What Did you Do the Day After Christmas?by Tyler Woods on Dec. 26, 2009, under Life
I headed out on some errands this morning, and I curiously looked down all the side streets, hoping to find some children playing with their new toys they got for Christmas. But I had forgotten—children don’t go outside to play very often anymore. They are stranded inside their houses with their video games and hand-helds, getting no sunshine or fresh air, and this got me thinking….
In the 60s, my family lived on a 40-acre ranch and outside of having a 40-acre backyard to play in, I was also given gifts for Christmas that encouraged me to go out and play. I was a tomboy, so it seemed like every year my mother gave me a plastic tent to pitch in the backyard. They did not last forever and in the 60s those tents cost about .99 cents, but they were fun and went well my walkie talkies.
My sister was far from a tomboy, so she was not going to play army or fort with me. She would spend time in her room after Christmas with her latest albums or fashions. She was beautiful and should have been a model. But me, I was outside, normally with my cousin Tom, playing with all my toys I got for Christmas. I loved getting skateboards, scooters, skates, slingshots and pellet guns. All were great fun for this pony-tailed kid.
One year, my mom gave me a Give-a-Show projector, and I would watch these silly slides of Johnny Quest either on my wall, or take it outside to my tent and show the slides on the side of the tent. It was actually hours of fun. I never got bored because there were so many slides like Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear, Mighty Mouse, and Rocky and Bullwinkle. My cousin and I would spend hours making up the dialog. To us, it was magical.
Hot Wheels sure made the grade for this tomboy; I would set up my groovy orange tracks outside and play for hours. Somewhere I think I still have a few cars and tracks. Hot Potato was another game my mom got me to play with. Generally we had to play that game outside because I would get a little dramatic and throw it so hard.
Once I a pogo stick. I had to play with that outside. It was not even allowed in the house; neither was my unicycle. Though I admit she would let us play Toss Across in the house as long as we did not go overboard and toss the bean bags too hard.
Other crowd pleasers were dart boards, lawn darts, and my favorite as a kid, croquet. Sometimes we could get the whole family out playing, sometimes just me my mom, or me and my dad, but I loved to play croquet. My father would set up a great course as we certainly had room in our yard to play that game.
I get sad that I do not see children play much anymore. Not a lot of kids play with their toys in the streets or their yards. Those days are long gone. I did however see a lot of kids out about not watching what they were doing as they walked through the grocery stores, playing their hand-held games. I suppose it is good to know parents just let them zone off into video games instead of being present in everyday life. This may get me thinking for an article about how in my day ADHD did not really exist.
Well, what did you do when you were a child after Christmas?