Readying mind and heart for Christmas
  • Getting the presents we give
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    Soul Rythem

    The toy that buzzed my heart

    Pic-up Stixs, marbles, jacks and old maids cards were among the Christmas gifts found under our Christmas tree, when I was growing up. My older brother Earl, my younger sister, Deborah and I shared these presents and enjoyed playing them on Christmas day and the days after with our friends on Barton Street.

    The young competitor in me loved the challenge of trying to ease the green stixs out of the tangle of red, blue and yellow ones, without touching the others. I don’t recall ever being particularly good at it but it was fun. So were jacks and marbles that we played outdoors in the mild Savannah winters.toypicupstix[1]

    One year, though, I got an early glimpse at a gift that I could not wait to open.  A day or so before the holiday,  mischievous Earl, I think it was him, discovered in a closet several presents my parents thought they were hiding. He showed them to me and I could hardly contain myself. We put the unwrapped presents back into the closet and with all the restraint we could managed, we waited.

    The three of us always got up early on Christmas Day and ran to the living room, where the fir tree that my dad brought home and we decorated (usually on Christmas eve), beckoned us. One of the first gifts to be ripped open was the rectangle box we had spied earlier. I was giddy with delight and didn’t have to fake it when the wrapping came off “Operation, The Electric Game Where You’re the Doctor”. 

    I couldn’t wait to take my turn with the tweezers as I played doctor and tried to fix red-nose Cavity Sam’s medical problems without bumping the side of the hole and causing the buzzer to go off where the heart, ankle bone, spare ribs and other maladies festered.   

    The game brought  our family lots of laughter, with my older three siblings often joining in egging each of us younger ones on. I must have been in my early teens, because I now see that Operation did not come out until 1965.  It was billed as a game that promoted eye and hand coordination.  Not sure that it did me much good in that area since I have a hard time scoring with the fast-paced games on my daughter’s ipod. But I do know that it made my young heart jump for joy.


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