Against my better judgment, I was in Toys ‘R’ Us today, shopping for the latest addition to our daughter’s ever-growing list for Santa. I tell her that she can’t keep adding to this list– Santa has to have enough time to make all the presents. She’s already seen Santa and whispered her list to him– I think in an effort to test me…to see if I’m really Santa. I’m not sure how this will work. I guess if she gets everything on the list she told Santa, then he’s real. But if she doesn’t, then her father and I must be Santa because we didn’t know what was on the secret list.
She has plans to sleep in the living room on Christmas Eve, under my Snow Village table (which is skirted in fabric), with plenty of cookies to stave off starvation. This is an effort to see the real Santa, or catch us in the act of pretending to be Santa I suppose. I’m not worried about this last plan. She just recently started sleeping in her own room, with the lights on, so it really will be a Christmas miracle if she sleeps alone in the living room all night!
Anyway, I was in Toys ‘R’ Us looking for her latest addition which she refers to as a Queasy-Bake Oven. English is her second language and she’s quite fluent, however she occasionally comes up with these very endearing malapropisms. Of course, I realize I should correct her so she knows that it’s really an Easy Bake Oven, but if I correct every language error, I fear that would be demoralizing. And it’s very tempting to focus on grammar and let these words or phrases persist since they are so amusing and she always eventually figures out the right term and simply starts using it without any comment.
As I maneuvered my cart through the store, along with the other parents and their carts overflowing with kids and toys, I began to wonder about the ritual of the list and the challenge we face as parents in discerning which gifts to give and which to forego. When she first mentioned the Queasy-Bake Oven I said, “We already have an oven– what do you need a toy oven for?” But as I thought about it, I realized that this would be her very own oven. She would be in charge of the making and baking process and, in her mind at least, not subject to my rules about the right way to roll a pie crust or spoon dough onto a cookie sheet. This gift was coming from an emotional need– to be more grown up like Mommy– and a love for food and the comforts it brings. So it was decided. There will be a Queasy-Bake Oven under our tree this year.
Some other requested gifts won’t make the cut– the doll that walks, the all-terrain vehicle (where did that come from?)– but the gifts that do show up on Christmas morning will be the ones we believe provide satisfaction on an emotional level. And hopefully she’ll find at least one or two of the secret presents whispered to Santa!
Liz Smith has worked across the globe for many of the world’s major apparel brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Chico’s, Justice, and Hanes. She has earned thousands of airline points and worn out several suitcases visiting factories in more than 20 countries to ensure that production is of the highest standard. Liz has managed all aspects of garment production, from design through fabric development to sewing and merchandising– so she knows what it takes to make high-quality apparel. Liz is thrilled to share her knowledge about clothes to help discerning customers choose the finest products.