No Riot Required

Seen the "Gift of the Year" Lately?

Remember all that news footage of mothers beating one another over the head in a mad rush to snag the Must-Have, Hot Gift Of The Year, the one their children are whining for and will tire of approximately four seconds after opening it?

I haven’t seen one this year. It doesn’t exist.

Nice, huh?

Some look upon this annual Olympic wrestling at the mall as the act of a loving parent fulfilling the wishes and dreams of the baby she carried and bore, the mighty efforts of a woman desperate to keep alive a child’s innocent love of and trust in Santa Claus in this cold, cruel world.

Others look upon this as sick.

Perhaps I inherited the latter attitude from my mother, who patently refused to participate in the world’s first moms-slaying-moms celebration of the season of joy, peace, and baby Jesus: the famous Cabbage Patch Kid riots of 1983. I believe her exact words were, “Are you kidding me?” A neighbor felt sorry for my sister and me and purchased two dolls on our behalf. Behold, one blonde and one strawberry blonde Cabbage head under the tree. Guess where they are now? In plastic garbage bags, in respective basements.

My mother knew full well that nothing spelled fun for me like “giant empty appliance carton,” and that long after the last Xavier Roberts autograph was stamped on the last Cabbage ass, my sister and I would remember baking Christmas cookies and running across the living room to slide boots-first into piles of cast off wrapping paper.

As to the total lack of toy riots this year? I think it’s a realization that most of us have come to in this post-9/11 world. There was no grabbing and looting last year either. We saw holes in the skyline, holes in the Pentagon, holes in families across the world, and some of us saw holes in our hearts…recesses that could never be restored by polymer stuffing and joysticks. Suddenly Furbies went on the back burner. We came to our senses. We remembered ourselves. We remembered the manger in Bethlehem.

Nice, huh?