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It’s beginning to look a lot like panic

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment
Originally published Oct. 28, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

Based purely on anecdotal evidence – and a sprinkling of wishful thinking – I’m seeing a pretty good Christmas coming.

Or, at least a more affordable one. At least until New Year’s Eve, when I'll have to explain why I’m confiscating toys Santa just delivered. “Well, it’s like this guys: The elves screwed up and used paint that could poison you. Santa’s sent them to timeout, so they can think about how to be nicer elves.”

In the past two weeks, I’ve:

* Read not one, but two, email blitzes from Fisher-Price. This followed on the heels of the free DVD in the mail.

The first offered free shipping for $50 orders. I was mightily tempted, but mighty glad I resisted, when the Go Diego Go! Animal Rescue Boat Big Guy’s been panting for was recalled days later.

The second gave me the chance to choose “toys he’s dying to unwrap.” I’d rather buy toys they’ll get to keep.

* Received an email from DisneyShopping.com offering 20 percent off site wide. “It’s your last chance to jumpstart holiday savings!” Want to bet I’ll get another chance within a week?

* Been invited to shop Toys R Use’s “biggest toy book ever plus free shipping!”

* Had the chance to get a free $20 Thomas the Tank Engine “accessory pack” by buying $80 worth of Thomas gear at Toys R Us. Toy shopping in an actual store? Wonder what that’s like.

And it’s not even Halloween yet.

Granted, this is only my fifth Christmas as a serious player in the toy-shopping game. But I’ve never seen the online blitz hit this early. Could toy folks be panicked after the summer’s recalls – literally tens of millions of playthings removed from the market – and the economy's struggles?

I might have to rethink my whole holiday shopping strategy.

Ordinarily, I lock down everything by Thanksgiving. If you think I’m hyper, you should meet my mother. Halloween is her deadline.

Ordinarily, I avoid actual bricks and mortar stores between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I venture out long enough for the guys to “buy” presents for Dad and their cousins. That’s about the limit of my tolerance for crowds and chaos.

But this year, I think I’ll hold off.

Admittedly, it’s an easy gamble. All Big Guy wants – at least, as of today – is a bike, and I haven’t heard of lead-paint problems at Schwinn plants. As for Little Guy, I have a few Thomas items stashed that I held back from his birthday when I decided I was spending too much. Amazingly, they haven’t been recalled. Yet. Copyrigh

t 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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