… as a Child
By Jeff Salter
This is an appropriate topic for two days after Christmas, when many shoppers are returning merchandise at Wally-World. Well, as usual, I can’t arrive at a single answer for this (or any) topic. So allow me to ramble a bit and maybe the truth will come out.
Two of my earliest gifts which I treasured are items which I still have — ha. [In fact, I put both of them in a library display of Christmas toys many years ago.]
One was a metal fire truck which I think I received for the Christmas when I was in Kindergarten. That truck — perhaps about 12 inches long — originally had a two tiny white metal ladders which hung on hooks along the sides … and a small rubber bladder which held water (with a tiny hose which you could squirt onto a very teeny fire). [That bladder went bye-bye pretty quickly, so I’m guessing I must have squirted too many siblings or other things which were not tolerant to water.]
Can’t swear when I got this toy, but the other favorite was a large black plastic horse [it may have come from a trade with my brother during about that same timeframe]. I spent many years searching for a cowboy large enough to ride that horse, but never found one when I was young. Turned out, when our own son was about that same age, the Johnny West series of toy figures came out and Johnny fit that horse perfectly!
Another gift I treasured was my first basketball when I was in 5th grade. You probably won’t believe this, but I often took that ball to school with me. The basketball may also stand out because the previous year, having requested a basketball from Santa, the parental elves got mixed up and bought me a VOLLEYball. You know, to Santa’s helpers: one ball equals any ball. Good grief.
Drawing a blank on other gifts during kid-years. But when I was about 15, I remember thinking that my Mom had gotten me a race car track set — though, for the life of me, I don’t know why I was so certain that’s what it was. Turned out to be a plastic seat cushion … which I believe they now call ‘stadium pads’. Major disappointment.
Well, you see, when I ramble like this, I often get off topic.
So what were some of YOUR favorite Christmas gifts from your childhood years?
For a look at my column from Christmas week LAST year, here’s the link: