It happens every year. Every year we swear we won’t go out on Black Friday and every year at least one of us does. This year all three of us did and we actually found some of the things we set out to get even though we didn’t hit the stores until well after 10:00. After several years spent working Black Friday at Target, I’ve pretty much had my fill of the pre-dawn chaos that is the start of the Christmas shopping season. Speaking of which, did you hear about that poor Walmart employee in New York who was trampled to death? Horrible story. His co-workers couldn’t even reach him through the throngs of shoppers who simply stepped over him on the way into the store.
The plan had originally been for me to go to two stores; Walmart and Target. As soon as Autumn heard the word “Target” though, she got all giddy with excitement at the prospect of being able to visit her new best friend Spike. Target has had him on display for several weeks and my child cannot get enough of him. He actually scared the crap out of her the first time she pushed the button on the display that brought him to life, but she’s since become so infatuated that we can’t get into the car without her asking if we’re going to go see the dinosaur.
As soon as we stepped into Target Autumn started in with the requests to see Spike. The store was still very busy, and as we navigated around other bodies pushing carts, we kept assuring Autumn that we were making our way to the toy department to see her friend. We first stopped in electronics, perhaps the most congested department in the store, but as we made our way to the toy department we found out the dinosaur display had been removed. We knew it would happen eventually, but having to break the news to Autumn was a little heartbreaking.
For the remainder of the trip I had to explain to Autumn that the display had been taken down because Spike had to go home. “To see his mommy?” she asked.
I nodded. “Yes, to see his mommy. Everyone likes to be able to go home and see their mommies during the holidays.”
“Oh,” she said softly and rested her head on the cart. I thought she was going to cry, but instead she gripped my arms and held me close. “I love you mommy,” she said.
So guess who ordered Spike from Amazon today?
Nathan and I talked it over. We griled Autumn on whether or not she’d be scared to play with Spike if he happened to pay a visit. Would she like to play with Spike if Santa brought him to her for Christmas? All our questions were answered with, “He’s my best friend.” Of course she also referred to a small pumpkin I brought home for her before Halloween as her “best friend.” She slept with that thing for weeks until it got a bit soft and I threw it away one morning.
Tonight we all sat down together and watched The Polar Express for the first time and I could see Autumn was really getting into it. She is starting to believe in the magic and we, in turn, are feeling the magic again through her.
I know one does not need to exceed her gift budget to capture that magic, but this year we are able to spoil Autumn a little bit and are so excited to put that gift under the tree for her and tell her it’s from Santa. Besides, we have no idea what the next year will bring. She might just wind up getting another pumpkin next Christmas.