At The Brink Just Before Christmas

We are on the brink…..! Of what…? According to the doomsayers, on the brink of both domestic and diplomatic disaster, as the American Empire sinks slowly in the west. Nial Ferguson’s “Civilization” is just the latest history volume to envision this.

But whether you share in his demise-of-the-West scenario or not, right about now you’re entering a very different scenario. Call it the Winter Solstice, The Holidays, or if you dare simply call it Christmas. It’s our annual scenario of gift-giving. Especially gits for our children.

So, my friends, let us pause here at the precipice for a sweet jealous moment to gaze upon these wondrous little diversions that we kinda wish we were still young enough to own and play with ourselves. Some Christmas toys have passed the test of time. Among these: Crayolas…Raggedy Ann…Candy Land …Mr Potato Head…Hot Wheels…Rubik Cube…Lincoln Logs…Kewpie Doll…and that centuries old little Red Wagon.

You can still find these tucked into little corners of today’s sleek modern toy-barns like Toys-R-Us. You know, the big box emporiums where toys are stacked and packed by the carloads by parents and friends who who often prize the store’s efficiency instead of its charm. I mean in a world of brinks and banks, who the hell has time for charm….??

Well, I do. And so do a great many old-time Christmas players from Christmases past.

And so while I perfectly well understand the big ticket items will be electronic games and toys and wands and goggles…well, I still notice how the little ones often prefer their littlest and simplest of toys. In fact, give a kid a great big wrapped toy this year and watch how they spend as much time playing with the wrapping as what was wrapped.

But pay no attention…just another antediluvian voice…recalling the ghosts of Christmas past which seemed so much smaller, quieter, simpler and authentic. Trouble is, after spending 80 of those old-fashioned Christmases, I fear there soon will be too few of us to tell you about them…

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