Thursday, September 17, 2009

They are right around the corner...

143. We received 143 boxes yesterday. Two UPS trucks backed up to the garage door and started the process of unloading their trucks. Wow. That means 143 boxes of toys were priced and put on shelves (well, they all haven't been put away yet...still some work to do).

The holiday season is upon us, whether we are ready for it or not. The economy, homework, sports, weather, cooking dinner, swine flu, or crying baby can't stop them from coming. Halloween costumes will be made or purchased, the Thanksgiving turkeys will be carved, and then the trees will be decorated and the menorahs lit. Hopefully the perfect presents will be wrapped, then unwrapped, and excitement will occur and the fun will begin!

We don't need to buy a lot of presents for kids, just good ones. I am spending hours studying catalogs, talking to sales reps, asking customers questions, and attempting to stick with a strict budget, to offer the 'perfect' selection at our store this holiday season. There's no way it will be perfect, but I sure can try! There are wonderful choices of toys everywhere you look. You can sit down and order everything you need on line, I know that. But, what I hope is, people will feel the desire to visit a small, locally owned toy store this year. Our (the small mom & pop owners') passion is providing the knowledge, of our years in the business, to help select the perfect toys for children of all ages. We know our products, (and the companies that make them), we open our boxes, we touch each toy, we are concerned about safety, we work day and night to create a fun, kid friendly environment for families to visit.

ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association, has compiled a list of the 'Best Toys for Kids', 2009. Store owners, manufacturers, and sales reps, all had the opportunity to nominate items, then vote on them as a group. It wasn't determined by one or two people, but dozens. We took our years of experience and voted. There are no Tickle Me Elmos on the list. No Dora, Sponge Bob or remote control cars. The list does include toys to actually play with, to create with, to learn from and to really spark a child's imagination. That's what we all should strive for. To allow the children in our lives the opportunity to open their minds, and have the freedom in their toys to use their imagination to create their 'perfect' world...even for a little while.

Visit a locally owned toy store this holiday season. We will thank you and the children in your life will thank you.