After the Black Friday blitz, which surprisingly arrived in Europe, even though Thanksgiving doesn’t exist here, I wonder if anyone else longs for that era when gifts were simpler and often times homemade? Back in the good old days when even adults took time out during the holiday season to play.
Can you remember your favorite childhood Christmas present?
I still cherish Christmas as a six-year-old: my big brother got a stamp collection book, my middle sister a fashion doll, my little sister a Barbie doll case, and I received a pop rifle.
Though I may be an anti gun advocate now, back then a toy rifle meant that my family accepted gender equity long before society got around to it. My parents let me be free to play cowboys and kick ball. If I ever wanted I could also play dolls with my younger sisters.
Unlike the electronic games of today, our toys of yesteryear were designed to encourage social interaction, develop creativity and inspire make believe. They taught children how to share, to take turns, to cooperate and to help each other.
How different from the expensive Santa’s wish lists of today with things like Costzon Infrared Remote Controlled Robots, Electric Dog BeatBowWow Interactive Learning Toys, Self Balancing Electric Scooters, Xtremepower Hover boards and LovaBella Baby Dolls that can recite a hundred words and mimic their owners actions.
What does that leave to old-fashioned imagination?
In the 60’s my siblings and I invented games around the Christmas theme. We set up present wrapping stations and cookie baking shops. We enacted mystery stories by pretending to steal “magic” light bulbs from the Christmas tree.
We spent entire days setting up our Lincoln logs, dollhouses or train sets.
We loved it when three generations sat around the kitchen table coloring, drawing or playing cards, especially when Grandpa Mac tried to get our bluff.
Have we lost our ability to play?
As the holiday season arrives with the usual media fueled, materialistic commercialization, find a way to curtail the frenzy, to roll on the floor and wrestle around with your kids.
Take time out to play. Have a pillow fight, a tickle fest, a story swap.
Play an antique game of Twister, Clue, Monopoly, Life or Mouse Trap.
Turn off computers, cell phones, electronic games, tune out social media and focus on family and friends.
Have Yourselves a Merry Little Christmas.
Slow down, step back, savor the season. Have fun! I’ll be back in 2 weeks.