Remember what you wished for?

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 16, 2012

Three weeks ago, my 3-year-old’s favorite reading materials featured a little blue truck, a bevy of Dr. Seussian characters and Pete the Cat.

Things seemed so simple back then when Gibson would pull a couple books from his shelf each night and then hand them to mom and dad to read before turning out the lights.

His dreams most of those nights must have been filled with the Little Engine that Could chugging up the mountain, the Diggingest Dog making long channels through town or any of the other numerous characters that reside on his bookshelf.

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The books have really sparked his imagination.

Two Sundays ago that all changed with the loud thump of the Sunday newspaper on the front steps.

Hiding between the pages of the Sports section and Style section was a book that held Gibson’s every Christmas desire.

Thanks to K-Mart, Target, Toys-R-Us and Walmart, Gibson has now added to his quaint little picture books a different kind of reading material — something more addictive, something a little more commercial.

It’s not surprising that K-mart and Target call these catalogs filled with almost every toy imaginable a “Toybook.” Toy-R-Us branded their book as “The Great Big Toys-R-Us Book.”

Walmart, on the other hand, knows that they are hawking more than just pieces of plastic and electronic components. Calling it a “Wishbook,” the super retailer is appealing to the hopes and dreams of children everywhere.

Since they made their debut, it is common to see Gibson clutching to his chest one or all of these toy catalogs. Between bites at the breakfast table, he scans the pages.

And if mom and dad are within earshot, Gibson makes it known which toys he wants and which ones he doesn’t.

“I want that, that, that, that,” he says as he points to the various toys on the page.

Let it be known that my son does not discriminate. He may be partial to anything that has wheels, but it is quickly apparent that he wants nearly everything — from Barbie’s Glam Van to the Amazing Spider Man Mega Blaster Web Shooter to the Angry Birds Apptivity game.

You might think I’d have started tearing my hair out trying to figure out which toys Gibson really wants this Christmas. If we got him everything he says he wants, we would have to get him a new house to go with them.

I am sure every parent wants to grant their child’s every wish each Christmas, but I am enjoying just watching Gibson’s eyes light up as he concentrates on each and every toy on the page.

I remember those days as a kid poring over the pages of the Sears’ Wishbook, imagining how great it would be to have all that stuff. But I can remember only a handful of toys that I wanted so much that I would be disappointed if they were not under the tree.

I loved the toys and presents I did get so much that the toys I circled in the Wishbook faded into Christmas history. The presents I did receive seemed to make every Christmas perfect.

I am sure that it will be the same way for Gibson this year.


Ben Hillyer is the design editor of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or by e-mail at