Killing My Inner Child, One Christmas List at a Time

Now that we have a kid, my husband Jeff and I can’t wait to get toys. Not so much for him, but for us.

“Legos!” Jeff cried out the other night, like he had some kind of special consumer-based Tourette’s. “We’ll get to play with Legos!” Me, I’m holding out for some Hungry Hungry Hippos action. And today’s more modern toys seem cool, too; the other night we saw a commercial for something called the “Elefun Ball Popper” which promised, and I quote, “ball-dropping fun.” In related news, I would like to work as a copy writer for children’s toy advertising.

Anyway, this excitement made me realize that for the past 15 years or so, I have not asked for anything remotely fun for Christmas. I used to ask for elaborate toys that required a lot of assembly and which I promptly ignored after I used them once. Those were the days. I ended nearly all of my lists to “Santa” with the word “Suprizes” (sic) followed by approximately twenty exclamation points. In other words, I was fucking excited.

Circa 1989. Oh, wait--there's more than one page, y'all. (Note the staples!)

I like that there are 19 items and then a dismissive "That will be all." (Also, see my premonition of the jumpsuit fad over 18 years in advance!)

I still get excited about Christmas, but now I’m excited about eating too much cheese and passing out in front of a fire. Last year, I finally broke down and actually asked for socks. This year I’m crossing my fingers for a new mattress or maybe some cash I can use to pay off my credit card or buy nursing pads in bulk. The edge? Yeah, I live on it.

I distinctly remember watching my parents ooh and ahh over dish towels and historical novels as a child and making a mental note: Stay cool, self. Don’t be that guy. Always demand make-your-own dollhouses that you will never finish putting together, and candy that will make your dentist weep!

I’m sorry, inner child. But a good box spring is hard to find.

About Una LaMarche

Una LaMarche blogs at The Sassy Curmudgeon, and writes for The New York Observer, The Huffington Post, and NickMom. She dominates at mini golf, especially after a few drinks, and it is a fact that Tim Gunn once complimented her on her sandals. You can find her hawking blog posts and fetishizing candy on Twitter, and if you really want to feed her ego (which took a major hit thanks to an adolescent unibrow and a penchant for Troll doll earrings), you can become her fan on Facebook.


  1. Liz says:

    I giggled, mostly because my inner child feels the same way. I watched all of the adults as they opened their gifts and I thought, Candles? Seriously? No. I will NEVER ask for candles. I will keep it real with Barbie. Of course, we didn’t say “keep it real” back then, but whatever. I’m with you on the socks; I may just have to ask for underwear, or at least a gift card to Victoria’s Secret so I can pick out my own damn underwear.

    How did we get to this point?!

    Truthfully, though, I’d rather we — meaning my circle of family members and friends — got each other small, practical gifts rather than anyone feel like they have to spend a lot of money. I’m about stressed to the max over Christmas, and it’s still like three weeks away. This is why I like Thanksgiving much, much better.

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  2. Mindfulmoon says:

    We draw names at Thanksgiving (even if we’re not together for it) and we just get one gift for one person. Oh, well yeah, we slip little tiny gifts in to each other by calling them “stocking stuffers” (we have a multiple-personality santa visiting us every year) but the big thing is just for the person whose name we draw.

    Is it wrong that, even though my list also contains things like:

    1. 3 40 foot regular height shipping containers
    2. 3 or 4 pocket doors with installation kits
    3. one week backhoe rental

    it also contains many of the items listed above?

    What’s wrong with still liking teddy bears? I mean, that Build-a-Bear place is for adults too.

    Also, we have NO CHILDREN and I literally was JUST discussing the best place for him to find an erector set on the internet. Right after that, we naturally discussed Lego acquisition as well…

  3. HeatherS says:

    My first child is 9 now, so we had the original playskool Ball Popper (no elephant theme) and I promise you, it WAS hours of ball-dropping fun! He played with that thing for hours, until he was like, 3 years-old. And I’m sorry to report that once you’re over 30, Hungry Hungry Hippos is just really, really loud…and yes, my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas on Thanksgiving Day and I told her I needed socks. It’s tough to get old :).

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  4. marj says:

    See, I’m a large child and I still ask for “toys”. Like a DSLR (two years ago), the R2D2 special edition droid (last year) and the special edition Star Wars Xbox 360 (hopefully this year). But yeah, I get you. We bought a new car and are getting our fireplace done, so the fun toy prolly won’t happen.

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  5. Tiffini says:

    NEVER LET THE INNER CHILD DIE! I ask for a Happy Holiday’s Barbie every year. I have 20 of them and I don’t care if I get a million. Barbie is what mini-me wants and Barbie is what she shall have! I also have every Monopoly game ever invented. I could play that game forever.

    Of course I always have silly grown-up things on my list like gloves, socks and crap like that. And I ALWAYS say (when asked what I want for Christmas) “As long as the kids are happy, I’ll be fine” I’m a good mommy, I know the ropes. But if my Barbie isn’t under the tree on Christmas morning I foresee a hell of a tantrum. My inner child is one of the kids too darn it!

  6. MamaKaren says:

    The year that Hubby and I asked for Home Depot gift cards to go toward supplies for building a new bathroom was the ultimate inner-child killer for me. Hey, please give me funds so I can do extensive labor for a room with utilitarian purposes! Woo hoo!

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    I am totally adding them to this year’s Christmas list. You’re welcome, inner child.


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