Last night was the deadline for the Toys for Tots Drive in my Etsy shop. As in all first efforts, I expected that this would be a smashing success, with over $100 to buy toys with - and everything in the Vintage Holiday section of my shop sold. While it's great that I'm an optimist - next year, I'm going the way of the realist: better planning, more visibility to the cause, and even creating the toys to donate. Although my planning was minimal, and time management was again my enemy - we still managed to sell a couple of Vintage Holiday pieces. We never got past the $24 mark; so I had to switch my expectations of making ten kids happy to a smaller number.
This morning, Marley and I headed over to Target to find some toys. It's been a very long time since I've stepped into a traditional toy aisle - and I have to say: If you want to feel like an old fart - just step into a modern-day toy section at your local Target, Toys R'Us, etcetera. It was damn near impossible to find a toy that wasn't plastered with licensed characters, flashing lights, making obnoxious repetitious sounds in the name of education. I really wished I could have bought only Haba, Plan, or Melissa & Doug toys - but quality, heirloom toys are not to be found at your local super-store. I found myself deterred and annoyed, and wondered what "play" really means anymore. That's a rant for another day. So staying positive here - I found a few great toys that will never go the way of the do-do:
Play-doh! And lots of it.
Crayons, and coloring books with a new twist.
Chutes and Ladders.
And "Don't Break the Ice".
Because my expectations had been so high, I was almost disappointed in myself for the whole thing. And then I got to the drop-off box, and I remembered what's really important: Just putting something in that box. Thank you to everyone for helping me to do this - and for making the days of a few kids. I think we did good.