December 8, 2009


When I was, I don't know, around ten, I had my heart set on getting a helicopter for Christmas. Not a real helicopter - that would be silly. Instead it was this foot-long helicopter that was on some sort of wire, fixed to a base that looked like a city. It went around in circles and you could raise or lower it, pretending to pick up fugitives from justice, organs harvested for transplant...something like that. I have no idea why I wanted it but I did and making sure that it was under the tree was the single most important thing in my ten year-old life from Halloween through December 24th.

My parents came through. Lo and behold on Christmas morning there it was under the tree complete with imaginary people requiring airlifts to safety. And once I got my hands on it, it was cool. For about a week.

Anticipation is strange, a mixed blessing really. The things you dread the most, for the longest, turn out to be a bit less horrible than expected. By the same token, the things you want for so long invariably turn out to be a bit less cool than they'd been in your head. And I'm sure - just as I know this about the stuff I know Mia wants so desperately for Christmas - that my parents understood this. So I try to keep this in mind. Instead of viewing things through the lens of my now 37 year old self, I have to put on my two and four year old glasses. If my parents had done that, that helicopter would have never been mine and I wouldn't have learned such a valuable lesson.

What's the Christmas present you most looked forward to as a kid? And what do you want this year?

Posted by Chris at December 8, 2009 7:00 AM

When I was 8, all I wanted was a "boom box" or some such other device I could use to play & record radio.

I did get it that year for Christmas and it was most cherished for years to come. It got replaced at 13 with a full on stereo.

Music has always been key in my life and some of my most beloved presents have been musically based.

Christmas 1979 *4 years old* - Holly Hobbie Record Player

Christmas 1983 *8 years old* - Boom Box with Cyndi Lauper Tape

14th Birthday - Stereo System

17th Birthday - First CD Player

23rd Birthday - Tickets to K's Choice (where I ended up getting to meet them and hang out backstage at 8 months pregnant!)

24th Birthday - Tickets to Indigo Girls (Where I met Emily & Amy and got an autographed Long Sleeve Shirt)

1 Year (Dating) Anniversary - 160gb iPod (which died several months ago and they've FINALLY re-released the darn things.)

I also tend to give a lot of musical presents.

As for what I want this year? I just want to watch my children enjoy the holidays. My husband is deployed, so while I'm not too high on the spirit this time around, I want to live vicariously through them.

One of my son's presents? Guitar lessons.

Do you sense a trend???

Posted by: Holly Reynolds at December 8, 2009 7:59 AM

As a child, I wanted a playhouse - one of those miniature ones made of wood, all fancy and generally very expensive. My mother kept the note I wrote to Santa detailing everything I wanted it to have which now, I think is hilarious.

This is the first year I haven't wanted much of anything. My house is full of laughter and love. It's been a long time since my house has felt that warm and enjoyable, and at the heart of everything, it's what I've always wanted most.

Posted by: Emily at December 8, 2009 8:30 AM

We never specifically asked for things for Christmas, but when my sister and I got our own phone, it was like heaven!

And this year? I wanted a complete set of glass pyrex storage bowls with lids and there just happened to be ONE left the day after Thanksgiving with a huge rebate and my mother bought it and put it in the trunk for me. Hoping I'd forget about it. Ha! Nothing like knowing exactly what you're getting!

Posted by: k8 at December 8, 2009 9:49 AM

When I was 13 I wanted Joey McIntyre from NKOTB for Christmas.

This year I would like a Kindle. And for all the children to sing together in the spirit of peace and harmony.

Posted by: Jenn at December 8, 2009 9:56 AM

Anticipation really is the best thing about Christmas! I honestly cannot remember the things I badly wanted to have as a child but I can clearly remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation as Christmas day neared. =)

Posted by: Glenda at December 8, 2009 10:19 AM

I wanted an easy bake oven and I got it. I loved it for about 6 months before my mother grew tired of buying the expensive mixes it required. Then one day it was sort of magically gone.
What do I want this year?
Just a little more time with my daughter.

Posted by: Maribeth at December 8, 2009 10:43 AM

I remember the A-Frame barbie house I got when I was 6 years old. It came with the Sunshine family and all the furniture. I loved that thing so much I can't even tell you!! This year I am most looking forward to watching my daughters face when she opens up her very last gift...the one I am going to put under the tree skirt and not let her see til everyone else has opened their gifts. We got her a Netbook. She has been wanting it foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever, or so she says. We showed her how much they cost in Best Buy the other day and her face just fell. She gave this huge sigh and said "Oh well, maybe for my birthday next year."
I can't wait for her to open that present and will love it even more then the Sunshine family.
Nice post!

Posted by: Dawn at December 8, 2009 11:22 AM

Milky the Cow... it's a long story.

Posted by: Jess at December 8, 2009 12:01 PM

Milky the Cow... it's a long story.

Posted by: Jess at December 8, 2009 12:01 PM


Posted by: jess at December 8, 2009 12:04 PM

Hm, that's tough. I remember wanting a bubble gum machine really badly one year, and I got it, and now it's sitting on my kitchen counter with Jelly Bellies in it. I also wanted a boom-box style JVC CD player/dual cassette/radio thing and I got that and loved it and I still have it.

