The Spirit of Christmas: Memorable Gifts

Some memorable gifts for Christmas from my childhood
December 18, 2017
The years have passed and I'm going on to celebrate my 27th Christmas this year. Over the years, I have gotten plenty of gifts, but I've received many that I find to be some of the best gifts ever.

1. Easy Bake Oven

I remember one of the best gifts that I got as a kid from "Santa Claus" was an Easy Bake Oven. All of my friends had one and I was so excited when I opened mine up on Christmas morning. I didn't get to enjoy it very long because I always tripped the breaker in the kitchen whenever I used it, so my dad told me I couldn't use it anymore. I do remember making plenty of cakes and cookies, but they never turned out good like the commercials. I still have my Easy Bake Oven and the original box stored in my garage. That was one toy I couldn't part with, and I'm glad I didn't since they don't make toys like that anymore.

2. Bop It Extreme

Now this isn't the most elaborate gift out there, but growing up Bop It was a very popular game and then they introduced the Bop It Extreme, which was more difficult and contained more options. I remember getting this gift at a Christmas party at a local social club that my parents belonged to. I would play it all the time and I got so good at it that I beat it when the score wouldn't go any higher. It just stopped playing. I still have my Bop It Extreme and play it from time to time.

3. Titanic: The Board Game

Titanic was one of my favorite movies growing up. I had the movie, posters, CDs, books, etc. One of the best gifts I got was Titanic: The Board Game. I remember sneaking in the living room with my older brother and opening all of our Christmas gifts while my parents were still sleeping. I remember opening the game and immediately started unboxing it. It wasn't a common board game like Monopoly or Hungry Hungry Hippos, but it made a awesome addition to my collection, which I still have today.

The game itself was pretty cool because you played as a passenger on the Titanic and you had to collect all of the needed items, such as your passport, room key, life jacket, etc. and then make your way through the ship to the lifeboats. If you were the last one off the ship, you went down with the ship and lost the game.

4. Nintendo 64

This has gotta be one of my all time favorite game systems, so picking this as one of my most memorable gifts as a kid wasn't a difficult decision. My brother and I got the system and Super Mario 64 from my aunt and uncle at our annual Christmas Eve family party with my Dad's side of the family. Now, my aunt and uncle have given my brother and I some pretty sweet gifts, for example The NES when that first came out. Once again, this is another gift that I still have today and is plugged into my TV. Every year the system was popular and still producing games, we would get some new titles, such as Mario Kart, Banjo Kazooie, Goldeneye, and Donkey Kong 64.

5. Barbie Folding Pretty House Bedroom and Living Room

I had a pretty extensive Barbie Doll playset collection as a little girl. My entire collection filled the whole floor of my bedroom and when put away it was in two large plastic totes. I had everything from an RV and car to every room in a house, as well as a playground and roller coaster for baby sister Kelly. I will admit that I still have my collection stored in my basement, since my parents invested hundreds of dollars into my collection, which are worth some money even in a used condition. However, I remember getting the living room and bedrooms for Christmas one year. These two sets are what got me into adding to my collection since I received a kitchen playset for my 5th birthday. The living room came with a chair, couch, coffee table, end table, fake plant, TV and VCR with an entertainment stand, as well as some decorations and lamp. The bedroom came with the bed, armoire, vanity, and a night stand.

6. Lego Soccer Team Bus (Blue)

Lego has come out with many different themed bricks and sets, but when I was a kid, the soccer sets had just come out. These sets were unique because it actually allowed you to shoot a little Lego soccer ball into a goal. I had a couple different sets, but I remember getting the blue team bus for Christmas one year. I think they also had a red bus as well and you could pick what country you wanted to make your team and bus. Of course I chose the United States as mine.

7. Packard Bell Computer

Getting a computer for Christmas back in the 1990s was a huge deal. Computers were starting to become more popular in homes, but they came at a cost. So getting our first family computer as a Christmas gift was one of the best gifts. I remember my brother and I sneaking into the living room like we did every year, while my parents were asleep upstairs. The multicolored lights on the Christmas tree illuminated the living room so we could see piles of presents under and around the tree. This particular year, we saw a giant box with holes on the sides for handling. I remember my brother and I trying to sneak a peek inside the box, which we both guessed a computer. I remember it being a Packard Bell computer, but I don't remember exactly what kind of Packard Bell it was, but I remember it being equipped with Windows 98 and the speakers were on the side of the monitor. Also, I remember it having some Kid centered games/programs.

8. RCA 24" CRT TV

As a kid, we always had one TV in the house, so either my parents always had to watch Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, Super Mario Bros. or Free Willy, or my brother and I got stuck watching COPS, Days or Our Lives or the nightly news. One Christmas, my brother and I got our own personal "kids' TV" for us to put in the dining room. It was covered with a blanket hidden in the corner of the dining room. This was so we could watch all the cartoons we wanted, while the old console TV would be for my parents to use. Not only was the TV one of the best gifts, but one of the most practical since everyone was happy. My parents could have their own TV back and my brother and I could watch our cartoons and play video games. I remember getting up super early in the summer to watch reruns of Alvin and the Chipmunks and Double Dare.

That is my list of some of my most memorable gifts that I received as a kid for Christmas. It's amazing to see what kids today get for Christmas compared to what many of us got as kids. It's also pretty cool to see how much the times have changed with technology, such as TVs and computers. Even though many of these gifts weren't the most expensive, I had so much fun with them, and still have most of these today.
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