It’s not even Black Friday and my Christmas shopping panic has already hit


Christmas is five weeks away and all my son wants is the incredibly over-priced Lego Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer. I thought I had time to talk him out of it (“There’s too many pieces…I’m not going to spend all day Christmas day helping you build it…I’m already stepping on too many Legos left on the basement floor…”) And at least I thought there was time to catch it on sale. (The $99 toy was on sale at Target Sunday for $79.) I had seen five of the great big 1,000 + piece toys stacked on a shelf at the Bel Air Target on sale for $89 last week. I would have grabbed one if both kids weren’t with me. But when my husband went out to get it yesterday, they were all gone. All gone. Cleared from the shelves at the Bel Air Target, at the Abingdon Target and Wal-Mart and at the White Marsh Target. I went online. It was out of stock there too. Then my sister-in-law called and said they were going for more than $100 on eBay. I had no idea this was going to be a hard toy to find. Seriously, what parent in their right mind wants to give their children 1,367 more Lego blocks to step on in their bare feet? Apparently, I do. I thought to try Toys R Us. I found it on their website for $99. My husband agreed to check to see if it was in the Bel Air Toys R Us on his way to work in the morning. Bingo. He got it for $99. He even toyed with the idea of picking up two and selling one on eBay. But instead I told him to snatch up one of those funky keyboards by the performance artists known as the BlueMan Group. They seem to be much more available than the Star Wars Lego toy, but I was afraid people might realize this is a really cool present and start clearing them from the shelves as well. (My son’s been having fun making his own performance art and sending it to friends at BlueMan Group’s art site.) This early shopping panic is going to cost me a fortune. Wouldn’t it be great if each Christmas all the kids simply traded toys with each other?