Saturday, December 25, 2010

My favorite Christmas gift ever

The best Christmas gift I received as a child was a butterfly collecting kit when I was in the third grade and living in Roseville, Minn., in 1971.
It came with a mounting kit and a couple of exotic specimens ready for display.
I’ve always loved butterflies and moths – their beauty, variety and mystery. As a young boy, I studied them and caught them in yards and fields in and near our home.
Now I wouldn’t think to harm a butterfly. They’re wonderful creatures and nature would be better off with more of them. But as a 9-year-old boy I didn’t yet appreciate that butterflies are a limited resource.
A year or so ago, I asked my Mom to recall the gifts that were popular with boys and girls in the 1960s and 1970s when my siblings and I were growing up.
She said the hot items for her kids were Hot Wheels toy cars, Big Wheels, Barbies with all the accessories, Chatty Kathy, Mrs. Beasley, Baby Alive, Easy Bake Oven, Hula Hoops, ant farms and butterfly collections.
Times have certainly changed.

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