Monday, December 11, 2006

Kids... really just an excuse to play with toys

Don and I have a holiday tradition of getting one of the Salvation Army angels instead of buying presents for my parents, who already have everything they want or need. So we spent Saturday shopping for someone that we had only the barest information on, which is difficult. First. Why is all the boy's clothing at Target non-cotton? Is it that hard to sell shirts and things that are 100% cotton and reasonably good quality? Old Navy does it... Old Navy turns out to have better clothing at better prices than Target as far as little boy stuff goes. But, they don't sell Thomas trains.

Second. The Salvation Army in Texas went into a lot more detail and care than the one here. They give out an informational brochure that explains what to buy, how much to spend (they reccomend about 100 dollars), what to do with your purchases, etc. They give a stack of labels and big bags, so that you can write the serial number of your 'angel' on a label and stick it to each shirt, toy, whatever, to ensure that they end up with the right kid. And each 'angel' card has a wants and needs list in addition to all the clothing sizes, so that it says something like this: "Joey, age 4, sizes blah blah blah, needs winter coat, shoes, and jeans. Wants Spider-man stuff." Because the point is to provide a 'complete' holiday for that child, with the toys they want and necessities to get growing kids through the rest of winter.

The SA here does not give brochures, tags, or bags. They don't give a suggested spending amount. Their Angel cards don't list needs/wants, just the size of the child and their desired toy, so that ours said "Joey, age four, sizes..., Thomas the Tank Engine train." So basically, if I hadn't been doing this for years and was new at this I would assume that all I was supposed to do was... buy a toy train! My mom always stressed the winter coat, shoes, and jeans. So basically I'm wondering about what these SA angels get, compared to the ones back home.

When you're with someone like Don (i.e. boyish, likes toys, still in love with trains), never stand in front of the Thomas the Tank Engine display and say, "Ok, Don, pretend you're 4. Which Thomas train set do you want?" Because you will be at that Target display for 20 minutes, examining each train, and walking out with the biggest, most expensive ThTE train set that Target offers--but the coolest, according to One Who Knows Trains!

Third, the Salvation Army informational thingie said that our little guy wears a size-12 toddler shoe. Does that mean that he wore a size-12 at the time the form was filled out which was probably over 6 weeks ago and now he wears something bigger and size-12s would be too small? From what I understand kids go through shoes really fast, right? Or are the powers that be thinking ahead and filling out the form with the size that they think he'll be wearing by Christmas, when this stuff will be received? Because we found a pair of size-12 Thomas the Tank engine shoes! Which will either be totally cool or really dissapointing depending on the fit.

1 comment:

Benjamin said...

Perhaps they should make stretchy shoes for children. One size fits all. As for Thomas the Tank Engine, that is one tripped out train. Sort of an LSD trip by rail, for kids. I mean, George Carlin and Ringo Starr were the conductors. Does this train go to Pepperland?