AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 10: Chris Martin of Coldplay performs for fans on November 10, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Shane Wenzlick/Getty Images)

We all have a Christmas gift we never got

By Matthew Brooks

Ralphie Parker thought he would not get his beloved official Red Ryder carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.

Then he did get the air rifle for Christmas. Thanks, dad.

The rest of us weren’t so lucky.

We all had something we wanted. There were so many ways we could come face-to-face with the Christmas present to end all Christmas presents.

I have fond memories of getting a gigantic Sears catalog in mail.

I’d flip past the sections with curtains, power tools, and pajamas. I headed straight for the toy section.

The Sears Catalog was a menu of happiness.

Sears stopped publishing that phone book-size catalog of toys back in 1993.

Another way to figure out what you want was by seeing it in the store.

Some moms were like my mom: smart. When we went to the store during the Christmas season she would steer us far from the toy section of the store. This had two benefits for mom. One, she prevented us kids from seeing something and start the begging. Two, if she bought something we had not thought of, she didn’t want us to know it existed.

Back in the day, mom and dad had to go to the store to buy that special toy.

If the toy was sold out, you were out of luck.

Mom and dad didn’t have the internet to help them buy anything we wanted at any time.

Not that the internet offers any guarantee when it comes to Christmas shopping.

Do you remember the Tickle-Me-Elmo?

And that’s the other thing: Money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees.

When I was a kid, more than anything I wanted a Teddy Ruxpin.

Did you know Red Ryder didn’t make an air rifle with a built-in compass and clock? There was no such model before the movie. The company added those features to make every fan’s Christmas dreams come true.

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