One last bit from yesterday’s “Holiday Wishes Come True” event, hosted by Renaldo Wynn and his wife LaTanya (along with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, the Family of Faith foundation, and Target).
Even though the event was about giving tangible gifts to kids as we get into the meat of the holiday season, Wynn made absolutely certain to remind everyone what the real purpose of the event — and the holidays — is. “Whenever we’re given the opportunity,” he said, “that’s our goal as human beings: to serve others. And it’s just a great feelin’ when you come and you give yourself to someone else, I think that’s the greatest gift you can have.”
And he’s probably right about that. Still, though, the kids seemed really enthusiastic about the material gifts they were getting, too.
For example, Kareem Moore said, one of the kids in his group was “little Miss Hannah Montana; she got everything Hannah Montana.” He showed me a cart full of Hannah Montana gear, and I asked if he had helped was the selections.
“Nah,” he said, “She did that on her own.”
I tried to get him to admit that he was a closet Hannah Montana fan, and that it’s because of him that Party in The U.S.A. is played during pregame at FedExField, but he stuck to his guns. “Nope,” he said. “I think that’s Justin Tryon‘s iPod.”
But another one of the kids had needed help picking out a toy, and Moore was happy to take credit for the suggestion. “We got an Easy-Bake Oven” Moore said. “They’re improved now.”
Moore said he didn’t have an Easy-Bake as a kid, but, he added, “my cousins did; we used to go over there almost every day and we used to cook. Some of them would be good, some of them would be” — and here he made an un-transcribable gagging noise — “nasty.”
Moore said he offered the girl who got the Easy-Bake one piece of advice: “Follow the directions,” he said, shaking his head. “Don’t try to wing it.”
Comcast Sportnet’s Kelli Johnson — who called her childhood Easy-Bake Oven “big time” — could not have disagreed more. “That’s a guy for you,” she said. “Guys can’t cook.”
Her one piece of advice for Easy-Bake purchasers? “Be creative, definitely,” she said. “You don’t have to follow the recipes all the time.”
(I feel obligated to note, so it doesn’t appear that I said, “Hey, Easy-Bake Ovens, let’s ask a girl,” that Johnson was also enthusiastic about the He-Man toys and Hot Wheels of her childhood. “I collected Hot Wheels and baseball cards,” she said. “I was a total tomboy.”)
Big Mike Williams didn’t have an Easy-Bake Oven (“We didn’t roll like that in the Williams residence,” he said) and neither did Jason Campbell, who preferred Tonka trucks and playing in the woods.
(I asked Campbell about being “fine” after being slammed to the turf at the end of the Eagles game — more specifically, I asked if his skull was made out of titanium — “I just did that good cornbread and collard green eatin’ back in the day,” he said. “We’re just moving forward. Just stayin’ strong, continuing to compete.” I should’ve eaten more cornbread.)
But one Redskins quarterback was happy to admit that he was a big fan of the Easy-Bake.
“Dude, I had two sisters,” Colt Brennan said. “Now, I don’t wanna say that I HAD an Easy-Bake oven, but I HAVE baked with the Easy-Bake oven. And it tasted good.”
“They’re making more stuff now,” Leslie Daniels (wife of Phillip) added, “like chocolate cake, and sugar cookies. Cupcakes. And now they’re making real food, like little pizzas, tortillas, all variety of foods that you can put in there.”
“I can’t imagine,” Brennan said, shaking his head in seemingly genuine astonishment. “When I grew up, it was like brownie and chocolate chip cookies. That was it. Now? The possibilities are endless. I saw kids buying Legos today that I wanted to buy. I had the ranch and the horses and the castles, but the stuff they got going today is unreal.”
(Brennan also said that he’s rehabbing on schedule and looking forward to getting back on the field this offseason. Let me head off the inevitable comments by reminding people that he’s STILL on injured reserve and thus STILL unavailable to play this season.)
The only cautionary tale about Easy-Bake Ovens came from practice squad wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, last seen in blog-world telling cautionary tales about chitlins.
“My sister had an Easy-Bake oven,” he said, “and we used to make some cupcakes on there. They turned out pretty good. Then she started experimenting, cooking all types of stuff, then melting things, and almost burnt the house down a couple times. That Easy-Bake Oven, it actually works.”
In the end, though, Renaldo Wynn was probably right that the holiday is more about giving and joy than about specific toys, so let’s give Jason Campbell the final word on the day.
“This was fun, man,” he said, of using his day off to shop with kids in need. “Coming out, just being with the kids today, it’s a great opportunity. Just showing them a joyous time and giving them an opportunity to experience this, it’s terrific.”
Tags: anthony armstrong, AnthonyArmstrong, charitable foundation, CharitableFoundation, christmas, Colt Brennan, ColtBrennan, holidays, Jason Campbell, JasonCampbell, Kareem Moore, KareemMoore, kelli johnson, KelliJohnson, Mike Williams, MikeWilliams, Renaldo Wynn, RenaldoWynn, washington redskins, WashingtonRedskins
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