Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A little Christmas aggression

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published November 30, 2005

Dear Santa,

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.

Deana Nall

Baytown, Texas


  • At Wed Nov 30, 06:31:00 AM, Blogger "Snapshot" said…

    Merry Ho Ho Ho to you.

  • At Wed Nov 30, 06:39:00 AM, Blogger JGard said…

    I really liked your comments. It seems we have really lost the true love of giving and replaced it with the fight for the gift. My wife & I decided this morning to forgo the buying of gifts for each other this year and instead send the money we would spend to a native missionary in Malawi, Africa to help with the famine they are in. I really appreciate your thoughts.

  • At Wed Nov 30, 07:49:00 AM, Blogger elizabeth said…

    I also remember the Cabbage Patch craze. Mom got up at 4 in the morning to get one for my sister and me!

    Several years ago, I got caught up in the "Latest must have toy that makes Christmas worth while" frenzy.

    I searced high and low for the Hokey Pokey Elmo. The fact that no one had anymore only fueled the determination.

    On Christmas Eve, I called every toy store in town and at the end of the list was the Wal-Mart on the other side of town. They looked and told me they had ONE left! I tried hard not to scream too loud, "HOLD IT FOR ME!"

    I made Bryon go out and get it. It is a 20 minute drive out there and I had a lot to do! I was so proud of myself! When we went to put it under the tree that night, we realized that the package had only Spanish words on it and Elmo only spoke Spanish! I wasn't used to them selling spanish speaking toys in the Wal-Mart by my house!

    Thankfully, I had not taken it out of the wrapper and I took it back to the "other Wal-Mart" the day after Christmas with my tail tucked between my legs vowing to never give into the latest toy frenzy again!

    (We'll see how long that lasts!)

  • At Wed Nov 30, 10:12:00 AM, Blogger PatrickMead said…

    Brilliant! Why haven't I found this blog before? Why didn't God give me this level of talent? Why.... oh forget it. Thanks for the blog. I'll be dropping by often now that I found it.

  • At Wed Nov 30, 10:14:00 AM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Patrick -- yeah, but you can probably do simple math. I can't. Thanks for stopping by!

  • At Wed Nov 30, 03:10:00 PM, Blogger judy thomas said…

    Ah, Deana, you are delightful! Love reading your writing. Miss Judy

  • At Thu Dec 01, 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Jana said…

    Love it. Your column's great. AS USUAL.


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