I used to laugh at those sad parents who stood in line in the wee hours of the morning to get whatever hot toy was out for Christmas that year. I would call them fools and wonder two things: 1)Why couldn't they just tell their kids, "Too bad" and get something else? and 2) Why didn't they buy the toy earlier in the year instead of waiting for the weekend before Christmas?
Yes, I am currently eating my own words.
Abby mentioned a couple of months ago that she would like a Barbie Dream House. I tried to explain to her that she already has a dollhouse, to which she explained to me that it is not big enough for her Barbie dolls. I was once a little girl. I can understand that.
Another month went by and she was still talking about it, proving it was not just a phase. This was the toy that she was hoping to get for Christmas. Yet, I still put it off. Partly because of forgetfulness, but mostly because of finances. I figured I would have more money to buy it later-you know...in December... at Christmas time.
I know-my thinking was brilliant.
So, here we are, the week before Christmas. Before leaving to buy my remaining gifts, the Barbie house included, I decided to call the toy store yesterday just to make sure they had it. The first place did not have it, so I continued calling the other locations. After calling every Toys R Us, Walmart, Target and a variety of other toy stores in the city, I was left with one conclusion-I should have bought the house two months ago.
Finally, I spoke with a Toys R Us on the west side of the city that was putting a few out on the floor the next morning. Now, if you live in Cincinnati, you understand that the east side and the west side usually do not mix. In fact, I think I can count two times I have been on the west side-dinner with a work friend of Nick's and just driving around it to get to Indiana. Yet, in my search for our swing set and now the Barbie house, I have found what I needed on the west side. Interesting.
Anyway, the customer service person I spoke with at this particular store told me they opened at 7:00 a.m. and that they were having a big sale. So, I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. (seriously) and figured if I made it there by 6:30 a.m. I would be okay, even if I had to wait in line for a little bit. However, I actually woke up on my own at 5:15 a.m. (never happens) and I sincerely think it was God who woke me up and motivated me. Otherwise, I would have been hitting snooze and wondering what on earth I was hearing my alarm so early for.
I followed my google directions to the only store in the city to save our Christmas (note my exaggeration-I fully know presents are not the reason for the season) and made it by 6:10 a.m. Imagine my dismay when I saw there were already people in the store! Panic struck and I thought, "All the houses will be gone! I have wasted all this gas driving here for nothing!" I quickly walked (and slid since it was too early for the salt trucks to attack the parking lot) to the store and asked the first person I saw if they had the houses. This wonderful man pointed to the cart that was holding three boxes and I was flooded with relief. I could even forgive the store for telling me the wrong time that they opened.
As I pulled out my trusty credit card (because, as I mentioned before, finances are just overflowing in December) and paid for the gift that will be "From Santa," a nice man in line behind me noted how happy some little girl is going to be when she gets that house. I mentioned I was from the east side and he was shocked I crossed the line and drove so far to get the house. I guess their side sees the division as well.
I got home just in time to see everyone waking up, bringing huge relief to Nick so he did not have to get the kids ready for church on his own. Suddenly, as the wave of exhaustion hit me, I found myself wanting some credit. It is not easy being "Santa." I woke up early, drove on some slippery roads across the city to get the coveted gift and "Santa" is going to get all the credit. There will be no "thank-you's" from my daughter. In fact, in the midst of my exhaustion, Abby has actually been a no-napping, crabby kind of girl for me.
Oh, but to see the joy on her face when she opens the gift. (Or, rather, takes the blanket off of it since we learned last year to put such gifts together instead of leaving them in the box. We find it will be better to struggle with piecing it together the night before rather than Christmas morning.) All the time and effort (and money) will be worth it when I see my little girl smile with excitement.