Pretty soon all the leftover turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie will be piled higher than Mt. Everest into disposable fridge containers. It is a sign that a bunch of merry shoppers will be headed out for their annual Christmas bargain fix. Not interested. If I partook of the Black Friday mayhem, I know for certain there would be some really bad shopping decisions made on my part. Nuff said.
I am not adverse to a bargain. A few weeks back, the Radio Flyer wagon peeps placed in my mailbox a red and white brochure with a 20 percent off coupon. That marketing flyer successfully baited a multi-pronged fishing hook right through my left cheek. Not sure how they knew there were grandparents residing at our abode. Our daughter and son-in-law were the ones that purchased Jake’s tot trike when he turned 1 … not us. Oh, but these Radio Flyer people wear smarty pants. 
Who doesn’t go way back with the iconic Radio Flyer red wagon? I asked the hubster the other night if he ever had a little red wagon. 
“I did. But it was a shared wagon. Growing up with nine sisters and a brother, some things, like bathrooms and hand-me-downs, you just had to share. I do remember the Christmas my slightly older sister, Michele, and I got matching red trikes. Everyone thought we were twins,” Rick said.
Fast-forward a few years and the hubster also recalled using the little red wagon to gather newspapers from the neighborhood for his school recycling program. 
“Each class had a spot along the curb in front of the school. The class with the most newspapers got a little prize,” said Rick with a smile.
Our kids also had an official Red Radio Flyer wagon. Not sure when it was first purchased. Probably our oldest, Katie, got one for Christmas and we just used it to haul kids and stuff for all three of our munchkins. 
I do remember when it came in especially handy. Our special needs daughter was probably 5 years old when she had her first hip surgery. The challenge with Mimi’s cerebral palsy through the years has been some involved orthopedic surgeries. This particular one meant four weeks in a body cast with her little body stiff like a board. The cast basically started at her armpits and ended at her feet with little pink toes poking out. It was a tad confining to say the least and a very long four weeks. Keeping Mimi from thinking about being stiff took its toll on all of us. 
So one day halfway through her confinement, we were all getting pretty tired of hanging out in the house when a light bulb suddenly appeared above the hubster’s head. Rick casually suggested taking Mimi for a walk around the block. I trusted he had a plan because I sure didn’t. Katie and our little Ricky were invited into the garage to help Dad clean out the Red Ryder wagon. I was told to gather lots of pillows. The Frantz family musta been quite a sight out in the neighborhood pulling Mimi around the block. It proves there are lots of ways that a simple red wagon can lift your spirits. 
So last week, with Radio Flyer coupon in hand, the hubster and I hopped on the Internet to make our first Christmas gift purchase. We used their “Build-A-Wagon” section on the website. With choices like classic or modern wagon, seat and tire options, canopies, several seat covers and custom name plates to sift through, we finally completed our purchase.     
Jake’s wagon was delivered this week. The UPS dude didn’t look stressed at all. Obviously, he hasn’t even begun the busy part of his Christmas delivery workout. Did I mention the wagon came in a huge box? Chances are the box will be Jake’s favorite gift. I expect it won’t be too long till the wagon, from grandma and pop-pop, will finally be noticed. 
And then there is the day after Christmas when we gear up for all those after-Christmas sales. Not me. I will be too busy pulling out leftovers from the Christmas feast.
Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 19 years. If you are interested in wagons, trikes, bikes and all manner of kid stuff check out radioflyer.com. Email red wagon comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit Dixie’s blog at lifesloosethreads.com   

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