Post Update: Two things I wanted to update here. First of all, the winner of the giveaway on this post is Darci. Congrats Darci and I hope you enjoy the fabric. Second update: I talked about the Christmas Through the Decades later in this post and mistakenly said it was on Netflix. However it is really available on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. Sorry for the misinformation.
Hello everyone. If you are new to my blog, coming here from the Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop, welcome. I have been blogging since 2014 (which seems crazy but it has been over six years now)! I would love to connect with you and invite you to take a look around to see what Needle & Foot is all about.
This week I am hosting a blog hop to share some traditions celebrated over the holidays. I asked a number of bloggers to write a post telling a tale they remember from their holidays or a tradition they celebrate during the holidays. Last year I wrote about family traditions from this time of year and I really enjoyed reading comments about the traditions all of you remember. I thought I would carry this forward to this season as well. We certainly need to come together and lift each other’s spirits during this time of year, especially in 2020 when so much feels heavy and abnormal. I hope you will enjoy the hop. Be sure to click through to the other blogs and enjoy some holiday stories.
I have a few tales to share with you. One from my childhood Christmas memories and the others from Christmases spent with my children. Because I think blog posts are more fun with photos, I am randomly including holiday pictures here and there.
When my three boys were young, Christmas was naturally an exciting time. As it is for most kids, right? After we put up the tree, I would wrap the gifts from Mom and Dad and put them under the tree. This happened about ten days or so before Christmas. My boys would spend a lot of time checking out the presents, shaking them, trying to guess what they were. It drove me crazy if they guessed correctly – I wanted it to be a surprise on Christmas morning and I don’t have the best poker face! So, one year I decided to try to outsmart them. I bought three rolls of wrapping paper. Using one roll for each boy, I wrapped their gifts. Then I didn’t put any tags on the gift. They were just blank. Under the tree they went. The boys were totally befuddled. “Mom, how do we know whose is whose?” they would ask. I would casually reply, ‘oh, I’ll figure it out.’ or ‘don’t worry about it, we can figure it out on Christmas.’ They went nuts and I thought it was hilarious. On Christmas morning, I played Santa (usually it was one of the boys) and passed gifts out to them. When each boy had gifts wrapped all in one type of paper, they figured out what I had done.
The following year, I knew I couldn’t pull the same stunt. It would not be as fun because they would know what I was doing. Instead, I switched name tags between two of the boys. When wrapping Ian’s gifts, I put a tag on them saying “For Andrew”. On Andrew’s gifts, I did the same, putting a tag on them saying “For Ian”. Kyle’s gifts had his name on them (I couldn’t figure out a way to mix it up any further without making some sort of mistake.) Christmas morning I played Santa again and placed all of the ‘Andrew’ gifts in front of Ian and the ‘Ian’ gifts in front of Andrew. Fooled them again!
Let’s go back in time now to Christmas in the 1960’s when I was a child. I have a fond memory of one year when my father was scheduled to work at church on Christmas morning. I am sure it was the only year this ever happened but there we were, waking up and Dad was going to be gone for the majority of the morning. Mom insisted we would all just wait until he got back and then we would open gifts. Not so easy for a child, let along six of them! To distract us, Mom thought she would light a fire in the fireplace. Well the damper wasn’t opened and she totally smoked out the living room. She sent us all outside while the smoke cleared. I remember being on the front lawn with my five sisters in our pj’s on Christmas morning. I wonder what the neighbors thought of that. 🙂
Since I grew up in the 1960’s, I had a lot of fun watching a show on Amazon Prime recently, called Christmas Through the Decades. The episode on the 1960’s was especially fun. I enjoyed hearing what the top selling toys were for that decade. The list is slightly different depending on what you are reading but this was the list from the documentary.
1960 – Chatty Cathy
1961 – Ken Doll
1962 – Slinky
1963 – Mouse Trap Board Game
1964 – GI Joe (“Pull his ‘dog tag’ and he will issue commands”)
1965 – Rock’em Sock’em Robots
1966 – Spirograph
1967 – Battleship
1968 – Hot Wheels Cars
1969 – Big Wheel
I think it is interesting that, other than GI Joe and Chatty Cathy, all of these classic toys remain popular today. I read that GI Joe is going to be re-introduced but I am not sure if that is already happening.
Thanks for taking this little trip down memory lane with me! Since this post mostly centered on childhood gifts, I would love to hear your memories of toys that were popular when you were a child. Did you receive something you really wanted or give your child a toy he or she was drooling over? Leave a comment – it is so much fun for me to read your experiences and I know other readers will enjoy going through the comments as well. I would love to give one of you a gift this year as well! I will draw a random name from the comments and send along a fun holiday package of fabric (see above) to the winner. Winner will be selected on Friday evening, giveaway is open to US residents due to the cost of postage.
The Holiday Tales and Traditions Blog Hop is being celebrated on the following blogs:
Sew Preeti Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
From My Carolina Home
The Colorful Fabriholic
Me & My Quilts
Sarah Goer Quilts
Needle and Foot – That’s Me!
Thank you to all the bloggers who participated in this fun event. Wishing all of you the happiest of holiday seasons!
This was fun to read, Bernie. Such a darling picture of you and Ian. We had very few toys growing up. I do remember a set of dolls – a boy and a girl. The boy had a beautiful lock of golden hair falling on his forehead while his head was covered with a cap. When the cap was removed, we found out that he was bald – and that lock was all he had. It was disappointing and hilarious. Soft toys were very expensive those days and we never got any. Wooden toys were more common. My sister and I both craved soft toys and always wanted to visit those friends who had them. As we grew older we wanted books. We had subscription for children’s magazines and we had access to the school library but very few possessions.
Preeti, I love hearing the differences in culture. How you grew up, the way Paul assimilates so well into your culture and you into his. (I just read your comment about giving him a Christmas card over on Carole’s blog. That is really sweet. So interesting to me to hear everything though – that you craved soft toys and the little toy doll who was secretly bald. Thank you for always sharing. It allows me to get to know you even better.
I enjoyed reading about your memories. I remember getting a doll, she had a plastic face and was almost as tall as me.
I am so glad you have enjoyed the hop today. I hope you were able to read some of the other posts too. I have done so much reading today – I am thoroughly enjoying all of the reminiscing.
Memories right now are about the Betsy McCall doll I got, probably in first grade. This year is it going to my granddaughter. I am busy now working on new clothes for it for Christmas.
I remember Betsy McCall paper dolls. I can’t remember but I feel like they were in a magazine? How fun for you to make new outfits now for your grand daughter!
Fun post Bernie. That was a clever way to fool those boys!
I have to go back to the 50s to include toys from my childhood. 😉 My favorite was my Ginny doll, and my best friend and I each got one for Christmas when we were 8 or 9. I need to dig out the photo of her and me on Christmas morning, comparing dolls. She lived right around the corner! Another was one I received called a “Betsy Wetsy” doll. It’s hilarious now that I think about it. She came with a little bottle which you would fill with water, feed her, then she would “wet” her diaper – lol!
I totally remember Betsy Wetsy. Thanks for prompting the memory. I feel like one of my younger sisters might have had one of those. Today has been filled with reminiscing and remembering. So much fun! Now you are creating memories with your little grands.
One Christmas when I was 4 or 5, my grandmother bought me a doll that was as big as me. I think it was Patty Playpal. She worked in Manhattan and commuted by train. I think iabout my little Grandma carrying that huge box on a crowded train for her only granddaughter.
My gd helped me put up our tree last week. I love how she remembers ‘special’ ornaments. This was the first year she put on the crystal icicles. I told her tgst they would be hers someday and she talked about saving them fir her grandchildren…..Love tgat girl and our traditions. Merry Christmas and thanks fir sharing.
You’re very welcome Susan. I have really enjoyed hearing about everyone’s memories, including yours! Have fun with your grand daughter this year. 🙂
I remember my son on Christmas morning being so surprised with what Santa brought him. He said, “I am quizzard, Santa brought me what I wanted even though I was naughty “. Where he came up with the word , quizzard, I will never know.
