Probably Dan's second-favorite Christmas present after the Wii was a pair of Dart Tag Fury Fire Nerf guns (they're sold in pairs). I settled on these for three reasons:
1) With a pair of guns you can play with a friend (or a little brother),
2) they're not as big, badass, or scary-looking as some of the other Nerf guns out there, and
3) thank the Lord for small mercies, they were the ones that Dan wanted.
What convinced him that he wanted the Fury Fire set was this ridiculous commercial, which he happened to click on when I was surfing the Nerf website way back in November or maybe even October. His jaw dropped and he launched his Fury Fire for Christmas campaign right then and there. Luckily, he didn't see any other commercials.
So I got him the guns and looked forward to watching him open the present at Christmas. It went just as I had hoped it would:
Present distributor: Dan, this one's for you.
DAN: I think I know what this is! (ripripriprip) Yes! Awe-some! Thanks, Mom! Thanks, Dad! Johnny! Johnny, look! Fury Fire guns!
He didn't mind sharing the second gun with Johnny; in fact, he was happy to let Johnny take one. Six-year-old cousin W got a Nerf gun (different model) from his parents too, so as not to be left out. All three little boys were pleased, cute, and eminently photo-worthy.
But the kicker was this: the big boy cousins (ages 17 and 23), were, um, a teeny bit jealous. Or maybe just nostalgic, who knows. So on a Wal-Mart run the next day, some kind aunties and uncles bought three more guns (Nerf, of course--not real guns, which were also available for purchase). And all seven cousins, ages 3 to 23, had a lovely Nerf gun war in the lofts at Aunt 'T's house.
Who knew? And yet, really. Is anyone surprised? I don't think so.