Fran Crawford Franecdotes logo

fran crawford franecdotes page divider

More about me

My columns

My Poetry

fran crawford franecdotes page divider

Visit my
RVing web sites

Home Is Where We
Park Our House


fran crawford franecdotes page divider


fran crawford franecdotes logo

The Territorial Dispatch
December18, 1996

Darned if it isn't another Christmas Whammy!

Wham! Darned if it isn't another Christmas Whammy! It's gotta be the doings of Madison Avenue... but how do they sneak up on parents like that? Probably about as easy as you can sneak up and Tickle Me... Elmo!!!

When I was a kid it was a Betsy Wetsy babydoll. My sister had to have one, one Christmas. It's all she would say she wanted. I don't know where she heard about it because that was pre-television in our house, but all her friends were going to have one and she had to have one too.

My parents finally acquired one from the Joseph Horne Company in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) after searching for weeks locally and then for a whole day in Pittsburgh. They had to order it from the catalog and hope it would arrive in time for Santa to deliver it. Dad used to say that some of his most embarrassing moments were going into department stores in Cleveland and Chicago (he traveled a bit in his job) asking for a 'Betsy Wetsy'.

When my kids were youngsters the closer we got to Christmas the more excited they got about commercials on the television. They wanted this... they had to have that.... everyone was going to have one of those, so they needed one also!

The year of the Varrroooom Race Car was the cooker for me. All of a sudden the whole world was going coo-coo. Everyone was trying to get their hands on a Varooom Race Car for their kids. It's all I heard for days on end! So I went out to search. I needed two... three if possible. Ha! Fat chance. I could order them to come in after the holidays.

Well, the boys all survived to be fairly well-adjusted, productive adult human beings anyway. And after that I developed a policy: If it was hyped and ballyhooed on kid shows on the television they might as well not ask for it for Christmas, because I would not get it for them.

Ha! Now they are faced with such problems. [It's kinda fun being a grandparent and watching life recycle!]

Couple of years ago it was Power Rangers. The year was moving along, smoothly, at regular pace when whammo! All of a sudden the cry went up for POWER RANGERS! Every kid in the U.S... probably the world... had to have Power Rangers for Christmas. Most parents were unaware of their existence. And how to you search a toy department for something when you don't even know what it looks like... and absolutely NO SUBSTITUTE will do in the eyes of your child!

When the Power Ranger craze hit there were 'war' stories about how people fought over them in stores and how prices were raised because crazed parents would pay just about anything for them. If any were found in out-of-the-way stores someone would likely buy up a bunch and scalp them in city parking lots.

The kids know exactly what they want... no non-name-brand imitation will do. Now I admit, I haven't been an avid Sesame Street fan lately, but I don't exactly run around with my head in a brown bag either. So how in the heck did I get 'snuck'... is that really a word? ...snuck up upon by 'Tickle Me, Elmo'?

What is it about some particular item that all of a sudden every child in the universe, all at once, zeros in on and will absolutely, positively die if they don't get one for Christmas??? That object immediately becomes a 'collector's item', for real... not like those things they advertise flat out as 'collectibles'.

I understand that, once it gets started, it's a peer pressure thing... like Hard Rock Cafe shirts, etc. But where is the beginning... what starts the wave of enthusiasm for things like Tickle Me Elmo? Or better yet... why can't I invent a hula hoop, or a pet rock, or a Fear This sticker, or... or... a Buzz Lightyear to the rescue!!??

That's what I want for Christmas, Santa... bring me the secret; bring me whatever it is that will strike everyone's fancy next... so I can go out and buy up a warehouse full of them and be the first kid on the block to have one. C'mon, Santa... puhlease? After all... 'you're my favorite deputy!'

My Christmas Limerick for You
The Holiday Season is here
A time that is filled with 
Good Cheer
And, as some of us know,
We will Tickle Elmo
And others will tickle Lightyear
Whether you're a girl or a boy
Or too grown up for a toy
I'd just like to say
I hope that your Day...
And your New Year 
Runs over with Joy
Back to My Columns Index Page  ** Back to My Home Page