While out shopping on the weekend, I spotted many wise people doing their Christmas shopping early. This was most evident where people were shopping for their children. It was plain to see which toys were most popular this season.
When I was young I often got "educational" toys and games as Christmas gifts. Looking back on it, I really loved them, and that is probably why I gravitate towards stores which sell things like that. Though there are relatively few of them, I enter them whenever I come across them. When I was a child there were several of these educational toys that craved.
One Christmas I got a chemistry set. I had wanted that for quite a long time and was really happy to get it. Sadly, I didn't do as many of the experiments as I wish I had. The ones I did turned out well, but weren't as cool as fiction books and TV shows made chemistry sets seem.
Regardless, I entered high school with an appreciation for chemistry that only a few students had. I carried that appreciation to university and managed to eke out one year of science before switching to my other great passion. I think a lot of that can be traced to that chemistry set.
As a footnote, I kept that chemistry set for many years--well into adulthood in fact. I moved it to new locations several times. Most recently, I was mildly curious enough to see if stores still sold them. I was disappointed.