December 16th is Stupid Toy Day, a day dedicated to looking back on the stupid toys of our childhood and remembering the stupid fun they inspired. The origins of Stupid Toy Day are unknown, but it seems appropriate to celebrate the off-beat amusements of our past during the holiday season, a time of year rampant with gag gifts, “white elephant” gift exchanges, and a whole lot of letters to Santa pleading for stupid toys. And if you’re one of the lucky few who still has a stupid toy or two hidden away in the closet, today is a great excuse to find it and enjoy some stupid fun with your stupid treasure.
I’m sure I had more than my fair share of stupid toys when I was growing up. Don’t get me wrong: I certainly don’t mean to dishonor them in any way by calling them stupid. But sometimes a very simple, basic idea can create a product that yields endless hours of fun. A perfect example would be the Slinky, a toy that, incidentally, my brother and I had when we were little. Looking back on those years I can recall a few more. My brother and I had at least one Magic 8 Ball we regularly consulted for advice and comfort. And when I was very young we spent a lot of hours playing with my Lite Brites. I remember having a Marie Antoinette action figurine. When you push a buttom on her back her head dramatically pops off. It’s so much fun, in fact, that I bought one for my former nieces and nephews when they became obsessed with the toy depicting the historic queen.
I wonder if there are any stupid toys lurking in the Christmas pile. My heart won’t be broken either way; I certainly don’t need any more toys, but sometimes there’s nothing more enjoyable than a silly toy or puzzle and the simple joy it can bring. Tomorrow we’ll continue enjoying life’s simple pleasured with a heaping stack of maple syrup soaked waffles in honor of National Maple Syrup Day!