Do children think about money when they make their Christmas lists? I did. I remember lying on the floor with the FAO Schwarz catalog and eliminating things that I realized were too costly. The item that tempted me for several years was a hollowed-out log, sort of a tree house triplex, with all sorts of woodland creatures and whimsical furniture. My memory is that this cost $89.95, which I just ran through an inflation calculator; in 2003, such a toy would have cost $431.33.
Instead, I “settled” for a stable of horses at $14.95 ($71.69 in 2003 dollars) — a blue structure with four horses, one black, one white, two chestnut. I saved a lot of my toys into adulthood, but the stable was not particularly durable. The horses’ legs tended to break and, well, what Horace McCoy said.
So make a list for Santa — of toys remembered and loved, and toys for which one actively yearned, but never got. (E-Z Bake Oven! Creepy Crawlers!) Also, did anyone ever get that one really hard part in “Operation.” Which part was that? The breadbasket? The wishbone?