Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Playing Santa

(More cellphone pictures today. I suck. I really must just keep my camera in my purse during the holidays.)

So my office does that thing where we get together in groups and buy gifts for a child who otherwise wouldn't get much of anything and my group is wrapping tomorrow so I made a run to FAO Schwarz today.
I'm not a big shopper, Christmas or otherwise, but I love going to FAO Schwarz. Even though they have a lot of the typical toys and a lot of things that are overpriced, I think they also appreciate the wonder of toys in a way that Toys 'R Us with their bargain bins doesn't. Their collections of classic toys show that, as do the too expensive for most to buy displays, which are often works of great imagination and craftsmanship.

And then there's the piano that you play by walking on it. If I'd had a child with me I'd so have waited on line for that.
Anyway, the child had asked for cars and, more generally, toys, and the other people in my group had taken care of the cars. So I wandered aimlessly, not quite sure what I would get. I found one toy that I was happy with, but wanted to get another as well and was having trouble finding just the right thing. And then I stumbled on a corner of the store devoted to Playmobil.

Now, in case you're not familiar with Playmobil, let me just say that their toys are totally awesome. They're well made, they encourage imagination, and they're just plain fun. One of my very favorite toys when I was little was my Playmobil Eskimo set, since discontinued and apparently rather difficult to find.
Our kayak wound up being rather interesting looking after I left it up against the radiator, melting a series of thin holes into its side. But we had the set for years and my sister and I certainly played with it a great deal. Of course we lost all the pieces eventually but it's still the toy I remember most fondly.

So when I saw that corner, I had to get him something from the company. I toyed with getting a few sets of knights, complete with cannons, prisoners, and flame throwers, but eventually decided to go with the transportation theme and bought the medical helicopter.

I'm so incredibly excited about the idea of the kid playing with this toy. I only hope he loves it as much as I loved my Eskimo set.

I then walked past the giant menorah lit up for the last night of Chanukah on my way back home, feeling about as good about the holidays as I've felt in a long time.
I'm not entirely sure what that says about me--I think nothing particularly good or bad--but still, it was a very good day.

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