“A quizzard”. That is so cute. He must not have been too naughty since Santa came through for him. 😉
Clever you, Bernie, fooling your boys that way; it’s quite brilliant, if you ask me! And the vision of all of you out on the lawn in your jammies – hahaha. Toys from my childhood – my favorite one had to be my Pataburp doll. I still have her tucked away somewhere. When you patted her back (well, pressed her back) she’d burp. Like Linda, I also had a Betsy Wetsy doll, which I’m sure might have driven my mother crazy. Fun memories!
Well, I don’t know about brilliant but it was pretty darn fun. They were always guessing at the gifts and this way, I got to hold on to a bit of the element of surprise. A Pataburp doll? That one is new to me but so funny. Just hope she didn’t spit up when she burped. Haha.
Thanks, Bernie, for hosting the blog hop! I love your memories from the 1960s, especially the toys. I hope you and your sisters were somewhere warm when you had to be outside in your PJs, not in the snow! The best and most influential gift ever given to me was in 1963, the “Betsy McCall Fashion Designer.” A lighted desk and pages for tracing and coloring dresses, it planted my ambition to work in fashion, which I did for my entire career.
Little did Santa know he was setting you up for your career. I did love Betsy McCall paper dolls back when I was a kid. Thanks for sharing Jan!!
Great post on fooling your boys with their gifts. Sounds like such fun for them.
One of my best memories was before the holidays I was in our basement, 12 years old, doing something that I can’t even remember – maybe trying to figure out how to build a room for myself! But anyways I saw something covered in a sheet on a table and when I lifted it, there was a vanity my dad had painted white. Must have been from an unfinished furniture place. I gasped thinking it was going to be my gift. And I was shocked cause it dawned on me I was growing up! I still have that vanity even though I left it for my other sisters to use as they grew up. I treasure it so much even though it’s not used for beauty products but it’s for holding jewelry and my books and journals I read.
That is a very sweet memory Kathy. Thanks for sharing. I love how this clued you in that you were growing up. So cute.
Love reading about your Christmas memories. I remember getting a walking doll that was ceramic but had a rubber head with hair. Her name was Sally and every kid on the block came to my house to play with this doll. I still have her, and her head has turned a really dark color, but otherwise she is still perfect.
Nancy, So how did you make the doll walk? I love picturing all the kids on the block wanting to check out your doll. Also love that you still have her. Such a special memory. 🙂
You just held her hand and her legs moved, taking steps. Nothing was computerized back then, so I’m guessing it was some type of springs. It was really a cool gift, very unique.
Hi, Bernie, great memories. Growing up, my mom wasn’t a very affectionate or supportive person but she was intuitive when it came to Christmas. I remember getting a telescope when I was enamored with astronomy, a microscope when my science gene kicked in, and a camera when I developed an interest in photography. So even without hugs or words, I knew she was paying attention. Thanks for bringing those memories back. Thanks too for having the giveaway. Blessed be, hugs!!!
I wonder if your maternal grandma was not affectionate. I sometimes think if a person grows up and doesn’t have affection shown to them, how would they know how to be affectionate? Your mom showed she cared in other ways though – how great she was able to support your interests with these gifts. She did pay plenty of attention. 🙂
Bernie, I see that you’re very intuitive too. I don’t recall seeing my grandparents give a hug to any of my aunts and uncles. And I had two dozen aunts and uncles not counting their spouses. Large families from back in the 1920s and 30s. I suppose that emotions were more reserved back then, at least they seemed to be in my family. I even once ran away from home (around 9 or 10 years old) because I didn’t feel loved enough. Thought I could find it somewhere else. I didn’t get very far before an aunt passed me on the road and took me home. Ah, the joys of living in a small town, lol. I’ve always needed that physical contact that a hug brings and I hope that I’ve broken the emotional cycle that didn’t allow my parents to reach out to my sister and me. I always hug my family and friends and I’ve really missed that this year. Oh well, hopefully, the future will be better for hugs soon. Have a fantastic holiday and give hugs whenever you can. Blessed be, HUGS!!!
