As a kid, all the talk about the religious significance of Christmas or that it was about peace on Earth and goodwill toward men just sounded like so much blah blah blah to me. Christmas was about getting toys. Period.
On Christmas morning, my brothers and I got up the earliest of any day all year and tore through carefully wrapped gifts, registering surprise and delight. Hot Wheels! A football! A G.I. Joe! That Mouse Trap game I wanted! Socks! A portable 8-track player! Wait . . . back up . . . socks?
I’m not saying that the toys of my youth that required us to use our imagination were superior to, say, today’s video games that require none – well, actually, I am saying that.
Other local toy-holics shared:
Barbara Ann McFadden: Christmas 1964 or ’65, I got an Easy Bake Oven. The little cakes and cookies were so cute – tasted good, too. I have four brothers who were into G.I. Joe and trucks, etc. and did not like girly things. They started “baking” with my oven and I couldn’t get it away from them. It was funny to see them get such a big kick out of playing with this little pink oven. My mom had to keep buying the little mixes for it.
Justea Blakely: When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, “boomboxes” were the business! My best friend had the perfect one: lightweight, pink with dual cassette players, long and rectangular. I asked for a boombox for Christmas and received an ugly, square, black and silver, one cassette player looking-like-an-emergency-radio-thing. It was so not what I wanted. Luckily I got a sweet pair of parachute pants that year, so it wasn’t a complete flop!
Tamara Beck Watson: My most-prized Christmas gift ever was a large stuffed horse in a laying down position that you were suppose to sit on and watch TV back in the day. Every Saturday morning, I could be found in front of the TV watching shows like “The Lone Ranger,” “Roy Rogers” and “Fury” while sitting on my horse, which I named Sugar. Now I still had Sugar and recently dug him out of storage. I was saddened at his state, as mice had gotten into the poor old fellow. I cleaned him up the best I could, took memorial pictures and gave him the long-awaited burial he deserved. I’d been carting him around for 57 or 58 years. RIP Sugar.
Diana Lynn Paladin: We played with my brother’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots with a vengeance because watching their heads pop up was hilarious. There was also a touch of sibling rivalry involved, as the robots stood in for us beating up on each other.
Lillian Miller: Stupid Slinky. Five minutes out of the box and mine would be hopelessly tangled.
Paula Lindsey: I got an electric train one Christmas – 1961, I think. It had this cattle car that the door would open when it pulled up to the loading ramp. I would have loved playing with it if I could have gotten close to it. Dad and his friends hogged it all day. I finally got to play with it the next day.
Sharon Kastens Lopez: One year it was a total Barbie-fest! My older sister, Kim, got the Barbie Airplane, my younger sister, Donna, got the Barbie Country Camper and I got the Barbie Country Living Home. We played and played with those things for years! I recently gave mine to a little girl who came to this country with nothing but the clothes on her back. I understand she enjoys playing with it often.
Carl Lamera: I was, and still, am, a master at guessing what presents are. I would pick up presents, do my best Carnac impression, and proceed to guess the contents. Nine out of 10 times I was right. This really irked my mom. One year she took a weight and put it in one of the presents she wrapped. She became unglued and pinched my ear as I guessed the clothing contents and the 2½-pound weight in the box. Now no one puts presents under the tree for me until Christmas Eve.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.