CARDBOARD BOXES, STICKS AND BLANKETS BIG SELLERS FOR CHRISTMAS TOYS

New data in from stores around the nation indicates that cardboard boxes, sticks and blankets are the leading gifts people are buying for their kids this Christmas.

"We have a lot of shoppers who don't want the product inside the box," said Sally Salem with Wal*Mart, "they just want the box itself."

Speculation is that parents are reverting to the toys of bygone days, where children had to use their imaginations to play.

"Sticks are also big sellers," said a spokesman for Home Depot. "People want the sticks we use in our nursery department. I'm guessing they'll use them for play swords and rifles."

Blankets are flying off the shelves as well.

"People can't afford heat so they're bundling up," said a sales clerk at JC Penny. "And e heard customers talking about their kids using the sticks and cardboard boxes they bought to build forts in their living rooms."

Child psychologists think the new toy trend may actually be good for children.

"Most of the modern toys leave no room for kids to develop their imaginations," said Cindy Psykop, noted child psychologist, "and these items are much cheaper than the alternatives reducing parental stress and potential child abuse."

Initial responses from a sampling of kids indicates the cardboard boxes may not go over well.

"I want a new Game Boy and I want it NOW!" screamed Freddy while waiting in line for Santa.

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