Monday, November 17, 2008

Losing the Magic

While doing some early Christmas shopping for my grandkids today,
I suddenly realized that I'm not just tired and stressed over the whole ordeal -
I'm saddened.

Let's face it- today's children are growing up too fast.
Look at what "toys" have become!
They are gadgets and electronics and hi-tech items.
They run on batteries or chargers or downloads.

And honestly- do you actually think there
are any kids anymore over 7 or 8 years old
that still believe in Santa?

I predict that he will even change
in the next few years.
He'll become trimmer and his suit will be
more fashionable.
He'll have a newly designed sled
and do away with the reindeer.

(And the idea of elves making toys
was even a little hard for me to swallow.)

To grasp the change, look at these lists:

In 1960, the Top Ten toys were:
Hot wheels
Easy Bake Oven
Super Ball
The Game of Life (board game)
Sea Monkeys
and two other games- Barrel of Monkeys
and Operation.

I realize that those things are all
still being produced,
but for what age group?
Give an eight year old an Etch-A-Sketch
and they'd be bored in 20 minutes.
And Sea Monkeys?
What child has the patience to
watch them grow?
Want some new and improved ideas?

Here are the top ten toys for 2008:

Playschool Kota the Triceratops
Lego Agents Mobile Command Center
Bratz Girlz Really Rock!
Bakugan Battle Arena
Animal Scramble from Wild Planet
Ultimate Wall-E 7
U-Dance game from Hasbro
Wonder Pets- THis is Serious Ming Ming
Crayola Glow Station
Girl Gormet Cupcake Maker

We only got one toy for Christmas
when I was a kid.
(Then Aunt Jane always gave us a
headscarf, underwear,
and a nice little lavender sachet to
keep our drawers smelling nice.

But, that's another story...)

I guess when I think back,
toys were our tools for imagination
and things we could care for, protect,
and treasure.
We had to take care of them because it was
another whole year
before anything
would come along
to replace them.

The most precious thing about a Barbie Doll was
that she was wholesome, innocent,
and beautiful.
And what made her even cooler
was that
you could buy clothes and shoes to dress her.

The Bratz Dolls come with Botox injected lips,
belly tops, and attitude.

And a wardrobe big enough to fill a closet.

And look- Crayons can't just be Crayons anymore.
They have to glow or glitter or light up.

I remember when it was a far stretch of the imagination
to consider the powers that
Superman had-
Flight, super hearing, great strength and x-ray vision.
Every super action figure out there now
could whip his butt in a minute!

What kid would want a walkie-talkie
when he can have a cell phone?
Or crayons when he can have a Nintendo DS?

Or a super ball when he can have Wii Sports?

Or Sea Monkeys when he can have a dinosaur!

But for a minute- just forget about the toys.
That's not the saddest part.

The saddest part is- that these kids
never know that giddy feeling of
lying in bed on Christmas Eve,

hoping they'll hear Santa's sleigh-

or perhaps his boot steps in the hallway.

They'll never have butterflies in their stomachs,
wondering what on earth
could possibly be under the tree.

They'll never stop and wonder how Mom and Dad
ever pulled this one off-

and how much sacrifice was made to make it special.

To kids today, magic is about sorcerers
and dragons
and creatures from the dark.
They would never attribute the word "magic"
to Christmas.

To some, it's just another day-
another toy,
another thing to show off.

And because of that,
they will never
truly know
the magic.