Reminiscing over Christmases past brings to mind some of my favorite gifts. One year my younger sister and I were delighted with a kitchen set and we had so much fun hosting dinners and tea parties for friends and cousins.
I absolutely LOVED my Imagination Dollhouse and enjoyed hours of moving around the wee little pieces of plastic furniture inside the transparent, brightly colored house and acting out what I thought of as a 'normal' family. That's one toy I wish I'd kept to pass on! It was practically indestructible (really good plastic!) so I'm pretty sure it's taking up space in some landfill and will never degrade.
I've gone through a few sewing machines over the years but my first one holds a special place in my heart. Received the Christmas I was nine, it was a toy but it really could sew and I made lots of doll clothes with it. That same year I got an EasyBake Oven and wasted a lot of batter attempting to make little cakes. Not sure if it was the oven or my lack of baking skills (which hasn't improved much) but very few cakes were ever edible.
My last doll was a beautiful bride doll which was immediately placed as a decorative item on my bed and never considered a toy. Remember how we'd set the doll near the top of the bed and spread her gown over the pillows? I named all my dolls and stuffed animals, and the bride doll became 'Barbara'. A few years ago I found one just like her in a nearby antique store and got really excited until I saw the price tag: $75! I can be as nostalgic as the next girl, but my parsimonious nature would not permit such an expenditure.
In recent years one of my favorite gifts was a heated mattress pad that goes under the sheets. What could be better than climbing between toasty warm sheets on a cold winter night? And the remote car starter was another very well received gift, especially useful during cold weather. That came the Christmas after my husband's gift was cleaning out the garage so I could actually park in it (who would have thought you could use a garage for that?!) on cold winter nights [noticing a trend here with gifts designed to make life easier during the winter?].
Considering that I LOVE giving gifts, it's no surprise that I like getting them too :-) Wonder what will be in my stocking this year? Perhaps I'd better go work on that list for Santa...