COMMENTARY: Making a List and Checking It Twice

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s that time of year again. Time to deck the halls, brave the malls, trim the tree, visit family—and if you’re a kid, it’s time to get serious about that Christmas list.

As we get older, our wish lists shift to more practical items, or fewer (and often more expensive) indulgences. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that my list included such fantasies as a horse like the one from the Billy and Blaze book series, an RV (a real one), a ride-on car, and other obnoxious requests.

Not everything was ridiculous or out of my parents’ price range, however. One Christmas I was delighted when Santa brought me a coveted doll that I’d had my eye on for months. Another year, Barbie’s shoe store made it down the chimney, to much jumping around and “YESSSS!!!”-ing. And the year that presents filled a shiny new Radio Flyer red wagon and overflowed all over the floor goes down as one of the most memorable of all.

Times have changed, and so have the requests of kids as they add, edit, erase, and perfect what may be the most important document of the year before carefully addressing it to the North Pole and sending it off to the big man himself. Here are a few gifts, old and new, that are sure to excite and delight the kids of today as they did us kids of yesteryear.

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The red wagon from my Christmas past was a simple, classic steel wagon that I thought was just the best ever. Now, Radio Flyer’s Build-a-Wagon offers customers the chance to design their wagon to their own unique specifications. Through the website, users can choose from the classic steel-and-wood design or modern plastic, quiet-ride or rugged rubber tires, and accessories including canopies, umbrellas, seat pads, and an MP3 player. [Read more...]

American Girl Expands Into Canada

AmericanGirlAmerican Girl, a division of Mattel, Inc., will expand into Canada. The new American Girl retail  stores will open this spring in Indigo’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre, Toronto, and Robson Street, Vancouver.

Visitors to Indigo’s new American Girl store-in-store boutiques will  find an assortment of the company’s doll brands, including:

  • Girl of the Year: a modern-day 18-inch doll, launched annually, accessories, outfits, and books that reflect the interests and issues  of today’s girls.
  • My American Girl—a line of contemporary 18-inch dolls that allows a girl to select from several different  combinations of skin tone, eye color, and hair-color to create a doll  that’s just right for her. A variety of books, outfits, and  accessories round-out the play experience for girls.
  • Bitty Baby—a line of baby dolls  available in 11 different combinations of skin tone, eye color, and  hair-color, accompanied by premium picture books, outfits, and  accessories that encourage nurturing play in girls 3 and up.

In addition to the doll lines, the Indigo American Girl store-in-store  boutiques will carry Dress Like Your Doll girl-sized clothing and  a variety of American Girl books. Fans can also  treat their dolls to a new hairstyle or ear piercing in the Doll Hair Salon and enjoy free girl-and-mom-friendly events and programs  offered throughout the year. Future announcements about grand-opening dates will be made as  schedules are finalized.