So I found this great Toy Store in my area. A little higher priced than that Big Boxed Famous Giraffe Toting ("Sorry Mame, we're out of Zulu Pets") one you may have heard of.
There are no carts, so you don't have to worry about banging into Ms. Gotta Have The Last Star Wars Figure. In fact, they don't even sell things like that.
The toys you find here are the ones you play with (I mean the kids play with) for hours. These aren't the toys you find stuffed at the back of closets. No sir!
These are the toys your children beg you to bring to Show and Tell their first day back from Christmas Vacation (despite it's net weight being heavier than said child). These are the toys that show up in every picture ever taken of your children whether it be in their hand, or in close proximity, making a really cool backdrop for the holidays.
So there I was salivating at the front of the store wondering where was this diamond in the ruff when I was a child. I quickly tried to regain composure. "Must buy stocking stuffers," was my mantra. "What a cool magic set," I thought aloud. Wait, no, "Must buy stocking stuffers!"
This is a dangerous store. I should have gone in with horse blinders. And within minutes, I was back on track. And within a few minutes more, I was wishing my children's stockings were much larger than the standard Santa regulated size. "Why couldn't they be more like pillowcases?" I mean honestly, Martha Stewart knew what she was doing: standard, Queen, King, Super King, California King. Does she even know that California isn't the largest state? If I were to get to be a kid again, I would definitely invent the Alaskan King Stocking.
As I began loading my basket with the coolest trinkets known to man it got me thinking about the things Santa left in my stocking as a child: toothbrush, shampoo, perfume, nail polish.
No wonder I have a complex. Was Santa trying to convey a message? "Hey kid, take a bath!" "Here's a few things to get you started."
I finally made it to the checkout in just under 30 minutes. Not too bad I thought. And then I received the result.
"That will be $120.00 today!"
"Are you serious?" I asked. "I only bought stocking stuffers! Did you get that coupon I handed you? Can I have a recount? I only have 2 children!"
She just smiled, and reached for my credit card.
Well, that mantra worked like a charm. Next years mantra will be better: "Save Money On Stocking Stuffers.....Insert Foot!"