Hi Bernie! Thanks for hosting this blog hop. I enjoyed reading each and every one! My favorite Christmas toy when I was growing up was a 3 foot bride doll with black hair. She was almost as tall as I was when I got her! I played with her for years and my Mom made her clothes. I can remember my Mom always sewing (mostly dresses for me) . She continued to sew until her death five years ago, switching to quilts and home decor items in her later years. That doll is long gone now, but the warm memories of her and her great wardrobe are still with me! I have been sewing since my teen years in high school and have continued the practice of making doll clothes. I made clothes for my daughters’ Cabbage Patch dolls and most recently for my granddaughters’ American Girl dolls. And the hum of the sewing machine continues…
I really enjoyed reading all of the posts as well. Plus the memories that readers have been sharing. It made for a very fun day. Nice to hear your sewing machine is still humming along. Keep on creating! Happy Holidays!
Such fun memories!! I loved my Spirograph and my cousins got the Rock’em Sock’em Robots!! But my favorite gift was my blue bicycle! I took red fingernail polish and painted Blue Angels on it, because I was obsessed with the Blue Angels back then! LOL I still love watching them today! Merry Christmas!
PS: We got our grandsons a Rock’em Sock’em Robots set a few years back when they were “rebirthed!!” LOL
Brenda, I loved Spirograph too. That was a great toy. I bet that blue bike was so fancy with your embellishments!
First, thank you for hosting this hop, such a great idea! Focusing on memories and traditions helps us stay positive this year. My memory of a toy was the same Christmas I talk about with the first snow on Christmas I remember. I got a slinky, and we spent hours making it walk down the circular stairs that led to the attic. Those fabrics are gorgeous!
I am glad it all worked out so well. I have done so much reading today, between all of the posts and so many stories readers are sharing. That is exactly what I hoped for. Love hearing about the Slinky – it is still a great toy!
Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing your fond Christmas memories. One of my favorite memories is driving around the neighborhoods with mom and dad and seeing (ooh-ing and ahhh-ing) the Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.
Hi Bernie! I’m so glad you have hosted both of these blog hops. Both are so enjoyable! Ahh, the toys from the 60s. I have to say that I had a few of these toys like the Slinky and I’ve definitely heard of all of them. That’s so funny about the damper not being opened – did the neighbors ever question you about the event. That was quite clever about using one type of paper for each of your sons, or even better, switching the name tags!! I’ll bet they were totally fooled. Merry Christmas to you and your family. ~smile~ Roseanne
Love your reminiscing about toys from the 60’s. I am from the same era, and from your collage, I had a slinky, the spirograph and the Chatty Cathy. I still have the spirograph and the Chatty Cathy. Another thing I remember getting several times for Christmas was a Lifesaver Book. It opened in the middle like a book and each side contained rolls of all the different flavors of Lifesavers. I would hoard the Lifesavers and can remember still having some of them left during the summer. Thanks for all the great memories from all the blog hop participants. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Since you and I are the same age, I can totally relate to the toys photo and list of popular ones in the 60s, even though I am in Canada. I got my Barbie in 1966 when I was 6. I remember Silly Putty being quite the popular toy too, and I got Spirograph for a Christmas in 1970-72, not sure which! Thank you for hosting this!
I have enjoyed reading everyone’s holiday memories! At 7 years old ( 1966) I wanted a Mary Poppins doll and a Troll dollhouse (cave) from the Sears Christmas catalog. My Mom said pick one and I couldn’t, luckily I got both! Thanks, Mom 🙂
Thanks for putting the blog hop together! I enjoyed reading about so many different holiday memories!
I had a Chatty Cathy! Hadn’t thought about her in forever! This is a fun blog hop, Bernie – thanks for sponsoring it. I loved your story about how you fooled your boys!
