Dear Santa – Please bring me a gas-powered plane like the one on the back of Boys Life Magazine. It’s OK if I don’t get anything else. I did lose the football I got last year, and battery acid ruined my Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea submarine but I really, really want that airplane.

Santa never personally responded. Neither did my parents. The response came on Christmas morning when “the package” wasn’t an airplane. It was actually a Spirograph set that lasted me for years but that wasn’t the point in 1966. I really wanted that plane.

All of us have experienced that moment of disappointment – even on the most exciting day of the year.

Parents prepare their children for many of life’s letdowns but when it comes to Christmas morning, kids are pretty much out on their own. After all, it’s Santa magic that brings all the toys. “Don’t look at me,” they are thinking.

Almost everyone has a tale of Christmas morning surprise. A New Jersey friend told of the year he begged Santa for a NY Yankees jersey. Santa brought him a NY Mets jersey. My guess is that the Mets gear was discounted because they were the worst team in baseball. That reminds me, Dallas Cowboys gear is on sale at Kohls.

I deserve some blame as well. For years my kids hoped Santa would deliver a motorized ride-on car. Every visit to Toys R Us included a trip to the car aisle where they would sit in every car and dream of the day Santa deposited one in our living room. They never got one probably because we regularly watched the dumb things do with them on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

I don’t think any of us are bitter. Every toy that Santa brought and every gift our parents wrapped was bought with love. There was just a communications breakdown somewhere along the way.

My suggestion would be to create an online PDF form that kids fill out with wish list items, rationale and budget estimates – just like their parents do.

I recently saw a Facebook post of “The Sears Christmas 1963 Wishbook.” There was Mr. Machine, “the comical walking robot who swings his arms.” I really, really wanted one of those. Scanning the page, I found many other items of 7-year-old desire. So here is my unfinished Christmas list for 2020 with 1960s prices.

Dear Santa – If you have time, please bring me a Schwinn Stingray Bicycle ($49), Mr. Kelly’s Car Wash for my Matchbox Cars ($5.99), a wood burning set ($5.89), the 190 piece D-Day Combined U.S. Air and Ground Invasion Force with Exploding Mechanisms ($5.89), Matchbox City heat sealed and vacuum formed highways and overpasses ($7.99), G.I. Joe Splashdown Space Capsule - G.I. Joe not included – ($9.49) and the Lost In Space Robot with Blinking Lights and Movable Arms ($6.88).

I’d give them all up for a gas airplane though but the Spirograph was actually very cool. Thanks Santa (mom and dad).

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