All I want for Christmas

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016

know there is still some cotton to pick, but last night we all got a much-needed early Christmas gift…a rain! Thanks, Santa.

It is the season for giving gifts and I would be at a real loss if I had to be Santa Claus for too many people. Gone are the days when “stand-by” gifts like a slinky or a Rubik’s cube would suffice. I have no idea what a Pokémon is and one website that I reviewed said the number one toy this year is something called a “Hatchimal.”

It says that you can get them anywhere, but my anywhere hasn’t encountered a hatchimal. There is also the dubious claim that hatchimals are this year’s must-have toy. You wanna bet?

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The first part of the word is “hatch” and that gives a little indication as to what a hatchimal is. It is an egg-shaped toy that Santa Claus might bring a child.  The lucky kid gets to look after the egg until it hatches. What comes out? You never know. It could be a “Draggle” or a “Burtle.” Admit it. You want one.

Every time I sing that old Christmas song “Up on the Housetop”…you know the one that goes “Ho, Ho, Ho who wouldn’t go,” I see how old-fashioned the song is. The stocking of little Nell has a dolly that laughs and cries; one that opens and shuts it eyes. My sister got one of those one year and the eyes actually opened and closed, but you had to turn the dolly upside-down.

Then Little Bill hit the jackpot. He got a hammer and lots of tacks, a whistle and ball and a whip that cracks. I didn’t notice any of those wonderful toys on this year’s top ten list. Boys this year would rather have Draggle or Burtle, whoever they are.

In 1988 my daughter wanted a Barbie Soda Shoppe. Daddy was going to make sure that Santa knew that and that Santa brought her one on Christmas morning. The only problem was that every other girl in the whole world wanted a Barbie Soda Shoppe. They sold out at the mall where Santa was working.

We were in Nashville at the time and there were three malls, two Toys R Us, a partridge in a pear tree. There was no Barbie Soda Shoppe to be found anywhere so Daddy started looking in cities other than Nashville. He found one in Chattanooga 133 miles away.

When a Daddy has a perfect little girl, 133 miles is not too far to go for a “must-have” Barbie Soda Shoppe. Particularly when there is a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer available. I know that sounds like going a little overboard for Christmas, but I wasn’t the first. Plus, she was on the “nice” list.

Sometimes I wonder if Christmas is the same these days. I mean it seems that children get gifts all the yearlong. I see birthday parties that are more elaborate than the Christmas of my youth.

But, I need not worry about kids and Christmas. We have a couple of young children at one of my churches and it is at this time of the year that I realize Christmas is still the same in its excitement and anticipation. All I have to do to get their attention is say something like “Santa Claus is watching.”

The gifts change from year to year. The simple gifts of yesterday wouldn’t interest too many these days. I understand. Who wants a whistle and ball? One day, the kids of today will wonder if their kids can understand a “Draggle.”