This year, blah. I don't even know. I asked for a cool case for my iPod and I know I'm getting it because my husband used my Etsy login and I got the confirmation email. Sigh. I did get a lawnmower, which is YAY useful and saves $90 a month on our lawn guy, but not so much with the exciting. I don't think I'm getting anything else from husby; he is not good with gifts. Mom might come through but usually she gets me something fragile and seasonal. So, I'm more looking forward to the look on my daughter's face when she opens her Harry Potter wand, or watching her and my stepson zoom around on their Razor scooters I suggested my folks buy for them, and which arrived yesterday. I hope my husband likes the "The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword" ornament I commissioned for him.

All this to say, Christmas used to be my favorite holiday, but as a grown-up, it hasn't been as rewarding as I'd hoped. A lot of work and not so much with the magic. Maybe Peter Pan had it right.

Posted by: Brooke at December 8, 2009 12:30 PM

Two different years I recall really wanting something.

1. A scooter. The kind with inflatable tires that were all the rage for a few years. Mom came through with best scooter of anyone I knew. Loved it, rode the shit out of it.

2. Original Nintendo. Awesome. I proceeded to spend the next few days playing it like crazy until my thumb couldn't take it any more. Played that thing for years and years. Best present ever.

Posted by: Brad at December 8, 2009 12:51 PM

When I was about 9, I wanted this huge, make your own makeup kit. I was focused on it, and my parents said they would not buy it for me. Well, they did and I used it all of about 3 times. But still, the magic of opening that gift on Christmas morning, that trumps ever playing with it.

This year, honestly, I have everything I could possibly want. I am blessed by still having a job when so many others don't, my husband was able to find a job as soon as he started looking (was a SAHD for 5 years), my stepson is coming to visit for christmas and it will be the first time my dh has had both his boys in our home on Christmas itself. My family is healthy, my little boy is blossoming and at 5.5, is so enthralled with Christmas and its magic. Really, I'm so good :) (but if pressed, I'd really like a cool cover for my Ipod Touch ;)

Posted by: Jean at December 8, 2009 12:58 PM

Ooh - one year it was a new bike and later I think there was a boombox year... I mainly just remember the anticipation... This year? A Kindle...and a new roof.

Posted by: Sue R at December 8, 2009 1:40 PM

There was a pair of boots with really high heels (totally impracticle, bordering on dangerous) that I wanted soooo bad. Well, I snooped and found the boots under my parents' bed. I was stoked! Christmas morning came and there were no boots under the tree. Of course I couldn't say anything because I had snooped. Years later I asked my Mom about it, confessed to the snooping. She told me she had to return them because she was too worried I'd break a leg on the ice in those heels. Yes I learned a lesson that Christmas. Hard won wisdom for sure, but I've never snooped since.

Posted by: laineyDid at December 8, 2009 1:53 PM

Barbie and her clothes from Hong Kong...or the US. Back in the days, Thailand had Barbies but very limited. So the stores in HK had better stuff. My dad was doing business in HK at the time so I was hoping for new stuff for Christmas. Also my rich former BFF gave me her US Barbie stuff she doesn't care for. (Hey, a gift is a gift!)

This year? B bought himself a giant LG flat screen. I bought me a Flip HD...which is in the mail right now!

Posted by: oakley at December 8, 2009 2:50 PM

I know this will sound cheesy and self righteous and stuff, but whatever, is true :p My very favourite part about Christmas presents is giving them. The year before last I got my baby sister a jewelry box with photos of us as kids in the frames in the inside lid, and it made her cry. (I'm pretty sure in a good way!! :P )
I don't remember too much about any gifts I've been given, which probably says something! (Like that I'm a brat.)

Posted by: Heather at December 8, 2009 4:39 PM

The Barbie Dream House...when I was about 7. I did get it but was very disappointed on Christmas Eve because my aunts and Mum Mum bought me all the furniture for it and I didn't know I got the house until Christmas morning from Santa.

Please don't ever do that to your kids.

This year D and I are looking at planning a train trip as our present for each other. I really hope it works.

Posted by: Krush at December 8, 2009 8:41 PM

I really wanted a "Herself the Elf" doll. I still have it all these years later.
This year we can't afford the things I really want. So we went out today and picked out a few things for him to give me. Slippers, pj's, a teapot and some tea. I have friends that are always complaining they don't like what their guys buy for them. I remind them that men aren't mind readers. Just tell them what you want. It's not that difficult! Makes it easier than having to return it all!

Posted by: Rose Winters at December 9, 2009 1:35 AM

Since I remember receiving the Monkees album and in later years, The Partridge Family albums, I'm sure I asked for them and was dying for them at Christmas. I remember getting a record player too that we had to put a penny on the arm so the albums wouldn't skip. That was pretty annoying! I can't recall a single other thing that I ached for at Christmas!

Now? This year I would really really like a Wii and being that I AM Santa in the family, he could bring it fairly easily. But this Santa is also pretty frugal so I have to weigh the "do we really need it?" with the "but I really want it!".
My favorite gifts are those from my husband that I totally don't expect - like the ring he bought one year (made me cry), the tickets to Wicked on Broadway (cry cry) and oddly the little book on people's memories of Princess Diana that still touches me when I read it. The reason being, that he saw and remembered how sad I was when she died. It's the little things.

Posted by: NancyJ at December 9, 2009 9:46 AM