I was Howard Langston…at least for a few hours.

If you understood the title of this post, you’re either an Arnold Schwarzenegger fan or fan of the movie Jingle All the Way.  How did I become like Howard looking for Turbo Man at the last minute? Funny you should ask.

Last Monday December 23, my wife and I and the kids joined their cousins and we went to the Christkindlmarket in Downtown.  We wanted the kids to enjoy the day outside and then go to Macy’s to visit and take a picture with Santa Claus.  While walking to Macy’s we took a detour which ended up with us going to the Disney store. Quick note, my little girl is a HUGE fan of Disney stores and I knew that walking, even near this store would be trouble.  Sure enough, once we entered the store she found a toy from the movie Frozen that she wanted.  With Christmas a day away, we told her to ask Santa for it and maybe it would be waiting for her under the tree come Christmas morning.  After some convincing, she agreed that she will let Santa know about the toy.  Now here is where the fun begins.

The Frozen Fashion Doll set. Pretty small box, right?

As you can see from the picture above, this toy isn’t something that I could run back to the store, buy and hide in the stroller on the ride back.  Trust me I thought about doing that, but since we went to Downtown on train, there was no way I could hide this from her, without her asking a million and one questions on the ride home.  When we got back home that night I couldn’t sleep.  I don’t know if it was just the excitement of seeing my kids open their new toys or an upset stomach, but I just couldn’t sleep right away.  I woke up around 4:30 that morning and started thinking about the toy. Can I still get it? Where can I go and get it? Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the face on my little girl when she opens it?

I remembered that there was a Disney store in a nearby mall so I looked up their holiday hours and made it a point to get there when they opened at 7am.  I got to the mall about five minutes after opening and ran to the Disney store.  I walked over to the Frozen section and it was bare.  I asked one of the employees there and she told me that they were sold out.  She mentioned that another Disney store, fifteen minutes away might have it, but they do not open until 8am.  So I had an hour to kill and visited the nearby Target to get some last minute supplies that I was needing at home: tape, gift bags and a something to eat.  I got in my car and called the store. I knew it was early, but figured someone had to be in the store already and maybe they would answer the phone. When I finally got through to someone, they informed me that they were out of them too.
I knew that the store on State street had them in stock, because we were just there the day before and they couldn’t have sold all of them in a few hours, so I knew what I had to do; drive downtown and get the toy.  I got on the expressway and drove to said Disney store but couldn’t find parking.  I tried driving near the front of the store to see the hours of the store, but there was nothing posted on the door.  After driving in circles for a few minutes I decided to drive by the Disney Store on Michigan Ave. to see if they were open and had any in stock.  I mean it’s Christmas eve, don’t most stores open early on this day to make some sales?
I found a parking spot and called the Michigan Ave. store and the young man that answered said the store doesn’t open until 9am (granted it was only around 8:30 when I called) and that they were sold out of the Frozen set.  I only had one place left to go and I didn’t know what time they opened at.  I looked up the number of the store on State and gave them a call.  The employee that answered the phone told me that they opened at 10am and when I asked him about the Frozen Fashion Doll set he asked me, “How many did you need?” I said I just need one, he said, “What’s you name and it’ll be waiting for you.”  I drove again to the nearest Target to kill time and buy something else that I forgot to get the first time. I sat in the car for awhile, then decided to drive to the store.
On the side street there was a 15 minute flashing light zone, so I decided to park there until the store opened, I had 30 minutes until that time.  While I sat in the car I started thinking about the day’s events and how many more times in the future will I be doing something like this.  I started thinking about the late nights I will be in line to buy that latest gadget for my kids or that hot new toy that they would want to play with.  I began laughing because I thought to myself, I should take my kids to see Santa earlier so I wouldn’t have to run around all last minute like this, but then I started thinking, isn’t this what being a parent is all about? Doing everything that you can to make your children happy.  I mean it doesn’t always have to be buying them toys or expensive items, but just doing something out of the ordinary for them.
Finally, it was 10 o’clock. I ran to the store and gave my name at the counter.  The guy gave me the toy and I raced home with my prize.  I stopped to get breakfast on the way home too.  I had to keep the toy in the car until I was able to sneak it inside. Luckily, my little girl took an early nap and I was able to bring the toy inside wrap it up and hide it before she woke up.  This is what happened the following morning. 

Just seeing that look of surprise on her face and hearing her joy that morning made my day.  I mean, the dolls are pretty awesome and their dresses are made of great material.  Just look at the pictures below to see some of the detail on the dresses.  Maybe I’ll buy another one and save it in the closet as a collectible. It might be worth something one day.  Thanks for reading.

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