Forever ETCHED in my memory is the year we received an Etch-o-sketch for Christmas. My mother was not one for buying the toys from TV so when our parent’s friends bought it for me on Christmas Day, we were over the moon!
We had that whole list of toys. My favorite story was my best friend wanted a Chatty Cathy doll but she never got one, until she decided she did have one…in me! This is truly fun and now I want to make a ton of Christmassy things.
I had a Chatty Cathy doll and thought it was the best toy ever. A friend of my mom’s crocheted a hat for her and I thought that was so beautiful. No one in the family sewed or made anything so I thought the hand made hat was amazing.
Oh my goodness, I just love the story about the wrapping paper!! I really don’t remember ever getting a toy that I have always wanted. Honestly, the most exciting part of Christmas when I was a kid was the contents of my Christmas stocking! And it was usually pretty much the same from year to year, but I just loved getting note pads and scotch tape and pencils and crayons, and of course the orange in the toe of the stocking. I’m sure there were other things in there too, but it was the note pads and scotch tape that I liked the best! Go figure! And you know what? I am going on 67 years old and I still have my original stocking and I hang it every year. It looks different from the rest of my family’s stockings because I made theirs out of red fur fabric. Mine looks like white terry cloth but is not handmade. I still love it though.
What a great post today! Loved reading everyone’s memories…
My mother tried a wrapping paper trick similar to yours…She wrapped all the gifts for me, my sister and my brother all in the same paper and placed them under the tree with no tags. She had them grouped together, by child, but we did not know that, and, being children, we were picking them up, shaking them, and setting them back under the tree, not necessarily where they started out. Christmas morning was great fun since we didn’t know whether we would be opening our own gift, or one belonging to a sibling!! Mom never tried that again!!
Hi! Thank you for your fun stories. They reminded me of our Christmas about ten years ago. We had a small group, just my husband, my parents, and my brother. My kids were very small and had already opened their gifts. We didn’t have many gifts under the tree and I wanted the opening to last a little longer. So instead of names on the tags, I wrote numbers that were somehow unique to each person. I did things like adding someone’s birthdate numbers together. Then everyone had to work together to figure out who the gift belonged to. It was really fun! My boys are now 10 and 12 and we are running out of “Santa” years. But Christmas has always felt magical to me and I hope it continues to be for my children. Merry Christmas!
What a clever mom you were! My mom could never have gotten away with that, as at least one of my brothers figured out how to cut the tape on a present just so, and then you could see what was inside and tape it back up. They were clever, too! I love the toys list and remember most of them. Since I had so many brothers, most of our toys were boy-oriented, but I did love the board games. Did you ever get a “family” present, like a game that everyone could play? One year we got Risk, and it led to many, many hours of plotting, and many, many arguments. All good ones, though! Have a wonderful Christmas, Bernie, and a very happy 2021!
I remember Rainbow Bright & Strawberry Shortcake. i think you could scratch her freckles & she smelled like strawberries. (this is when scratch & sniff was popular).
Loved your Christmas memories and tricks! My favorite present when I was a child and which I still have is the “Toni” doll with the easy to curl long blonde hair! I always wanted curly hair. My mom took me for a perm when I was in 3rd grade and after I no longer wanted curly hair. I cried so hard-I looked like a blonde Orphan Annie!
I so enjoyed remembering the 60’s toys. I remember all of them. I remember when I finally got a Ken doll to go with my Barbie doll, too. That was a big Christmas!
When our two sons were 7 and 10 we surprised them with a yellow Labrador puppy. Weeks earlier my husband and I began to look for a puppy that could be trained as a duck/goose hunting dog. We found a breeder/trainer near our community. Saturday morning we were there early, we left the boys with family to do some shopping…The litter of puppies barely had their eyes open…I had decided I wanted a chocolate pup, but there were none in the litter…only black and two yellow. The two yellows melted my heart, but which one…We wanted a male, the darker of the two was a male and he waddled over to us us first! Bingo we had our puppy! But of course, he could not come home just yet. The breeders suggested that we think of a name to call him and to bring the boys out to visit and establish a relationship with their new friend and they would keep our secret…So on that Christmas Eve we went to visit our new friends and the boys got a package from the kennel owners with a dog collar and a chew toy…but, they had no puppy.. our new friends asked them if they could choose any of the puppies which one would they choose. It was unanimous…”Nugget” ! It was a week later that Nugget the Christmas Dog came home to be a part of our family.
