Throughout the entire lead up to Christmas, The Dormouse talked about one thing: a yo-yo.

Some kids want a pony, some want a jet, some want a mink coat. My kid wanted a yo-yo. I'm not complaining mind you, I loved the idea of that one perfect present that would totally make my child's Christmas special being something that could be purchased for less than ten dollars. I never asked why she wanted a yo yo, I just thanked my lucky stars that she didn't ask for a Nintendo Wii - because Santa has definite issues with video games in the house.

Early on, I dutifully bought the yo yo, this one to be exact, because I had a gift certificate from Klutz. So not only was that one perfect present less than ten dollars, it was free. Can't beat that with a stick.

Every year at Christmas time, I have one goal: to not step foot in a mall at anytime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Because this desire is so strongly embedded in my soul, I pretty much start Christmas shopping in August. I just buy things here and there as I come across appropriate gifts and then stash them around the house until Christmas. This tendency results in three things happening: 1) I tend to get people things they really would like and use, rather than one more pair of slippers or that cordless nose hair trimmer, 2) I sometimes forget what I bought and find it later in January and 3) I don't have to deal with the December 23rd rush of oh crap I didn't get anything for Aunt Bessie we must go to the mall now - it doesn't matter that eighty thousand people are right this very minute crowding Bed Bath and Beyond all trying to pick up a Tranquil Sounds Oxygen Bar syndrome. Numbers one and three outweigh number two, so I'll live with it.

My mistake this year was not knowing that it actually mattered what KIND of yo yo she got. I got her a sparkly purple one, thinking that it'd be perfect for my little nightmare in pink and I promptly stashed in it a drawer and forgot about it.

Then suddenly Christmas was upon us and we went to see Santa. Where they had this conversation:

Santa: "What do you want for Christmas."

Dormouse: "Nedyoyo."

Santa: "Huh?"

Dormouse: "A Nedyoyo."

Santa: "A yo yo?"

Dormouse: "Not just a yo yo, a Ned yo yo."

Santa: "A new yo yo?"

Dormouse: "No! A NED yo yo!"

Santa: *looks at me, perplexed*

Me: *shrugs* "Hey dude, you're Santa. Shouldn't you know this stuff?"

So that night I did a little reconnaissance. Turns out her school had had an assembly with this guy, Ned the Yo Yo Master. It created quite the yo yo phenomenon at her school and all the kids had bought special limited edition, Ned Yo Yo products. When I asked her about it, she recited the Ned creedo to me: "N. Never give up. E. Encourage others. D. Do your best. Ned is a yo yo master. Ned is the best. I love Ned." I'm thinking Ned could have led a battalion of Hilter's H.J.s in another place and time.

The next day we went to a holiday party at her school and I realized just how big this Ned thing was. Everywhere there were kids with yo yos... yo yos that had Ned indicia on them.

"Look at me, I can do Around the World," yelled a kid as he whipped the yo yo around and around in a circle at the end of it's string and everyone ran for cover.

"Look at me, I can walk the dog," one kid said to The Dormouse. Then he let his yo yo roll all the way to the bottom of the string and dragged it sideways into the cafeteria.

"Momma, look at him, he's soooo good with his Ned yo yo," The Dormouse swooned with stars in her eyes. (This also happened to be the kid who's just the right amount of handsome.)

That's when I realized that even the Original World's Number One yo yo just wasn't going to suffice. What she wanted was the Ned experience. The KingofHearts tried to tell her how there were Even. Cooler. Yo yos. Than. Ned's. She didn't care. I said something about how you could get specialty yo yos that had glittery colors. She wasn't interested. It was way too late to order a Ned yo yo at this point, so I just readied myself to explain that Santa was sometimes kind of a dunce and couldn't be expected to get every present right.

Then after the girls went to bed on Christmas Eve, I got an idea. Alice got a wonderful, awful idea!

I pulled up Ye Olde Trusty Internet and found Ned's website. Then I lifted his logo and saved it to my hard drive, printed it out on photo paper on our color printer, cut a circle around it and glued it to the yo yo.

And that's the story of how the Internet saved Christmas.