DETROIT – Every year sometime during late fall, before any of us are even thinking about Halloween costumes or that first snowfall, I make myself a big promise.
It has been the same promise every single year for the last eight Christmases with kids. I tell myself I will not under any circumstances allow myself to get caught up in the whirlwind of that hot holiday toy list. I refuse to do it. Every single year for the last eight years I have the same conversation with my husband.
We talk about keeping the holidays simple. This is because the last thing I want to do is arm wrestle some other mom at Target on Christmas Eve who is standing there holding the last toy every parent wants for their kid.
When you have little ones, playing Santa takes on a whole new meaning. You will do whatever it takes to make sure your children have everything they want under the tree.
Last weekend, I started talking to a mom sitting next to me at one of the 12 Santa breakfasts we have been to this season. She said her 2-year-old daughter really wanted a doll she had seen at Target months ago. It was $14.99. When she went back after Thanksgiving the doll was gone and the store was sold out.
And not just Target, but every other store she looked. She finally found it on Ebay, and because it was such a hot item, it was listed for more than $60. She bought the doll. It was what her daughter asked Santa for this Christmas. A little baby doll, and only that doll would do.
In our case, it was a vacuum that nearly did me in this year. It is a little yellow, cordless, toy, Dyson replica vacuum.
You see, our youngest baby boy loves to vacuum, and sweep and mop. When I saw this Dyson toy in an ad a while back, Santa mom made a mental note that it would be perfect for him this Christmas.
I should have handed over the $21.99 for it then. Why didn’t I? How was I supposed to predict the future and know that after Black Friday sales, all bets would be off?
Once I was ready to start checking things off my list, that little vacuum was nowhere to be found. And by nowhere, I mean nowhere. Target sold out. So did Amazon and Buy Buy Baby. Everyone I called blamed the manufacturer. So I called the manufacturer. Now I had to have this vacuum no matter what. Weeks went by and nothing. Still no vacuum. I came close when I found a gently used one on eBay for $70.
Still, I would not give up. I had a list of Target stores and called them several times a week. The nice folks at Buy Buy Baby finally told me they would call me if it ever came back in stock. Were they just tired of hearing my desperate voice?
Then a very kind lady working in the toy department at a local Target store gave me a tip. She said to call Fridays. That is when the delivery truck comes.
So every Friday I called. Weeks went by. No luck. No vacuum. Nothing.
My husband told me to stop stressing over the vacuum. "I’m sure it will come back in stock in January and we can get it for the boys on their birthday," he said. That is not what you want to hear when you are on a mission.
Finally, one Friday morning during my routine Target call that same kind lady working in the toy department came back on the line and said, “I think we just found one on the truck for you. It hasn’t been unloaded yet, but it is here.”
I could have fainted. I begged for them to hold it for me, which they don’t ever do. But they made an exception. Plus, I think maybe the folks at Target were getting sick of hearing my voice on the line, too.
I was overjoyed! My husband went over to pick it up. I could not wait to hear all the details. They were holding it for us in the back storage area in electronics.
My husband got there, paid for the vacuum, tucked it away safely in the trunk of his car so none of the kids would accidentally see it.
I was so happy to finally check that off my list. It was a good feeling to know I had conquered our family’s holiday toy list for this year.
That is up until my husband said, "I guess they did not have two vacuums?" I said of course they did not have two, I could barely get my hands on one.
That means one baby is not going to have a vacuum. They are going to fight over that vacuum. We need two. That was three weeks ago.
Moms, you know exactly what I am talking about.
I now have 10 days to find one. The countdown is on. As you’re reading this, I am still probably on hold with the toy department at some far-flung Target store somewhere in Michigan as they look for another yellow vacuum.