Monday, October 26, 2009
My 10 Most Favorite Childhood Gifts Ever!
I was in Target the other day when I realized Christmas is sort of approaching slowly, but surely. OK, so blame it on the fact that next to the Halloween costumes were aisles filled with Christmas wrap, cards and ornaments just itching to take over the Halloween section.
I love Christmas, it's one of my favorite holidays to reflect on years past. I could probably write several posts about my holiday memories. One thing we all remember are those three-page Christmas wish lists filled with games and toys which transformed into fancy electronics once we hit our teens.
For me, the "18 and over" Christmas lists became more mature and modest and included boring items like socks, gloves with postage stamps and deodorant as stocking stuffers. Once I hit 30, other than my Wedding Registry, I quit the wish list biz. These days, it's more like a mental note and a hint to Mom or DH, "I'd really like one of those Snuggies" or "Gift cards are nice and maybe a new frying pan."
But thinking back, there are gifts I'll never forget. Though I'm not sure if they were actually Christmas gifts or Birthday gifts - they were gifts I loved so very much I figured I'd share them with you. Maybe some of them were on your list once as well.
1. The Famous Holly Hobbie Oven
Every girl born in the early '70s had to have one. I loved that it was my favorite color, blue! Like most kiddie ovens, it came with the two signature cake mixes, one chocolate and one yellow. Funny thing is, once I ran out of cake mix, I think that oven just sat in my room. But whatever the case, I loved it anyway. It's amazing to think a high powered light bulb could actually bake a cake. Too bad it always took, what felt like, two hours to go from a watered down, sweet liquid to a minuscule cake that took all of two seconds to devour.
2. Barbie Hair Salon
Like most little girls, I loved to style Barbies' hair. A snip here, a snip there. Sometimes, I would get a little wild and color their blond tresses with blue, red or black markers. That kinda sucked since the marker didn't easily wash out and usually stained the hair. All of my little friends had the Barbie head that came with the powdery makeup. I bet I told my parents how much I wanted one and by accident they picked up the Barbie salon, not knowing. To this day, I have never owned a Barbie hair/makeup head and no, that's not a hint that I want one today.
3. Cocoa the Hamster
In third or fourth grade, I became obsessed with the idea of owning a hamster. I must have seen it on an episode of one of my favorite shows, because in Catholic school, I never had a class pet. You know how schools have that class gerbil and every weekend a different kid gets to take it home? I've actually never experienced that. We had plants instead. After weeks of begging, drawing pictures of mouse-like pets in cages and insisting I would feed and take care of it, my parents took me to a pet store and I soon became the proud owner of Cocoa.
4. Run Yourself Ragged
There was something about this game, Run Yourself Ragged, that I adored! I loved the colorful oranges and greens. I could play it for hours, yet when I look at it now, it's the type of game that seems like after ten minutes, I'd put it on a shelf and never play it again. Snooze, right? But in second grade, I loved Running Myself Ragged. I think it may have been a Christmas gift from a relative.
Ah, yet another dumb toy that kept me occupied for hours. I don't know what it was about these rock-hard balls that I loved so very much. The sound of that clacking and the agony of the pain I felt if my finger got caught between them. They were a staple amongst my toys for at least a year or two and were probably the dumbest item I ever owned. I remember standing on my lawn Kabangin' like a fool, what was I thinking?
6. Anything ET, Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake & Cabbage Patch
'Nuff said, a poster, a shirt, sheets, dolls, stuffed toys, if it was one of the above characters, it was heavenly.
Can't create a list of favorite gifts without old school video game platforms now, can we? Thinking back now, I feel like that was a gift my dad may have bought himself and we took it over. I remember hours spent playing Kaboom, Asteroids, Space Invaders and Pac-man and never being able to figure out how to play ET. Years later as we know, ET had a glitch in it.
8. Popcorn Popper
Man, there was something about receiving a popcorn popper Christmas of '83 that was really exciting to me. I'm not quite sure what it was, but I loved it! I remember inserting half of a block of butter into the slot at the top. I especially enjoyed watching the melting madness go down while freshly popped corn would get stuck in greasy pools of butter trying to make its way to the bowl. Fun times!
9. Retro Pink Sharp Boom Box
One hot electronic item will always have a tender place in my heart. My bubblegum pink '50s style SHARP brand retro style tape player/radio. I'm not sure what the occasion was, but I received it from my parents in 7th grade. I absolutely loved blasting my Monkees tapes on that thing, it was the coolest radio ever! I'd bring it by our pool and enjoy fun in the sun while listening to Tears For Fears and Howard Jones.
10. Colors, The Benetton Perfume
This was the first perfume I ever really NEEDED to have. It wasn't cheap by '80s standard and I remember hinting to my folks for months that I needed to have this perfume. I believe it was Christmas of 1988, I received it. Purchased from the Benetton store, it was beautifully packaged and I wore it sparingly for months as not to waste it.