Go Ask Dad: Choose imagination over catalogs to fulfill Christmas wishes – WRAL News

I don’t need to break the budget to get my loved ones the latest and greatest commercial success.
Two years ago in the pandemic, I had the brilliant idea to give the Amazon Christmas Catalog to my kids with instructions to pick out a few things. There were only a few toys that they did NOT circle with a pen and, though we whittled down their list considerably, Jeff Bezos was still happy to ship packages of shiny plastic junk, all of which promptly piled up like mounds of you-know-what. This year I recycled the catalog in a neighbor’s bin to avoid the off chance that one of my own would go digging for it.
Perusing the website as a Gen-Xer, I felt like the Hall was giving me high-fives! G.I. Joe! Hot Wheels! Lite-Brite! He-Man Masters of the Universe figurines! Inductees also include American Girl Dolls, Easy-Bake Oven and Barbie. The Hall is interested in “classic toys beloved by generations.” Some toys have lasted for generations of biblical proportions.
Inducted this year, the spinning top was played with in Iraq over 5,000 years ago. Playing cards became widely known in Europe in the 1600s, but had origins in ancient India and Egypt. Dominoes first appeared in China in the 1300s. According to the Hall, “The ball is nearly as old as civilization itself.”
That’s right! Ball is in the Hall! So is sand. And blanket: “Children have played with blankets ever since ancient agrarians domesticated woolly animals.”
I’m not here to fact check the historians. Nor am I a Luddite, against all forms of technology. The Nintendo Game Boy was inducted in 2009 (another high-five for Gen-Xers).
My point is that kids were doing just fine with their imaginations long before the Amazon Christmas Catalogue and the modern toy entertainment industry, which leads the typical American family to spend $600 every year on the aforementioned piles of you-know-what.[1]
The idea of creative imagination brings me to my favorite Hall of Fame toy — the stick. Yes, stick as in from a tree! “Children find sticks an endless source of make-believe fun.” As much as my kids love Super Smash Bros and Paw Patrol, they transform sticks into swords, light-sabers, magic wands and fishing poles (to catch leaves, which are make-believe fish).
The Toy Hall of Fame not only sparks nostalgia but a refreshing sense of counter-culturalism. I don’t need to break the budget to get my loved ones the latest and greatest toys. It turns out that Christmas morning will include at least one Hall of Fame toy — the cardboard box, inducted in 2005.
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