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Turn on your heartlight   —   Kid Stuff

When I was a kid I was obsessed with stuffed animals. While I had many of them, I was also very particular about which ones I wanted and which of them I had no interest in. The majority of them were purchased for me, as a gift of some sort, and I always loved those ones because then they were already mine and it was up to me to give them a good home. But if I was to pick them out myself, I required a connection with them, an instant bond, just any stuffed fur wouldn't do. There weren't many of my cherished stuffed animals that I'd chosen for myself, in fact I can only think of a few, but that didn't diminish my love for the ones gifted to me, and this story is about one such love.

I'll place my age at around eight, though it's really impossible to tell for sure anymore, the days before boobs and boys kind of run together in one lump of sugar-high toy-crazed time. But for the sake of storytelling, we'll say I was eight. Yay, eight! For Christmas one year my aunt gave me a Christmas themed stuffed bear. He was quite large, about 15 inches tall, was white like a polar bear, and wore a red winter hat and a red winter scarf. Nevermind the fact that he wore no other clothes, how a thin hat and scarf would protect him from the cold were beyond me. I suppose that's what my loving arms and python-death squeeze was for, so he wouldn't die of hypothermia of the stuffing. But the most remarkable feature on this bear was that his heart, a hard plastic red thing, was on the outside of his chest! It was some crazy medical condition this bear had but I was sworn to love him regardless. In place of the heart that was supposed to be inside of his chest, was a music box. From within the music box short snippets of Christmas music would play when you pressed on the bear's paws. The music was tinny and had a kind of new computer synthesized sound to it, and the songs were only short popular verses of longer well known Christmas tunes and they played one right after the other for two or three songs, a quiet 'click' of the mechanical organs sounding after each. And his heart glowed. It glowed red when the songs played.

We were instantly smitten, this bear and I, and night after night I would snuggle deep into my blankets and fall asleep to the queer sounding Christmas music and the soft red glow of his heart. He quickly elevated himself into the top five (favorites), and held an honored and coveted position along side of Odie, Sleepie bear, Lambie, and Art the Anteater, (sorry Grumpy! he was bumped down to sixth). At this time in my life my bed, pushed up against one side of the wall, was the home to all of my stuffed animals, so the honored five held court next to my pillow and shoulder, while the others mingled down the rest of the length of the bed. It was very crowded.

In the mysterious disappearance of all that was holy to me as a child, this bear (who I'd never named, oddly enough) vanished with the others. Somehow Odie, and Sleepie, and Lambie, and some others managed to escape The Nothing and to this day reside in my closet where they no doubt plot and plan ways they can turn back time to restore my youth (and their golden days and royalty). For years now the Christmas bear has been in my Ebay saved searches list and every so often I would go hunting for him, never with any success. I tried googling him but not knowing the name on his tag or anything more than vague descriptions never yielded anything but thousands of others in the Christmas Musical Bear variety. Now that Christmas is upon us I decided to try my luck again, assuming that Christmas crap is flooding the Ebay market this month and now was my best shot.

After a week of various searches and sifting through pages of anything Christmas, Musical, and Bear-like, I came upon an image that made my heart glow. It was him. The bear of my childhood, the one I'd been searching for, and he was in ... Michigan! The coincidence was overwhelming and I decided to obtain this bear at any cost. Luckily, I was the only bidder and he was mine for less than $20. When he arrived in the mail a few short days later, I opened the package, heart racing, and I swear the moment I pulled him out of the box the size of my smile could have engulfed all of Australia. This bear is about 20 years old and he is in mint condition, and more importantly, smells brand new. The woman who owned him kept him as holiday decoration so for the majority of his life he's been in storage. I raced to the drawer where we keep our batteries, found two and fumbled inside the bear's innards for the magic battery plugs. Adam was reading on the bed and I skipped into the room to share my jubilation with a man who knows all about toys equaling happiness. He laid there grinning at me while I squeezed the bear to my chest and twirled in circles, playing the familiar tinny Christmas music and basking in the glow of heartlight.

Posted 12.4.2008 6:09:16 PM

Botch the Husband wrote:
It's true, I rarely have seen Heather quite as happy as when this Bear arrived. :)
Posted 12/4/2008 8:29:42 PM - Botch the Husband's website
N@ wrote:
It makes me miss my Teddy Ruckspin (I think I spelled that wrong....?).

Except....that bear did nothing but creep me out.
So, I guess it doesn't make me miss him...it makes me wish I missed him.
He actually holds a high creep factor...up there with my brother's ET doll and Furbys. *shudders violently*

I loved....oooh, oooh...the Violet doll I had. She was one of the minor sidekicks of Rainbow Bright. She was nothing special - shy, cute glasses girl - but she was the one in purple, so she was my favorite. Hmmm...maybe I should eBay search her!

Anyways - I'm so happy you get to remember, find and enjoy your childhood toys/games. I think that is so cool.

Posted 12/4/2008 8:44:14 PM
Botch the Collector wrote:
>> find and enjoy your childhood toys/games. I think that is so cool.

Oh, it's "so cool" when *she* does it, but when *I* recollect every little thing I had as a kid, it's "scary", "disturbing", and "potentially illegal". I call double-standard!
Posted 12/9/2008 2:41:17 PM - Botch the Collector's website
N@ wrote:
It's just because I'm pretty sure everything you do is scary, disturbing and potentially illegal. Really.
Posted 12/12/2008 10:10:47 PM
Rae wrote:
I'm trying to find this exact same bear! Do you have any suggestions as to how to go about finding another one??
Posted 2/15/2015 11:13:03 PM
Doll wrote:
The only suggestion I have is to hit Ebay around November through January and search for keywords, "Christmas, bear, heart, songs". There's a similar bear on Ebay right now but his clothes are different and his shape is slightly different.
Good luck!
Posted 2/16/2015 1:38:33 PM
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