I had a great childhood and I’m not complaining about that. But you know that feeling when you’re a kid and you look forward to Christmas Day with adrenal pumping excitement (and Chanukah with mild interest, if you celebrated it like me) and you’re thinking, “I just know they got it! I can’t wait!!!” and then the soul crushing disappointment when you open the box and it’s a sweater? My parents were generous but there were a few gifts that eluded me because they were just too expensive or blah blah blah. Some of these may look familiar to you.
10.) Pretty Pretty Princess.
I think the object of the game was to collect jewelry and then wear it and whoever got the most was crowned the pretty pretty princess. But I wouldn’t know. (THANKS, MOM AND DAD!) I did play it once but it was just too dazzling for me to comprehend.
9.) The Barbie Dreamhouse.
I wanted this thing so badly. My friend Jenna had it and she had the one with the elevator and I had to have the one with the elevator because if you don’t get the house with the elevator you may as well set the whole thing on fire.
8.) Play Kitchen.
Worst feminist ever, right here. But screw it, I wanted a fake kitchen. It just came with a sense of power. If they sold Play Advertising Executive Office I probably would have wanted it, too. I loved play food. It’s so very Andy Warhol to have a plastic hotdog and hamburger.
7.) Kid Sized Batmobile.
I don’t know what to say except that I wanted this so badly. If it’s the one I’m thinking of, it was motorized so you actually drove it, not peddle it with your feet, Flinstones style. This was the coolest thing I had ever seen and the most expensive. I could probably squeeze into it now but they’re even more expensive as they are collectibles. Why does everything bad happen to me?
I would also have settled for a Barbie Jeep:
6.) Baby All Gone.
The idea here is that you feed a baby cherries and milk and it seems like she’s actually eating and drinking. I didn’t even like baby dolls but I was fascinated by the cherry spoon. I would have sworn to God that that Betty White looking child was actually eating cherries from the spoon. How did they do it? I wondered. They disappeared so quickly into her gaping mouth! I grew up and realized the truth: the cherries are on a spring in the spoon that snaps back into the spoon. She’s not eating them at all.
5.) 90210 Dolls.
I’ve gone on and on about how my mom wouldn’t let me watch Bevery Hills, 90210 and how obsessed I am with Dylan McKay so this should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me. My friend Stephanie had all of them. Brenda and Dylan were the best ones.
We fought over the Dylan doll. I think you can understand why:
4.) Play Diner.
I thought I dreamed this until that Play Diner gave me a hazy image of a miniature diner with rounded dolls. I wanted it so badly even though I think I was 2 when it came out. How did I even remember this? Probably because even as a kid I ate my feelings. I also owned that board game “Eat At Ralph’s”:
3.) Delux Kids Playhouse.
This seemed like the greatest gift one could ever get. It’s…breathtaking. It’s…painfully unnecessary. I still want this. I would set it up as my home office.
2.) A swimming pool.
I didn’t have a swimming pool growing up in LA. The injustice! My friend Katie did and I swam there a lot and we pretended we were witches and her name was Juniper and I was Samantha. Somehow this was related to swimming, I don’t remember why.
For those of you who have no idea what this is (a Star Wars thing?) it’s from Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (which I think is far superior to Home Alone but whatever) used by the main character, Kevin, as brilliantly played by Macaulay Culkin. These things called casettes went inside these things called tape recorders and you spoke into the pull out mike and talk into it and than play it back and that’s basically it. But the fun thing was that you could change the pitch of your voice. This was an amazing feature if you saw the movie. Now the whole thing seems pretty stupid.
But on one magical Christmas, this gift was under the tree.
FOR MY BROTHER.
Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal. And a happy new year.