Unless you have children (which I don't...not yet), have young relatives or have close friends who are parents of young children, it's not expected that you'd be hip to the cool toys of the season. I know for certain that I fall into that category. For instance, what was last year's Hannah Montana craze is this year's Twilight rampage (or is it HSM?); what was once Pictionary is now Wii (or is it XBox?). It's hard to keep up. And that's just for the "older" kids. I'm totally lost when it comes to the hot list for those under, say, 10.
So, why am I surprised every year when our company does its charity holiday gift giving initiative, I select a child who wants a toy I have never heard of in my life? Last year it was the Backyardigans. I had no clue. Luckily, a coworker had a young granddaughter who also liked those characters, so she helped me. This year, it's Elmo Dance and Learn. Now, I know who Elmo is. That part is simple. What I didn't know is that Elmo Dance and Learn is not, in fact, a dancing furry monster that giggles when you press his hand. It, as I've learned, is a mat for dancing....and learning. (I just thought I'd share my new-found knowledge for those of you in my shoes.) I still can't find the darn thing in stores, but that's besides the point.
When I was young, it was simple year after year: Barbie! Loved her. I had all sorts of Barbies, and accessories, including her townhouse, her Corvette, her McDonald's; then there was Ken, Theresa, and Skipper, and some other cousin/sister/friend whose name escapes me...and the horses....Oh, it was great. I don't think Barbie has the same luster any more. She doesn't even look the same. Even though Barbie just won a legal battle against Bratz dolls, I don't even know if either is popular with girls anymore.
I was in the toy section of a store today. They still sell Lincoln Logs. Can you believe that? With all the gizmos and gadgets out there now, they still sell the simplest (and most boring, if you ask me) toy.
I'm not sure what my point is today, except that suddenly I am reminded again how old I'm getting and how different childhood seems through these adult eyes.