The race is on officially for holiday preparations and shopping. As always, I get an early start and then find myself at the 11th hour becoming frazzled. The opportunities are there for shopping — black this day, black that day and cyber whenever. When all else fails — gift cards.

My favorite things to shop for are toys, because that is what I liked as a child (still do). One of the last dolls I received was from my mother. It was a Ken doll. She felt sorry for me that Christmas, because I didn’t have a boyfriend. Well, I have the “boyfriend” now – Husband Joe — and I still have the doll.

When our children were growing up, it seemed as if each year there was “the toy” advertised highly and wanted by all. Of course, there was a limited supply. I think it was done on purpose. 

My standout recollection was Evel Knievel on a motorcycle. There were a few of us in hot pursuit for that little guy, and each of us knew that if we found it we would by at least three, as time drew near cost became no object. 

If we wound up with extras, we could easily sell it to some other person who was on the hunt. Happily we made all of the boys happy, and my son played with it long past Christmas. Thank goodness, after what his mother went through. The Cabbage Patch doll was another search, but not as dire or critical. She is still here sitting on a chair in a bedroom.

Today’s toys are electronic, more expensive and require more batteries than I have in my refrigerator. The saying “Santa is watching you,” which my mom always used as a threat starting around July, has been replaced by the Elf on the Shelf and the Mensch on the Bench. 

There is still nothing better than seeing the look on a child’s face at Christmas, even after you try to account for the 105 pieces of Legos that have scattered.

OK, it is Cyber Monday and there are still a few hours left to “shop,” so I will continue my quest. Then I can send my mail orders from Aunt Diana’s and start the Christmas cards. I will start at the end of the alphabet this year, so those folks are sure to get their cards on time. 

Or, I can kick back, have a glass a wine and contemplate all there is to be done. Sounds good.