I remember my Aunt & Uncle have me a doll (like a Barbie but wasn’t) She had shoes, earrings, a green dress. I loved it. We wen to my Dad’s side of the family. On the way we listened to the radio that was tracking Santa. Have a Merry Christmas
What a fun read! I remember all those toys. We had most of the toys in the picture between me and my siblings. What fun!
Happy holidays to all!
Since I was born in 1948, most of my kid year toys were from the 50’s. Lots of dolls including Chatty Cathy and Betsy Wetsy and later Barbie for which my best friend and I made tons of clothes. I also remember getting a two wheeler one Christmas. We got a Monopoly game one year and had many days-long marathon games. Love the Santa fabric.
I remember Chatty Cathy, which a number of my friends had. The other doll of that era was Poor Pitiful Pearl, which is the one I received from Santa. It pouted and cried “real tears,” so needed constant comforting! I also remember receiving a Ken doll to go with my Barbies. Thanks for the memories. I must watch that Netflix series!
One of my favorite gifts was from my sisters when I was about 8 or 9. This was when each of us had a Barbie-just 1. Of course, we didn’t think anything of that because all of our cousins each had just 1 Barbie. My sisters who were 3 and 5 years older than me got me a Malibu Barbie with the long flowing blonde hair and…..bendable legs!!! I loved that Barbie and still have it along with my original Barbie and the red carrying case that Mom & Dad gave me.
Thanks for sharing your memories. This was fun!
My Mom literally got me a squeaky toy Cookie Monster one year while in college cuz I came home and ate waaay too many Christmas cookies before everyone else came home😂
What a fun blog hop idea! It is so much fun reading how others celebrate the holidays. Between the 8 kids in my family (I am #7), I remember all but the Big Wheel being a part of our toy pile. I had quite the collection of Barbie dolls as my sisters loved to make clothes for them.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bernie!
My sister and I were given beautiful matching dolls, one with blond hair and one with dark brown hair just like us. We also got dolls beds for them that were like bunk beds, they stacked on each other. Oh how I loved playing with those dolls and doll beds.
I remember that every Christmas (and birthday) my sister and I got exactly the same toys, clothes, etc. because we are identical twins. Then came the year, when we were 10, that I got a camera and my sister got a transistor radio. These were meant to be shared because they were too costly to buy two of each.
Linda, did you like having everything the same as your twin? Or was it fun when it started to be a little bit different? Growing up with a twin must be quite different. Merry Christmas!!
This goes back a long time ! My favorite toy as a child was my Tiny Tears doll.
Another memory is about one year when my aunt took away one of my other favorite dolls–a 3 foot doll that could walk, had long blond hair, and had a special place in my life. I remember telling her I was so mad at her and why did she do that. Well, on Christmas morning there was the doll, dressed in a nurses’s uniform and looking beautiful. Being a nurse was my dream . I can still see these two dolls in my mind.
Oh Linda, that is so cute. I bet you were so mad at the unexplained absence of your doll. What a great gift from your aunt though. 🙂
The best gift each year came from one of my great-aunts: a book, always one that had been highly recommended and appropriate for our age. Then, my favorite thing to do was to go sit in the corner and read my new book. Because of that, I have made it a family tradition that every one gets a book and after gift opening and breakfast, we can all sit and read in our pj’s. We love it.
Books were a big thing with my children as well. Always one for each on Christmas, especially when they were younger. Thank you for sharing your memories. Merry Christmas!
Love your memories, we used to have clues left all over the house on Christmas morning, to find a special gift. Now my kids do that for my grandkids
That sounds like a lot of fun. It must have been, because the tradition is being carried on. Happy Holidays Lois.
