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CEDRIC AND NATASHA WILLIAMS, with 19-month-old Cailee.

Black families in Pittsburgh are preparing for the big day

Back in the day, parents would wait outside in cold lines or drive all over the city for the biggest Christmas toy, and every year it’s a different toy. In 1996, it was Tickle Me Elmo. In 1998, it was Furby. In 1985, it was Teddy Ruxpin, and now, he’s making a comeback with new digitalized features.

Times have changed. Between eBay and Amazon, the Internet has made product availability extremely easy. Christmas is one month away and the only thing that may prevent parents from playing Santa is the price tag.

Arianna Rosemond, 35, of Penn Hills, said her two sons, Arshad, 9, and DeVaughntaye, 15, only want one thing for Christmas—“a puppy.” You can’t put a dollar value on companionship, but, according to a report from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the total first-year cost of owning a dog is $1,270.

Rosemond is entertaining the dog idea, but she wants “a purse dog, and of course, they want a pit bull,” she said.

ARLENE SHEFFEY, with her children, Jayda, Loren, and A’moni.

First-time parents Cedric and Natasha Williams are eager to shower their 19-month-old, Cailee, with books, a bubble machine, and new décor to furniture her room. Natasha Williams, 32, a Pittsburgh native and current Atlanta resident, is contemplating whether she will purchase an Amazon Kindle Fire. The tablet runs $79.99, and that’s $250 cheaper than its Apple iPad counterpart.

“This Christmas, I am super excited about starting new family traditions, waking up to yummy food and seeing my mom being so happy,” Natasha Williams said.

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