Since this will be the first Christmas I’ll be spending away from home since I was in China, I thought it’d be fun to write about the most memorable gifts I got as a kid (and by “most memorable” I mean ones that I actually remember):
Rip-off Barbie – I was about five and wanted a Barbie doll in the worst way. My mother opted for the Christian version. Instead of a sexy evening gown and long blonde hair, the doll wore a gingham dress with lace and a high collar, and had her hair in a bun. My mother isn’t religious at all, but she likes a bargain, and I’m sure that doll was on the sale shelf. I still loved it though.
An embroidery kit – I don’t know why I liked this gift so much. I remember I had no idea what it was, and every day till Christmas, would tear off little pieces of the wrapping paper, trying to guess. You’d think I’d be disappointed – an embroidery kit, after all – but I loved arts and crafts like that.
Koala bear – Does anyone else remember these little stuffed bears that would clasp to things? I don’t know if they have a particular name, and I can’t find any information on them on the internet. All I know is that they were big in the ’80s, and I was really excited to find one in my stocking.
(On a side note, I remember shortly before Christmas, our school had a fair where you could buy junk, like the clingy koala bears. My mother gave me permission to buy two, one for myself and one for my brother. That day they were sold out. Instead of bringing the money home, I bought myself a jewelery box instead. My brother was so disappointed, he started to cry on the bus (he was little, only six or seven), and my mother was PISSED. I still feel bad about it now.
Though I did use that jewelry box for a long time. It was pink and white, and had drawers. I loved it.)
Ballerina jewelry box – Different jewelry box. I wrote to Santa that I wanted one with a wind up ballerina. I got it, but knew it wasn’t from him. The wrapping paper, which was the same as the other gifts, and my aunt’s handwriting on the note – “From Santa” – were dead giveaways.
Perfume – Another stocking stuffer and probably a free gift my mom got with her $15 Clinique purchase, but I was still excited to have something so grown-up. The smell was like lilacs, and to this day when I smell something similar, I feel like I’m that kid again on Christmas day.
’80s bracelets – So the fashion. I loved my black plastic and gold spangly bracelets, and wore them all the time. The plastic ones also had this cool trick where you would twist them into pretzel, and moments later it would spring open, flying a couple of feet.
Denim vest – This was probably the last Christmas gift that I got really excited about. In junior high, clothes were starting to be really important, but my mother – still frugal – didn’t like to buy me designer stuff too much. So when I got the denim vest with red checkered interior, I was over the moon. I think my mom still wears it now.
Happy holidays, everyone!