Favorite Christmas Gifts

… 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:
https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/merry-christmas-to-all/

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About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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33 Responses to Favorite Christmas Gifts

  1. Those are great gifts to remember; it’s hard to remember all my faves because I am so easy to please, I really love anything! Of course I remember the special years of getting my favorite doll or clothes– later on, jewelry or handbags, and even seashells from all over the world!

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  2. Louisa Bacio says:

    Wow, talk about MAJOR disappointment in a seat cushion! Best gift was for a birthday, when I got all the 16-inch Star Wars figures. They were bigger than Barbie dolls. A few years later during a move, my new stepmom threw them all away by accident! Doh!

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  3. Tonya Kappes says:

    65 Ford Mustang! It was the best Christmas gift EVER!

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Wow, Tonya. That would be a terrific gift even if it was a scale model. Was this an ACTUAL Mustang? And that was a terrific year for the pony car, too.
      Glad to see you here again. You’ve been so busy with your new series, it’s hard to grab your shirt tails.

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  4. Theresa says:

    I remember a talking Bugs Bunny stuffed animal. Pull the string and he’d say “What’s up, Doc?” I also remember one year being very sick with the flu on Christmas Eve and hearing a lot of noise and banging sounds coming from the direction of the tree, but being too tired and sick to go see. My parents had gotten me a ping pong table that year. They well got their money’s worth. We played on that for years and it traveled with me when I moved out eventually. We still all love Christmas and better not say you need even so much as a toothbrush because we’ll wrap that too!

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Though it was not for Christmas, we had a ping pong table for a few years in the early 80s … and really enjoyed playing.
      So your family would wrap toiletries also? LOL. I think we’ve done some of that over the years: combs, brushes, eye make-up, etc.

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      • Theresa says:

        Our family believes quantity is as important as quality so any number of things get wrapped around Christmas time. We’re just happy when there’s lots of discarded wrapping paper all over the floor!

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      • jeff7salter says:

        LOL. I remember several years when we were SOOOO careful to have exactly the same number of presents for Dave to open as for Julie to open. Didn’t want one of them to be sitting there with nothing to open while the other was engaged.

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  5. Mine will be up in the morning, Jeff. Those were the days, huh, when a parent would not know a basketball from a soccer ball? I cannot imagine that happening now.I had a friend whose grandmother bought a 45rpm record for her;it was by “The Beagles”, and it was as bad as it it sounds,(but not like dogs). I guess they hoped to dupe some people and ride on the Beatles popularity… mission accomplished!

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    • jeff7salter says:

      LOL … Beagles. I remember the early 60s when a record would have a PICTURE of the beatles on the slip cover but the contents were something completely different. Not sure how they got away with that, but they nearly fooled me.

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  6. Iris says:

    I can remember a couple of presents I received for Christmas, but for some odd reason the wooden train stands out. Might be because I have a photo of that. But Mum usually bought us a “Family Game” each year and we played the night away – it was great. I remember most of them, and I DO remember the discussions we had when my eldest sister moved out wanting to take some of the games with her. Big no-no! But there were also the playmobil toys I remember. I’m sure I could come up with so many more if I’d have a minute or more to think back. Great memories of Christmas!! I miss Christmas in Winter.
    Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with and amongst your family 🙂

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    • jeff7salter says:

      would love to see a pix of that wooden train. If you still have it, I bet it has $$ value in addition to sentimental value.
      We used to acquire family games, but somewhere along the line I lost interest in them. I guess with young grandkids, those group games become such diff. experiences. Ha

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      • Iris says:

        No I haven’t got it anymore. I believe my nephew got it a few years ago. Couldn’t bring it into Australia because of customs as well as weight issues with my belongings. 😉 I was only able to bring the bare essentials to avoid a blow out in cost.

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      • jeff7salter says:

        that’s a shame you couldn’t retain it. A lot of my toys got tossed away (actually donated to Goodwill) by my Dad during one of my college years. Wish he had let me know he was going to do that, because I had some treasures in there.

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      • Iris says:

        I believe nothing or at least hardly anything got thrown out by mum. She’s got most of it or given it to my sister. I kinda dare to say she’s kept it as well. Which doesn’t help me, I still can’t get it to Australia and I can’t expect them to keep it 😉

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  7. jbrayweber says:

    A new saddle. That was awesome. Then, another year, a three-wheeler ATV. That was awesome, too. 🙂

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Wow, Jenn. The stork brought you to the RIGHT family. Cool. If you got a saddle, I’m guessing you had access to a pony or horse. I was always attracted to horses, until one reared back and fell on top of me, trapping me between him and the ground. Haven’t ridden since.
      I still want an ATV, but would rather a 4-wheeler … for the stability. Santa, are you listening?

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      • jbrayweber says:

        Yep, had an Appaloosa named Indian. I had him for over 30 years. He finally passed 2 years ago at the very ripe age of 42.
        And keep in mind that the 3-wheeler was only made for a handful of years waaaaay back in the 80s before they discontinued it for safety reasons. I fell off that ATV more times than the horse. And loved every minute of it. 🙂

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      • jeff7salter says:

        Wow … 42 yrs is a long time for a horse, isn’t it? Were you still able to ride him late in his lifespan?
        Yeah, I recall the probs with those 3 wheelers. I had a friend who had two of them and he sometimes let me and my son ride with him and his son. Fun.

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  8. love the trains! We always had a train around the Christmas tree when I was a kid and when my kids were little, they each had a ton of train stuff.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      A couple of my friends had train sets and I always wanted one … even though our house never had any space to set one up. Of course, I never got one. When our son was little, we got him some of the plastic kiddie train sets and I enjoyed them as much as he did.

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  9. Pingback: Merry Christmas to All | fourfoxesonehound

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