Tonawanda News

Columns

December 5, 2013

KEPPELER: Toys, toys, toys

Tonawanda News — Lost for ideas for this week’s column, I turned to my 5-year-old, and asked him, “Sam, what should I write about this week?”

He considered it a moment. I probably shouldn’t be surprised, considering what most small children’s thoughts revolve around this time of year, but the prompt response was brief: “Toys.”

OK, then.

•••

I had the privilege of being witness to the writing of letters to Santa by a number of Mullen Elementary School kindergartners Wednesday, wandering among them as they wrote brief missives informing Santa that they’d been good this year, and they really wanted — well, they want a lot of things I recognize, actually. And not even solely from the fact of having a kindergartner of my own, but from past little-girlhood of my own, and exposure to nearly 40 years of toys 

They want Legos (sold since 1949) and Play-Doh (since the 1950s) and Barbies (since 1959) and My Little Ponies (since 1983, which might come as a surprise to all the children and adults currently enamored of the plastic equines). They wanted books. They wanted the sorts of things that have existed since human beings first started imagining, like dolls and doll houses. Sure, maybe those dolls took the form of Ariel the Little Mermaid or Monster High now, but they’re still at their origin a type of toy children have been playing with for hundreds (thousands?) of years.

It was cool, in a way, to see how many familiar things were written in that childish handwriting. And it’s nice to know that in an age of technology, some things don’t change.

My most memorable Christmas-morning toy from childhood was the kitchen set I received when maybe 6. I can still see it in my mind’s eye, sitting there under the Christmas tree when I came down the stairs that morning. I’m sure we all have something similar, no matter what age we are.

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