A few years ago I mentioned our family's annual tradition of going to the Hallmark Store and buying ornaments for the Christmas tree. This year, as usual, we put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving and went to buy the new ornaments on Saturday. Although this is our usual time to buy them, we were surprised to find that a couple ornaments we wanted were sold out. Fortunately, the store allowed us to buy the display models (they even had the boxes in their store room) and a crisis was averted.
Having already hung Kirk, Spock, and McCoy on our tree the day before, and being one of those engineers that idolizes Starfleet's "Miracle Worker", I had to get Scotty even if it was the display model. Fortunately the model looked like it had just come out of the box and I went home a happy Trekkie.
Except for our youngest, who still thinks everything that falls into his hands is supposed to go into his mouth, each kid was allowed to choose his or her own ornament (while Bride of Atomic Spud decided that the youngest wanted Spider-Man). Our oldest daughter's choice received my enthusiastic approval:
Our daughter finished The Hobbit last year when I promised to take her to the movies if she read the novel first. She loved the book, loved An Unexpected Journey, and can't wait to see The Desolation of Smaug. When we reached the Hallmark Store there was absolutely no hesitation on her part; she walked directly to the display and immediately grabbed the first Bilbo Baggins ornament she saw.
My wife often worries that our daughter will have a hard time in junior high.