Christmas has come and gone. Packages were opened. Paper has been rolled up into balls and thrown at your little brother. Finally, we can see the tree skirt again.
This year I received some DVDs I wanted (Blade Runner Final Cut review coming soon), Mac OS Leopard, a couple of gift cards, some hot chocolate, money and a polo shirt.
It got me thinking about a couple of my favorite Christmas morning memories. I affectionately refer to them as the iMac Christmas and the Toys R Us Christmas.
The iMac Christmas. Several years ago I made a Christmas list and the only thing on it was a brand new iMac. This was the “She’s a Rainbow” by the Stones commercial iMac. In the past I have been accused of making elaborate lists just to give my family some variety. However, this year I wanted one thing and it was a chunk of change. So, I asked for that and nothing more.
I really didn’t think it was gonna happen. When we opened gifts I opened several things from my family. I got a tie, probably a movie or a book. At the end, they rolled out a big box that looked like the right size for my iMac and I tore it open and there was my shiny new Apple computer. There’s a pretty funny picture of me opening the present where I look like the cat who ate the canary.
Seriously, I was kinda surprised by the whole thing. I remember my Dad saying, “Well, that’s all you asked for.”
The Toys R Us Christmas. Kids today have it easy with their internets and their fancy toy stores. In my day, you had to look at the Sears Wish Book and hope your parents picked out something you circled with the bright red pen. It was the late 70s and the idea of one whole store devoted to nothing but toys was nothing but a pipe dream.
We were on vacation in Texas doing 60 on the interstate when I saw it. A life size brontosaurus. The Jurassic giant was guarding something. Something my Dad knew. We get off at the dinosaur exit and proceed to take a closer look.
We pull into the parking lot and I realize the dino is outside a very unique store called Toys R Us (Hey, I get that joke now…). This store was something I’d never seen before. The doors whooshed open and I was transported to a magical world where the aisles were filled with toys I’d never seen before. Amazing toys. Wonderful toys.
I saw every Mego super hero action figure that ever existed. There was the Batcave, Batmobile, Batcopter and Batcycle. There were toys I’d never even heard of like a flashlight Star Trek phaser, walkie-talkie Star Trek communicators and more. I must have been like Augustus Gloop in the chocolate room drinking it all in.
Somehow my parents maneuvered me out of the store. I’m sure I didn’t stop talking about it for days afterwards.
Six months later, Christmas arrives. Wal-Mart didn’t exist in Illinois in the late 70s. Toys R Us was some enchanted fairy tale that I got caught up in. I’m sure my Christmas list that year included every one of the toys I saw back in Texas. Sure enough, I opened Christmas gift after Christmas gift and it all showed up. The action figures, the Star Trek toys, everything.
Only years later did I ask my Dad about that Christmas and how he was able to get all those toys. He said he simply bought them all when we were at that Texas Toys R Us and hid them in the trunk for six months. I had no idea. I admit, I was seven or eight at the time, so I’m sure my Mom distracted me and Dad went and bought all the toys.
So, where’s the best place to hide Christmas presents? The trunk of the car, of course.