The most memorable to me is -20 on Christmas day in Chicago, 1983. My kids said it was too cold for Santa to come. Honestly, I agreed.
Yikes – that is way too cold for Santa and the reindeer!! Merry Christmas Christi.
Thanks so much for organizing this blog hop, Bernie – it has been so much fun to read about all of our differing memories and traditions! Hot Wheels cars are still most definitely all the rage – our 4 year old grandson LOVES his cars (all 499 of them – just kidding). Merry Christmas!
I remember writing a letter to Santa when I was about 6 or 7 asking for a Suzy Smart doll. I wanted to be a teacher and Suzy Smart wore a red plaid tartan skirt with suspenders and matching beret. She had a desk and easel. I thought she was just wonderful. I remember crying and hugging her, when I opened her on Christmas morning. I was so happy.
I loved the stories about you fooling your boys! What fun that must have been for you on those Christmas mornings! I remember having a Speak-n-Spell when I was a kid. Dad said it was the loudest toy ever, until he opened it up and put a tissue over the speaker to mute it a little 🙂
Oh that is such a great hack on a Speak n Spell. I liked the toy when my boys had one but jeez, it was too loud! Smart guy, your dad!
Thanks for sharing. Trips down memory lane are fun.
I really did get a pony for Christmas the year I was 8 years old. His name was Smoky and he was light brown with a lush blonde mane and tail. The most memorable Christmas for me as an adult was 1981 when my first child, a daughter, was born five weeks early on December 11. She stayed in the hospital until December 23 when we brought her home. We had not had time to put up a tree before her surprise birth, so my husband went to Eckerd and bought a tree on display (artificial). He came walking in the house with the tree (no box since it was a display). I added our lights and ornaments and we took photos of our little baby under the tree, where she was smaller than most of the gifts. But she was a wonderful gift for Christmas.
All great memories. I also grew up in the ’60’s. So glad you shared with us all.
My favorite gift was a bike. I’m the oldest of what would end up being seven children, with the second born being only 13 months younger than me. The Christmas that I was in the second grade (1958), and he was in the first, we both got bikes. Oh the joy! what freedom! I remember that as a very happy Christmas. I’m sure that it stands out so much to me because my brother died in Feb. of the next year.
I remember getting a Muffie Doll, which I still have. We were 3 war baby girls, growing up in the 50’s, so we got poodle skirts, Dale Evans cowgirl skirts and boots, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, pre plastic, play outside, make your own games, era. My younger sister was young enough for Barbie, and then Little Sis came along, and she was the one that got to enjoy etch a sketch, spiralgraph, etc.
When my son was 4, all he wanted for Christmas was a miniature Pound Puppy. Santa got that for him, along with a dog house that he carried with him everywhere. Fast forward to 2020 and my granddaughter would like a pretend toaster. Period. Well, 3 feet of snow yesterday may have expanded the Christmas horizon!
Your stories of trying to trick your boys so they didn’t guess their presents had me laughing! What fun!
I was a kid during the Cabbage Patch Kid craze. I did not get a cabbage patch by my mom knew someone who made dolls the same size–and mine was better because her head was soft! She came in a pink gingham dress and had a bassinet with a lining of the same fabric. I named her Joy. Well, she was one of the toys I kept, and when I was early in my career as a children’s librarian, I used Joy as my “baby” during baby storytime to demonstrate interacting with infants. At some point, my son saw Joy in the closet and she now belongs to him and is known as Doll.
Bernie, I loved reading about your attempts to fool your kids! With a nosey dog and a child who will impulsively unwrap any gift that he encounters (whether it’s his is irrelevant!), we have to hid everything until the big day. Your stories brought up some of my own memories, though … When I was a kid, my grandma never used tags to mark which present belonged to whom. Instead, she would write the recipient’s name on the bottom of the package. This was not fool-proof: She regularly misread her tiny writing and gave a gift to the wrong person. This inevitably meant one of us could be unwrapping something when it was wrenched from our hands and given to the true intended recipient! : )