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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Christmas Wish Come True #1 - 60 Reasons to Smile!

We're at the end of the first week of the POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR.  This is Day #7, and since Wednesday is all about wishes, I thought I'd tell you a story of a time in which I wished for something very special, and ended up getting it underneath the tree.  It's going to be kind of a short story as I don't have too much time to spare, but trust's a nice story.

Believe me, it's certainly a lot better wish than the ones that are currently in the Sears Wish Book.  I don't know what they were thinking with that catalogue this year!

Anyway, when I was younger, I think I was one of those rare kids that preferred art supplies to toys.  Oh sure, the toys that I did get, I loved very much.  But as a naturally creative child, I loved the idea of getting notebook paper, coloured markers, construction paper...anything would work!  And at Christmas, I usually was lucky enough to get some of the higher-end products like the Crayola caddy, or the 96 pack of Crayola crayons, or special art kits.  I relished gifts like that, and anytime someone would give me gifts like that, it was a proven kid pleaser.

I know this is going to make me sound strange, but while most kids dream gifts were a Nintendo (something I bought myself), a bicycle, or a ski trip, my dream gift was something a little more practical.

I was always a fan of Laurentian pencil crayons as a kid.  I was such a fan of them that at one point I had the 24 pack of colours memorized with their corresponding number.  That's how much I loved the products.  And they were pencil crayons that lasted a very long time.  I think I still have some kicking around from the 1980s that have miraculously survived!

But while the 24-pack was something that was easily found and really cheap to buy - you could not say the same for the 60-packs of Laurentian pencil crayons.  There were 60 different colours of them available, and they were priced extremely high.  I want to say that back in the 1990s, they were easily around twenty dollars a package, though I could be wrong about that.

Whatever the cost was...I wanted a set.  I wanted a set so badly.  I actually wanted them as soon as I heard that one existed.  I think my aunt Heather had a set of her own that she used for school and I was mesmerized by them.  I may have even pilfered a Light Orange #30 pencil crayon from her set when I was the tender age of four.  I couldn't help myself.  I just knew that I wanted one.  Part of me was curious to know what the other colours were and I wanted to see which ones would become my new favourites!

But growing up in a working class family, I knew that money was tight and that I probably wouldn't get my hands on a 60-pack of Laurentians in my lifetime.

Well, at least that was the case until Christmas 1990.  That was the year that I got a present from Santa Claus and inside was the 60-pack of Laurentians!  And, to say that I was excited about that gift would be an understatement.  I actually still had some presents left to unwrap that I wanted to open up later because I really wanted to use those pencil crayons anyway.  It's just as well anyway...those gifts ended up being socks and underwear anyway.  Only I would open up the lamest gifts last.

(Though now that I'm 35, socks and underwear would be gifts that I would definitely like and appreciate.)

I just remember it being a great moment as a child...trying to memorize another 36 different colours and numbers, and seeing which colours I liked the best.  It's a bittersweet moment as well, given the fact that Laurentian pencil crayons are no longer manufactured.  But I bought another one for old times sake just before the company folded, and I still have it today - even though they changed some of the colours to make them more colourful.  I guess I could understand that though.  Most of the colours in the 50-60 range were different shades of grey and black.

So, I'm sure you want to know my favourite colours of Laurentian pencil crayons, huh?  Okay, here's my Top 12, along with the numbers.

2 - Sarasota Orange
5 - Orchid Purple
8 - Emerald Green
13 - Ultramarine Blue
19 - Cherry Red
22 - Sky Magenta
25 - True Blue
33 - Tangerine
35 - Canary Yellow
37 - Grape-Violet
39 - Ocean Blue
51 - Cloud Grey

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