Do you ever wax nostalgic for your toys? I do. I think about the stuff I had growing up, the toys that made Christmas really fun and something I looked forward to all year. I had the Wizard of Oz’s Witch’s Castle, the Princess Leia doll with the “real” hair in those donuts, the Atari game system with Pong, Frogger and PacMac. There were lots and lots of Barbies, her dream house, her car, and her boyfriend, Ken. Did Sis and I have too much? Oh probably, but we appreciated it nonetheless. I wasn’t blase about my stuff the way NR is about his toys. I don’t know why it all seemed to mean more to me or maybe that is just revisionist history talking. I’ll have to ask my mom if my memory is accurate.
I wish I had those toys still. My Shaun Cassidy locket, my ballerina jewelry box, my collection of weird, anime-style dolls in antebellum style satin dresses and severely-parted bun hairstyles. I still have the old Cabbage Patch doll and my sister has her Care Bear somewhere. I picked up a few Strawberry Shortcake dolls for Sis a few years ago on eBay but they just didn’t smell as good as I remembered. No, you can’t go back, no matter what all the toy collectors think, but it is nice to hold a bit of plastic in your hands and remember how it felt to open the package and see it for the first time. Even as wonderful as seeing Christmas through NR’s eyes is for me, nothing will ever be like waking up at 4 o’clock on Christmas, waiting anxiously until 6:30 until I could wake up my folks (reading Charlotte’s Web to pass the time), staying in my bedroom until Mom had the Christmas tree lights turned on, and then walking into the living room, all lit up with wonder. Our Christmas mornings were magical. Not because of the pile of gifts, well that didn’t hurt, but because everything was transformed for those moments while we opened our gifts. Those are the memories that my toys bring back to me.