Ahhh, to be a kid in the age of the Internet!
They probably don’t even know it, but the kids these days have got it easy when it comes to Christmas. (prepare old man talk…) I mean, back in my day, when it came time each year to prepare that epic list of all lists to send to Santa in exchange for being “good” for another year, we had to whip out the old Crayolas and write our Christmas lists out by hand, often times in at least in my case going through several drafts and revisions thanks to last minute toy discoveries before coming to that final copy which would be passed on to the big man himself to be enjoyed over cookies and milk. I am happy to admit that year after joyous year, my efforts were well rewarded as I woke the next day to find myself surrounded by all of the latest toys that spoiled kids like me were getting that particular year, however nonetheless looking back now I just can’t help but think at how much more efficient I could’ve been had I the technology back in those days that the kiddies have available to them today…
How much faster could I have beaten my own personal record of saving the princess from the evil King Koopa?
How much farther could my mighty pillow fort have expanded across the uncharted and perilous terrains of our living room??
How many more of my classmates could I have saved by spreading the warning that yes, cooties really do exist and that the girls in our homeroom were literally teaming with them???
You see, the kids today have it so much simpler when it comes to penning up a good Christmas list because instead of all of that writing and whatnot, pinpointing the toys that they long for and desire is now only a few mouse clicks away. Just pop on to Toys ‘R Us (dot) com (now partnered with amazon.com) and any kid who can spell his own e-mail address can select toy after kung-fu gripping toy to add to their own personal wishlist, to then later be filled by aunts, grandparents, and of course, the jolly, old fat man himself. Choices are limited only by the vast inventories of the toy giant’s and all of its partners combined, meaning that hearing, “I’m sorry, buddy, but they were all out of the Super Mega Bowling Brothers…” should be a thing of the past and the automatic checklist ensures that those precious moments in the days to come after Christmas itself can be spent battling the evil Rock People of Gamma Omega VIII in an effort to restore peace to the Elphorian Galaxy instead of battling the evil Customer Service Managers of Wal-Mart in an effort to exchange three extra Starfleet Commanders that assorted relatives gave you for the Laser Tanks and Armadillo Warriors that your battle armada desperately need to stand a fleeting chance against the Rock People or the Zombie Death Squad or any number of Shrill Beasts that have overtaken the Elphorians under the rule of the Evil Emperor Zaktod!
Really, the only thing the service is missing are those little scanning guns that they give us big people for the registries that we setup for weddings and babies – as if your local, neighborhood toy store isn’t chaotic, bordering hell-raising enough without sending them on a scanning spree like a kid in a, well, candy store that also happens to sell toys! Granted, given a single child that kind of power, it might just be easier for Toys ‘R Us to print a wishlist consisting roughly of the entire store because it would likely save the place thousands on body armor for the staff during months of November and December, but still, I’m picturing a scene not unlike many of the kid-centered game shows that I remember from my childhood where the grand prize was a shopping spree through a toy or video game store where the winner got whatever he could carry out in three minutes – very cool, indeed!
So yeah, it may be safe to say that you can color me jealous as the best friend of a kid who got the Xenius Interstellar Command Center for Christmas, but then again, who’s to say that you have to be under the age of 14 to fully appreciate the electronic wishlist in this fancy, technological age? For lest we not forget, a child’s Christmas gifts tend to get smaller and more expensive as they grow up and that fond trend certainly extends well into “adulthood” as well! And if I do recall, those fine folks at amazon.com also just so happen to offer a plethora of electronics and movies and even a few books that us big people might be into even more than said previously mentioned interstellar command center, so I say we all take a cue from the kiddies and logon to streamline our communications with S. Claus and the rest of the family this year! If it prevents only a single pair of wool socks from actually making it under the tree, then it’ll certainly be time well saved!
If anyone is looking for a gift for yours truly, my wishlist for 2007 can be found registered at amazon.com, Best Buy, and PayPal…