Last time I wrote, I’d just picked up 8 special letters addressed to Father Christmas from some very deserving individuals [skim back 2 blog posts to begin at the very beginning of this Yuletide Saga]. It was then time for me to strap on my boots, crimson ensemble, and rouge my rosy cheeks to take on the most challenging role Hollywood and the World Over had to offer.
No, I didn’t actually dress up.
But I did have a Mrs. Claus in my roommate, G.
Even my fake persona has had more luck in the Love Department than I have. But I digress.
First, I made a list of all the kids and what they had specifically requested (if anything). Then, I checked that baby twice. Everyone was deemed well behaved (nice) and coal didn’t make the gift list this year.
Since there isn’t a Wal-Mart in Los Angeles that could confidently guarantee my safety and well being after dark, we headed to Target–the one at the foot of the Hollywood Hills.
What we found was more than a little discouraging in that the toy aisle had been sufficiently picked over and the merchandise was absolutely sparse.
Granted, this was only a few days after Black Friday, but one would think they would’ve restocked already!
Also, can someone tell me how a hunk of molded plastic costs so darn much?! The toys for the under 1 year olds are $30 a pop! What is Playschool trying to do to me besides rob me blind?
We skipped the electronics aisle altogether and went straight for the more traditional toys. Matchbox cars were on sale, some of the smaller lego sets were under $10 and we got a giant bag 15 mini-jars of Play-Dough. We also picked up some art supplies, puzzles, clothing, and toy dinos.
All for under $100. That’s less than $10 for each of the 11 kids, which, to me, is a mega deal.
Now, I have to wrap the presents in festive wrapping paper, and load them into mailable packaging. When I get to the post office, I’ll pay the postage (they’ve given me the zip codes) label them with the number associated with the individual letter, and the head elf at USPS will slap on their mailing address.
Since I ended up saving quite a bit on toys by shopping discount and sale items, I think I will pick up a few more letters since the Post Office is constantly receiving them through Christmas.
I’ve heard from quite a few people reading my blog who were disappointed that Operation Santa wasn’t held at their local Post Office. It’s a real shame considering kids from all over write to Santa and some will never get anything in return.
Next Fall, I intend to start a fundraising campaign to get enough money to serve 100 children in my area.
Until then, I’ll invest in some reindeer and a wheeled sled (since the odds of a white Christmas in LA are fairly slim), and continue to live vicariously through the children for whom I am purchasing these freakin’ awesome toys.
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