A little Christmas aggression
Published November 30, 2005
Signs of your impending arrival are popping up all over the place. The Salvation Army bells are ringing, the stores are packed with shoppers, and the sweet smell of pepper spray lingers in the air.
What? You didn’t hear about that? Seems that things got a little out of hand at the Beaumont Wal-Mart last Friday. An off-duty police officer had to use pepper spray to get the crowd under control in the electronics department.
Christmas-shopping riots are nothing new. I’m old enough to remember Cabbage Patch Kids and the mania they caused when they first hit the market. Didn’t some woman get her leg broken in a toy-department scuffle over one of those things? I recall specifically not wanting a Cabbage Patch Kid because I didn’t want any of my family members getting hurt trying to secure one for me.
I can, to an extent, understand the thrill of the hunt when it comes to getting Christmas presents for your kids. A few years ago, our then-3-year-old wanted a Dancing Dora the Explorer Doll. We went through three Targets and a couple of Toys R Us stores before we found what was probably the last one in the Houston area. It was quite a thrill to wrap my hands around that thing, lift it over my head and yell to my husband, “I got it!” as startled shoppers steered their carts away from me.
That triumphant moment far outweighed the toy itself. Dancing Dora has been living in our house for several years now, and, as far as I can tell, all she does is mutter a few sentences in Spanish before going into a series of convulsions. I guess that’s the dancing part.
Anyway, I just don’t understand what has gotten into everyone. I mean, we have Thanksgiving, a day in which we’re all thankful and everything, and then the next morning we’re supposed to go out at 4 a.m. and whack someone over the head for an Easy Bake Oven? I think we’ve lost something here.
One thing’s for sure: Children don’t care about the toys as much as we think they do. Take last Christmas, for example. My 6-year-old probably can’t name one thing she got, but she’ll always remember that it snowed on Christmas Eve.
And then there’s the baby. You know what she loves to play with? My hot rollers. (When they’re not hot, of course.) She’ll grab two handfuls of them and carry them through the house, dropping them wherever she sees fit. Right now there are rollers in our living room, hallway, pantry and dining room. She’s even stashed a few away in her bedroom. Who needs the Tooth Fairy? We have our very own Hot Roller Fairy.
When did Christmas get so complicated? Is it happening at the North Pole, too? Are your elves beating each other up with giant candy canes? What about the first Christmas? Did it have this kind of aggression? Were the shepherds kneecapping the wise men over who got to see the baby first?
Christmas carols talk about peace on earth. I’d just like to see it in our stores as well. That’s all I really want this year.
Oh, and an iPod. The stores open at 5 a.m. If you take a baseball bat, you should get one for pretty cheap.