As the grand-kids circled their favorites in the Toys-R-Us flier recently, youngest boy posed a serious question: “Should we really be encouraging all that?”
He wondered about kids getting their hopes up only to not have the big guy in red come through. They’ve been through so much, he said, his eyes saddened.
My response, ” Kids need to dream.”
As a girl, I remember the much-anticipated arrival of the Sears Wish Book. My sisters and I fought over who got it first – oldest sister always won, middle sister and I shared. We weren’t allowed to “dog ear” pages; instead we were encouraged to write down item numbers and page references so Mom could share our finds with Santa.
So what if I pored over walnut jewelry boxes with little ballerinas that danced when the lid lifted? So what if I was a girl without jewelry?
So what if the outfits I coveted would not have fit my gangly 12-year-old body? So what if the corduroy jacket was impractical in -20F temps? So what?
I spent hours looking through the toys, the fashions, the luxurious velvet robes, the gift sets, and the gifts under a certain price. Reading, reading, reading. Touring the pages, I learned what items were where. By the time the holiday arrived, I was a Wish Book Tour Guide.
I was a realistic child; I knew I wasn’t going to receive everything I’d referenced but part of the fun – the magic if you will – was the idea that I could. Part of the fun – a big part of the fun – was the anticipation.
No, kids needs to dream. Kids need to ooh and ahh and wonder. Kids need magic and so do I.