I have a thing for kids’ toys and it really hasn’t abated since my children have gotten older. Sure, I switched from buying dolls and noise-making drum sets to board games and playing cards, but I still check out the toy aisle when I shop. Last week, when I was in shopping for Target’s Top 20 Toys and Wish List for the holidays, I found myself in awe of all that had changed and some things that remained the same when my children were young. I know it’s hard to be thinking about the holidays already but I swear it’s like I looked up at the calendar and BAM! Thanksgiving is next week! I should have paid better attention to all my social media friends talking about going shopping for the holidays, but normally I tune that out until I absolutely have to pay attention. There is a difference for me this year, though, and that is the devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
A lot of homes were destroyed and a lot of people are displaced. Schools and businesses have been shut down, and everything seems to be in turmoil for the East Coast. Of course, I immediately responded with what I could do with the Red Cross and other organizations that are helping families, but it must be extra hard for families who have already done their holiday shopping and also hard on kids who not only lose their bedrooms and family homes, but for the toys they’ve lost as well. For children, that’s a real tangible loss that can be pretty devastating to them. I think of what my own children would feel like in their shoes especially at this time of year. My kids are teens and beyond and have no need for toys anymore, but that will all change in the near future for them and for me.
Now, I’m not a grandmother yet but I expect that to happen in the next few years since my oldest daughter, Mallory, is engaged. She’s planning a lovely, small wedding to her fiancé and boyfriend of the past 11 years. (I know! ELEVEN. Since high school!) But she still babysits for a family on occasion since she doesn’t have children of her own yet and she will be inheriting 3 adorable nephews once she is married. Naturally, I asked for her advice about what the kids are playing with these days and matched up just about everything I found on the Target Top 20 list.
Since we were talking toys, I asked her what her favorite toys to play with as a child were and she surprised me. Once her brothers came along and there were “new” toys to play with she found herself drawn to any and every Hot Wheels toy. I didn’t know this because she was a good big sister and always played “cars” with her brothers, but I didn’t know that she played with them even while they weren’t. We went shopping together and picked out the Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower together and, while she begged me to open it and play with it, I assured her that I had other plans in mind. She didn’t realize it at the time, but we were going to make holidays happen for some children on the East Coast affected by Sandy. On my personal blog, I held a contest to see if anyone knew of a deserving family and I found one. Each of the toys on the Top 20 list will be going to a family with a little daughter and son whose toys were destroyed in the storm.
I had a lot of fun shopping with Mallory and we enjoyed our time reminiscing about her own childhood favorites, but we really didn’t need to get these toys just yet. Not for us anyway.
I have at least two years before those grandchildren come along, right?
In the meantime, my family will be shopping for this family together and picking out toys we hope they’ll enjoy.
Want a set of toys of your own? Enter by December 8th, 2012 for your chance to win TWO big giveaways:
Do you know a deserving family this holiday season? We’re giving away a set of 20 toys from Target, including those mentioned in this post! To nominate a family to win, simply comment and tell us who they are and why you’ve selected them!
Is your family getting into the holiday spirit? We’re also giving away another set of 20 toys from Target, including those mentioned in this post! To enter for a chance to win, simply comment and tell us your funniest Christmas/holiday story!
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