Soon, it will be Christmas, and it will be time to take out my Matchbox cars again.
This is a little tradition I’ve started.
I’ve loved Matchbox cars, ever since I can remember.
I used to get them a lot. I remember as early as ages 2 and 3. That would have been circa 1967, before Hot Wheels even came out.
I’d get them for Christmas or a birthday. Sometimes, for no reason at all.
My grandparents would buy them for me. Or aunts or uncles.
Or my Dad. He might walk into a store with me, and we’d pick one out together.
Some Matchboxes would be trucks. Some would be cars.
Others would be “Models of Yesteryear”, which were old-fashioned cars from the early 1900’s. Those were special, and I only had 2-3 of those.
I cherished and played with all those little cars for years, and I still have a lot of the original ones.
But they’re not much to look at today, with all the scratches and dents from hours of play.
Yet I still hold onto them.
Fast forward 40 years.
I still collect Matchbox cars.
Not the cheap plastic ones they make today from China, but the original ones from the 60’s and early 70’s, from my childhood
They”re hard to find these days. They’ve become “collectible”.
The odd antique store might have them. Or you can buy them on Ebay.
And to get one in mint condition is quite a find.
So imagine my surprise when, one day about 8 years ago, my Dad gave me a present.
A friend of his was moving, Dad explained, and was selling some of his things. So Dad had bought a few items, which he thought I might like.
He gave me a box and when I opened it, I found a Matchbox car wrapped in tissue.
When I had finished, it was over a dozen.
I couldn’t’ believe my eyes.
Mint condition “Models of Yesteryear”, no less.
Including some cars I’ve always wanted, but never had.
And also brand-new versions of the old beaten-up wrecks I still held onto.
It’s like I had hit the Mother Lode.
Now, you must realize, my Dad wasn’t the type of person who displayed his emotions openly. In fact, he could be a bit gruff, at times.
But when he saw my face, and how excited I got became, he started to get misty-eyed, and I’ll never forget that moment.
Dad’s gone now.
I still have those precious cars, and keep them wrapped up in tissue and the box they came in.
But I take them out once in a while, to look at them.
Especially on Christmas Day.
Because it reminds me of my Dad, who I kinda hope might be watching.
And it reminds me of the time he thought of me, and got me that one special gift.
It might not have been the most expensive or fancy thing I’ve ever gotten from him.
But it was certainly the best.