Deadline Diaries

Five Romance writers tell all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas Quests

posted by Maureen

You know the drill. Your kid has the ONE THING they want more than anything else. The ONE THING they won’t be able to live without. And damned if you’re not determined to make that wish come true on Christmas morning!

For me one year, it was Cabbage Patch kids. I swear to you, I was like a crazy person. I followed tips. I eavesdropped on private conversations in long lines. I interrogated stock clerks. It was the suburban version of the CIA. I made late night phone calls and was the first one in line in front of Toys R Us nearly every morning that December.

It had become a mission. My neighbor Gerri and I would load her youngest into the car as soon as the other kids were in school and start off fresh every morning. We BOTH wanted to find those dolls to keep Santa’s rep in good shape. And on one of our treks, we struck GOLD. That’s right. Waiting in line at Toys R Us, with the people we’d become very close to (after all, we’d been lining up with them for two weeks now, every day), we found out the store had received a shipment.

D DAY. (Doll Day) We geared up. We belted tiny, two year old Erin into the shopping cart so we wouldn’t tip her out on our mad dash down the aisles. When the doors opened, the stampede started. It was crazed. It was dangerous. It was every mom for herself. Tenuous new friendships dissolved. We became enemies on a battlefield. We pushed and shoved and Gerri maneuvered the cart to cut in front of two particularly frenzied mothers.

With her distraction, I took off like I was on fire. Easily outpacing shorter, less determined mothers, I took an early lead. Flying down aisles, I leapt over tricycles like a decathlon champ. I heard Gerri shouting encouragement and over the loudspeaker, the manager was trying to bring order into the chaos.

But I wouldn’t be stopped. I raced down the Barbie aisle and paid no attention to the sports cars and Malibu mansions. I never glanced at the teddy bears staring blankly at me. I skidded around the end cap near the baby doll section and nearly knocked myself out on a display of metal fire trucks. By this time, Gerri was catching up, still pushing Erin around like she was in a shopping cart Indy 500.

And THERE THEY WERE. Thirty of ‘em. Count ‘em, THIRTY CPK’s, all staring at us with their glassy little eyes and cheerful little faces. Winded, but victorious, Gerri and I each picked out two dolls and left the other moms to fight it out amongst themselves for the leftovers.

Once we had the dolls and Erin back in the car, we headed out for coffee and doughnuts. (We’d used up a lot of calories, okay?) And right about then is when we discovered we had a spy in our ranks and a whole new problem. Erin, a sweet two year old who hadn’t said a word all morning now cried, “I WANT ALL MY BABIES!”

We spent the next two weeks shrugging and saying, I don’t know, whenever one of the kids would demand to know what babies Erin kept whining about. It was a long two weeks, but it was worth it. And the memories still make me smile.

This year, may each of your Christmas Quests be fulfilled. May you find happiness and joy everywhere you look. May your Holiday, whichever one you celebrate, bring you the kind of special magic we all look for in this wonderful season. And may you create the kind of memories that will always make you smile...


At 7:58 AM, Blogger Kate Carlisle said...

OMG Maureen, this was more exciting than an Indiana Jones adventure!! You don't mind if I imagine Harrison Ford in the role of the store manager, bringing order to the chaos, do you? LOL!

Great story!!! And such a fabulous ending!! Happy holidays, everyone!!

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Thank you, Maureenie. That was good. Really good.

Sheesh. You had me worried there at the metal fire trucks. But you pulled triumph!

At 8:28 AM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Thank you, thank you!

Chris, I had me worried too. Feet went out from under me and I skidded, but managed to keep my head away from METAL fire trucks. Who uses METAL on a kid's toy??

Oooh. Kate. Harrison. Minus earring of course....

At 2:24 PM, Anonymous SunniBrook said...

Great story!

Then comes the problem of wanting to keep Santa rep going when the kids ask for things they aren't allowed to have.

KJ (5 yrs) keeps asking for Polly Pockets and has been told she can't have Polly Pockets because they come with itty bitty dohickeys that MJ (21 months) will eat/swallow/choke on.

Anyone got any ideas about dealing with that situation?

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Ooh, Sunnibrook, that is a touchy one!

Can we explain how careful Santa is? That as much as he would like to bring Polly Pockets, he will probably wait until MJ is older?

At 6:07 PM, Blogger Susan Mallery said...

Such drama, such excitment, such risks of life and limb!! Very exciting! I hope the girls appreciated the effort.

Sunnibrook--wow--Santa has to deal with a lot of stuff. Good luck with that.

At 6:09 PM, Blogger Christyne Butler said...

Great story Maureen!! I remember quite a few years ago standing outside Wal-Mart at 5 am in order to get my hands on "Furbies".

Mind you with 5 kids to buy for (the older two were too "mature" for them!) I had to get five different Furbies --- have you seen those things? They all look alike to me! Thank goodness 4 of the 5 kids who got the little creatures live with their mother (from hubby's first marriage) so after the holidays they headed home and I lived up to my title of the evil stepmother!! (According to the ex, of course!) LOL!

Sunni...oh, that's a tough one as my daugher was once a Polly nut too and boy,those pieces are really small. Maybe you can get her excited about another special toy? I know its hard with the ads everywhere! Good luck to you!

At 6:22 PM, Blogger Maureen Child said...

Whoa, Christyne...I do know those Furbies. Scary little critters. Lucky you getting to ship off four of 'em!! But I'm guessing you were a hit with the stepkids!

Susan, you have no idea just how ugly it can get out there in 'gotta get that toy' land...

At 6:59 AM, Blogger Christine Rimmer said...

Yeah, actually. I'm kind of glad to be past the point of "gotta have it." Well, the J said he wanted an extra battery for his laptop. 600 bucks. Somehow, when they're ten feet tall and have a job, it's easy to tell them no.

Of course, I went out and got him a digital camera. I mean, I'm a meanie, but I'm still a MOM!

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Dana Diamond said...

I loved this! Too funny. Thank you for sharing.

And I'm so glad the firetruck didn't take you out!

:) d

PS I got my Rudolph! It was at Ross (of all places) and was the very last one in a clearance bin. It was fate...


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