When I was about 6 or 7, and still believed in Santa, I inadvertently discovered the beginning of my mom’s stash of my Christmas presents. It was early for presents. Not long after my birthday but before the frenzy of the holidays set in. You see, back in the 80’s “Holiday shopping season” didn’t actually start at the same time they began to put out the Halloween costumes. Oh, those were the days when nobody even thought about shopping for Christmas presents until sometime through their second slice of pie on Thanksgiving.
So there I was “exploring” my mothers closet when pushed against the wall I spotted it. A Strawberry Shortcake doll!! Brand new! Still in the box!! I grabbed it like it could disappear before my very eyes and tore out of the closet and downstairs to the kitchen where my mom was.
“MOM!!!!” I shouted “MOM!! Look what I found in your closet! It’s a Strawberry Shortcake Doll! Still in the box!! How did it get there? In your closet?!? Can I have it??” I think I may have been panting I was so excited.
My mom, bless her, played it off like she didn’t know where it came from. “Oh, yeah look at that. Yes, it is a brand new Strawberry Shortcake doll, and no I have no idea where it came from.”
You see, since this was the good old days, when my young brain wasn’t inundated with Holiday commercials and stores with Christmas trees up before Thanksgiving I wasn’t even thinking that this could possibly be a Christmas gift that my mom was trying to hide. Nope, I was gloriously oblivious and was actually convinced that some magic toy portal had opened up in my mothers closet. For weeks I checked back, expecting to find a Pound Puppy or a Barbie. But alas, the magic toy portal only ever offered a single Strawberry Shortcake. And my mom found a better hiding place for the rest of my gifts.