I guess when I hear the Charlie Brown Christmas music start playing, I can’t help but reminisce about all of my cool toys that I HAD to have as a kid. Of course, I drag out the family recipes and get together with family during the holidays but with the barrage of “gifts you have to buy” commercials, every year I catch myself thinking, what did I absolutely have to have as a kid? What were the IN things that my friends, cousins, and I had to have? It’s pretty scary to look at what we had in the 70’s, in comparison to what kids receive today. The Generation X toys are probably thought of as really lame to this generation, considering that this generation of 5-13 year-old children, with today’s video games, are fighting wars and entering high speed car chases from the cops. I’m sorry…..did I say video? Just for fun, if Black Friday were as hot in the 70’s as it is today, these are the items that were on past Christmas lists that my parents would not have had to pay full price for:
The Crissy Doll was one of my all time favorite toys as a kid. To be accurate, The Crissy Doll came out in the 60’s, slightly before my time. In clearing the cobwebs from my brain and remembering that I always called her “Baby Crissy”, there was indeed a Baby Crissy doll that was released in the 70’s during my reign of terror on the toy world. The identifiable element on the Baby Crissy doll from the original was a string on “BC’s” back that you had to pull in order to make her hair short. It’s scary what gets burned into your six year old brain.
As far as I’m concerned, even today, every American kid should have the America Sings album. It’s all of the Americana classics that are fun for kids to sing and it came with a really cool picture book to go with the songs. I know there are new and improved variations on this but this was the original. I loved it!
The Easy Bake Oven. All I can say is, my poor dad. I have no idea what kind of astronaut food they included with these ovens but I was always shocked that anything turned out. I think my parents were as well.
Was there anything more fun than spreading Silly Putty on the Sunday comics just to see the comics on the silly putty? I always loved that the color comics transferred over as easy as the black and white comics. (Why wouldn’t they?) Then you could stretch and contort the faces and bodies however you wanted. That’s creativity for you. I got this stuff in stocking-stuffers, birthdays, you name it.
Though a 50’s creation, I was always mildly entertained by The Slinky and everyone else had one so I of course wanted one. It’s kind of a silly toy but there was something very entertaining about tossing it down the stairs and watching it walk it’s way down. It always sucked if it got stuck in the middle step because you had to take it back up and start again.
Of course there’s what’s her name and her endless supply of crap that followed for YEARS. Another 50’s creation that constantly changes with the times, during my day I had the Malibu Barbie along with other Barbies whose names I can’t remember. I also had the shorter, more disappointing little sister, Skipper. I didn’t have the Barbie Dream House only because my best friend had the house and the Corvette but I had all the clothes so between the two of us, it worked out very well.
That is of course until I caught on to the 70’s message that women were ass-kicking and self sufficient. Then I demanded to have the Bionic Woman doll and didn’t want her to be without her boyfriend Steve Austin so I also got the Six Million Dollar Man doll. So much for being a tough woman. I still wanted her to have a boyfriend.
Don’t forget about the Charlie’s Angels playing cards. I thought I was going to grow up kicking butt in a leotard while having great looking hair like Jaclyn Smith. I got the cards in a pack of gum, not for Christmas, but since I’m going on about my favorite things, here they are.
Other items I HAD to have Santa bring me:
This doesn’t even make a dent in the endless supply of things I had to have in the moment. But for some reason, I still love having had that stuff. During the holidays, while out shopping for an Xbox, Wii, ipads, iphones, laptops, cell phones and other items for your 5 year-old, take a moment and think back to what you put on your own list to Santa, or your parents. What was it that you couldn’t live without that still puts a smile on your face when you think about it? Hanukkah kids, Kwanzaa kids, everybody……that means you too. What cool stuff did you get during the holidays??!!
Toys for Tots http://www.toysfortots.org/
Warm Coat Programs http://www.onewarmcoat.org/