wait for the holidays to enjoy their magic.
The Sears catalogue, the Bradlees flyer, the commercials on Saturday morning television, all showcased the year’s most sought-after toy. We made lists of what we REALLY wanted. We bartered with siblings to include one item on their list when there wasn’t room on our own.
I was a Barbie girl: Suntan Barbie, Skipper, Ken. A shoebox full of clothes to dress them for their next adventure.
Santa brought the orange camper and the fold-out airplane.
To my collection of always smiling dolls, I added Julia — remember the nurse from the TV drama? — the “hippie” Sunshine Family and those cool Dawn dolls.
My sister and I would play for hours with our dolls. The couch was the mountains, a bathroom towel served as a ship to take them on adventures we hoped to have one day.
We channeled our dreams and used our imaginations playing with those plastic friends.
Like opening a time capsule, the toys of holidays past serve as benchmarks of childhood: Silly Putty, Raggedy Ann, Play-Do, Hot Wheels, G.I. Joe, Crissy doll.
I'm having flashbacks.
For my children Teacher Barbie, yellow telephone, Power Rangers, Playmobil, wrestling guys, American Girl dolls, Schleich animals and Breyer horses flash by in the slideshow of their youth.
Childhood toys seem to be abandoned too soon by our children in favor of video games, iPods, laptops and other big ticket items. This holiday season I hear some third graders are asking for cell phones.
Grown-up electronics keep replacing the simple toys meant for childhood play. Granted, times have changed and our children “play” differently, but will they remember the playthings of childhood when it’s their turn to be nostalgic?
Maybe what’s old can be new again?
Why not add a Slinky to their cachet and see what happens. You even get to share a story about how you played with it in the “olden days.”
It’s up to us parents to help make memories for our children.
This holiday season I plan on cuddling up in my Sock Monkey pajamas as I dream of Little Kiddles dancing in my head.
Maybe if I'm a good girl Santa will bring me a Barbie.