Is one of the best parts about not having kids being free of Christmastime gift burdens? I don’t have kids, but sometimes I like to project out and speculate what I would do in a given situation. I don’t think this is possible to do though, without having the actual experience. It’s easy for me to say I’d stonewall my own kids, tell them they’d get what they get, but there’s probably a good chance I’d buckle and give them whatever they asked for. At Christmas this poses a problem, though, because there is always a gift or two that gets hot and you can’t find it in any stores. Esquire has a compilation of the hottest gifts over the years. Among the greats are Pogs, Tickle me Elmo, Rubik’s Cube, Beanie Babies, the iPad, and even Hungry, Hungry Hippos (1978).
In my youth, I think I would have had a moderate brat rating. I don’t remember too many occasions when I demanded the hottest toy. I had a Nintendo, if you can believe it, before they were popular. My version was so old it actually didn’t come with Super Mario Bros. and I never owned that game. I once got a Cabbage Patch Kid, though I don’t remember asking for it. I think my sister wanted one and when you saw a Cabbage Patch Kid at that point you just started buying them. If only eBay had existed. Anyway, I had a doll sitting around in my room for a while. Then in college the year after Ferbies were crazy popular, I scored one of those. There was the aforementioned year I wanted Super Mario Bros. 3, but other than that I hope I wasn’t too much of a stressful brat for my parents to deal with during Christmas.
Looking back at my favorite Christmas presents of all-time, I think they for the most part were pretty accessible. A quick recap. Feel free to share your favorite presents, or the ungettable gifts of your youth.
1. My Tommy Armour 855 irons.
I got these the winter of my sophomore year in high school. For someone who plays as much golf as I do, I really never got into equipment that much (I am the rare golfer who knows it isn’t the equipment). Perhaps it was my humble beginnings. My first non-metal wood was called an “Acer.” I played a set of knock-offish irons that were my father’s back up set and called, Tour Model IIs. I hit these clubs pure as the driven snow, but by high school I finally moved up to name brand. Oddly, I got the 855s, which were the successors to the 845s, one of the most successful selling irons of all-time. A lot of people panned the 855s, criticized them for the decline of Tommy Armour, but happily played them and hit them pretty damn well if I may say for almost a dozen years.
2. A TV.
I remember wanting a TV for my room very, very badly. I’m sure I wanted to be a hard ass and stay up watching television, watch shows I shouldn’t be watching…that kind of thing. I think this was the year that my parents starting seeing a lot less of my sister and I downstairs. She got a phone for her room and I got the TV. She spent her evenings talking to whoever and I spent mine playing Nintendo games that had fallen out of popularity years earlier. Much like my commitment to the golf clubs, I still have the TV.
3. A kitten.
I think I received two animals as Christmas presents. Oddly enough, neither of them was a dog, which now is the only pet I would want to have. I once got a rabbit, after being convinced I needed a rabbit. Its name was Roscoe. It wasn’t as friendly and cuddly as you’d hope. The kitten was another story. Everyone loves kittens and I still like cats, though I’d rather interact with other people’s cats than have my own. Not long after we moved to a new house when I was about 4 we started building our pet collection. It started with my sister getting a cat of her own. I wanted one too. So, Christmas morning I got a kitten storming into the room wearing a tiny Santa’s cap. I dubbed the kitten, “Patty Hurricane Dynamite.” Luckily, for the sake of everyone, that was eventually shortened to just “Patty.”
I’m sure I am leaving out a ton of great gifts, but those are the 3 that I remember right away when I think about being absolutely thrilled when receiving them. Hope everyone approaches that level of jubilation this holiday season.