culture

Memorable, Nostalgic Holiday Gifts from Our Childhood

ONE37pm's editors recall their favorite holiday presents of childhood and recount what they loved most about it

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Twenty20

My dad has a saying that he repeats incessantly (with a heavy lisp, I might add) when the holidays roll around that goes, "Christmas is for the children." 

 

The holidays were prime as a kid. You could write a letter to a metaphorical man in a red outfit to bring you things you didn't really need, or get presents for eight consecutive nights, or simply enjoy family time with far-off cousins from other states. 

 

ONE37pm's editors recall their favorite holiday presents of childhood and recount what they loved most about it. Do you remember any of them?

Name: Lauren Gniazdowski

 

ONE37pm Title: Editorial Operations Director

 

Best Gift Ever: Talkboy

 

Why They Loved It: My parents never really bought into the hype around certain toys. But one early-90s Christmas, they made my dreams come true by getting me a Talkboy, the real star of the holiday classic Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. Basically a Walkman with a microphone, I tried to live my best Kevin McCallister-style life. In reality, I spent most of my time recording songs off the radio and playing them back (in slow-mo, obviously). And it was glorious.

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TDC Games/Amazon

Name: Omari White

 

ONE37pm Title: Associate Editor

 

Best Gift Ever: NFL-Opoly: The Game of Champions

 

Why They Loved It: I loved this board game so much because it provided the opportunity to take a break from the virtual gridiron-classic Madden franchise and pretend to become a general manager of a sports team. In this game, you buy football players and teams from within the same division, instead of property and railroads and collect royalties if a player lands on your athletes. My friends and I would always go to each other's homes and play the classic EA sports games on PlayStation. But, there was something about NFL-Opoly that created the image of signing some of the league's best players and building a sports empire. 

Name: Michael Saintil

 

ONE37pm Title: Associate Art Director

 

Best Gift Ever: Sega Genesis

 

Why They Loved It: As a kid, everyone in my neighborhood had a Nintendo Entrainment System. So, my brother and I would never be home. We would spend hours at friends' houses playing Nintendo because all we had was a robust board game collection. The world was changing and my father took it upon himself to research the hell outta the computer game console system market. That 1989 Christmas, we literally were the first kids in the 'hood with a Genesis System. All of our close friends, like 6 or 8 extra kids, would be over every day, from morning until night, playing Sonic the Hedgehog with us! My father was proud to say—and still reminds me—that he knew what the Sega Genesis was before most clowns did. Deep down though, I'm pretty sure it was a way to get his boys back home. 

Name: Trey Taylor

 

ONE37pm Title: Editor

 

Best Gift Ever: This smol round IKEA stool thing that could store DVDs

 

Why They Loved It: As a lover of minimalist Nordic design from an early age, IKEA hit both the price point and design nous that appealed to precocious tween me. One year, I asked “Santa” for a bunch of pieces of furniture named things like SMÅTOND and GRÖNKULLA, complete with the UPC codes in case the elves needed some direction. There were no furniture-shaped packages under the tree until, on Christmas Eve, my parents brought in some very large cardboard boxes, one of which housed this uncomfortable plastic chair. I was elated. I finally had a place for my Master of Disguise DVD and my tush.

Name: Madison Russell

 

ONE37pm Title: Editorial Resident

 

Best Gift Ever: The 30-Second Cotton Candy Maker

 

Why They Loved It: First off, I have to ask, did you covet this plastic device as much as I did? I'm not sure if it was subliminal American children's advertisements that sacked me or the promise of fluffy, spun sugar, but for my seventh or eighth Christmas, the only thing I wanted on the whole planet was the 30-Second Cotton Candy Maker. Unfortunately, this thing had to charge for something like 8 hours before turning operable, and it barely ever worked. Ah, the bitter-sweet promise of a sugary childhood foiled again by those toy manufacturers. Thanks for the memories and the mere morsel of cotton candy.

Name: Sarah Jacobs

 

ONE37pm Title: Photo Editor

 

Best Gift Ever: Red Gameboy Pocket

 

Why They Loved It: I was just old enough to start enjoying video games when the Game Boy Pocket was released—it was the exact right size to fit into my eight-year-old hands. Having a whole moving world that I could control in my palms was exhilarating. I got it right before we went on a major family trip, and my cousin, brother and I would sit in the back seat of the van—all of us switching between Super Mario Land and Kirby's Dream Land.

Name: Conor Sheeran

 

ONE37pm Title: Associate Managing Editor

 

Best Gift Ever: Nintendo 64

 

Why You Loved It: When the N64 came out I was six years old and, at the time, I wanted nothing more than a PlayStation. My parents, knowing nothing about video games, mistakenly got me a Nintendo 64 and little did I realize, it would become my favorite present ever. GoldenEye, Mario Kart, Mario Party are just a few of the games that come to mind when talking about this wondrous creation that kept me entertained from the second I got home from school every day, right up until I went to bed. Hell, I still have an N64 in my apartment just in case my friends and I are feeling a little nostalgic and want to throw down in a game of GoldenEye multiplayer. More than 20 years later and it's still keeping me entertained. Talk about a hell of a Christmas present.

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