Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmases Long, Long Ago

On my bookshelves, I’ve this toy that’s over fifty years old. Two other examples on Ebay (the toy inside the original box) had asking prices of $400 and $950. Those look to be in better shape than this one. I doubt that mine runs, but I’ve not tried it.

This was a toy Dad purchased for me for Christmas when I was four or five years old, that is, the early 1960s when The Flintstones were first on television. I loved the show. I even remember the end credits of the first season (1960-1961), where the camera panned out to show other houses in the Bedrock neighborhood, as Fred banged on his own door to be let in.

For some reason, however, I hated this toy. Something about the dino-crane frightened me. I must’ve felt okay about the box, which has my crayon marks on it. Dad’s feelings were hurt; though not in a mean way, my parents tended to attach love with gifts and appreciation of gifts, and they also tended to hang onto hurts and slights for a very long time. The toy was something Dad mentioned, maybe once every five or ten years or so. “Paul didn’t like that toy,” he’d say. But it had been stored in the attic with many other belongings of theirs, seemingly beyond the ken of man.

When Mom’s house was eventually cleaned out, though, the toy reappeared amid all the things that had been in the attic. A “D” battery, now very corroded, was still in the dino-crane. I’ve kept the toy and box on display in my own home, not as a reminder of a childhood misunderstanding but of my (now deceased) parents' generosity and our Christmases together.


  1. Different "Love languages" often contribute to misunderstandings. Alex and I relate more to "touch" and "words" whereas Curt tends more towards "gifts" and "service". Paul, young children are often afraid of robotic toys. It is sweet that your dad wanted to gift you with something related to a passion of yours at the time, but bittersweet that he was disappointed with the results. Too often our own motivation in gift giving is to see that delighted reaction! But how elusive and unpredictable it is in children!
    This season lets remember that nothimg can compare with God's love for us, that he gave his own son to die for us. Our human attempts at love pale in comparison, but parents' love for their child comes close. Rest in the assurance that you were and are dearly loved.

  2. Hi, Anonymous. Well said in every way!