Adults recall cherished childhood gifts

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 2004

Part of the fun of shopping for Christmas gifts for the youngsters on one’s gift list is checking out the toys – making sure they work correctly, aren’t missing any vital parts, and so forth.

Then again, maybe not.

What we really might be doing is reliving a little bit of our own childhood – those long ago days when it seems we didn’t have much of a care in the world. Those were the days when Christmas was absolutely magical.

Ask an adult what their most cherished toy or game from a childhood Christmas was, and their faces tend to light up like – well, like a child at Christmas. Here are some favorite memories shared by grown-ups, from their 20s to their 70s, about that special doll, game or other much-wanted gift that waited for them under the tree:

n &uot;I have very fond memories of Christmas when I was a kid many moons ago. I remember a little typewriter I got the year I was in fifth grade. It didn’t have all the technological gizmos we are blessed with today but if you hit the keys really hard you could actually type a letter!

&uot;I guess the Christmas that stands out the most in my mind is a gift to all the children in the community received from the Chapman Church of God. They had a Christmas play every year and all the kids who wanted a part could be a shepherd or angel. After the program was over, we all got a brown paper bag with an apple, orange or candy cane.

&uot;We were all so excited to get that little bag; it really meant a lot to the kids. I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the churches and organizations that make memories each year and give the gift of love. We never forget the acts of kindness shown by others. – Laura Skipper

n &uot;I grew up in the Great Depression in the 1930s and money was tight. The dolls I had received for Christmas always had bald heads. The Christmas I got my first doll with hair was very exciting. She also had a baby bottle, a diaper and an outfit. Finally, I could play house with a doll that looked more like a real baby!&uot; – Alice Dartt

n &uot;One of my favorite toys was a doll with a hair dryer. She sat in a beauty shop-style chair with a hair dryer mounted to it. I delighted in spending hours styling not only that doll’s hair but any others my two older sisters and I had! My other favorite toy was the famous Easy Bake Oven. What a mess! We had tea parties for hours that holiday. – Barbara Philpot

n &uot;I remember when I was a youngster, my parents were working their way through college in Tuscaloosa. We lived close to a Yahama dealer and I used to always go to the dealership and look at a Yahama Moto-Bike. I must have been 10 or 12 at the time, and understood about money, budgets, etc., and this bike was very expensive at the time.

&uot;My folks somehow knew I wanted one (I am sure I let it slip) but I didn’t ask for it. I didn’t think Santa’s elves knew how to make one, or if the North Pole treasury had enough deposits.

&uot;Come Christmas morning, there was a bright yellow Yahama Moto-Bike under the tree, and Santa had given me one of those true surprises when he brings what he knows you wished for, but were afraid to ask. – MacDonald Russell

n &uot;The one thing that sticks out in my mind is Teddy Ruxpin. I think I got it when I was five or six. It’s a teddy bear that had a place to put a tape in him that had stories on it and books to follow along in. The bear &uot;told&uot; the stories – at the time, I thought it was the absolutely greatest thing in the world! Another girl at church and I got one the same year and always brought them to church. To this day, I still have it in a box somewhere. It’s really funny – [my sister] Jennifer and I still get toys. I guess &uot;Santa&uot; can’t break the habit!&uot; – Rebecca Atchison

n &uot;My favorite Christmas gift is from a Christmas I really can’t remember all that well. When I was maybe two years old, my mother made me a Raggedy Ann doll.

&uot;This doll has been through me dragging her around, taking her to &uot;Show and Tell&uot; at school (I was so proud because my mommy had her for me) and even after high school and to college in Mobile, she sits in the center of my pillows on the bed.

&uot;I treasure the doll more than ever now that my mom is gone. Sometimes I feel like I understand the love behind the stitched smile and yarn hair more now. It’s my favorite because it was made my &uot;mommy&uot;, and some gifts you cannot buy. When it’s made with the heart it costs so much more than any toy sitting on a Wal-Mart shelf.&uot; – Leigh Ann Myrick


&uot;My favorite gift was a Madame Alexander walking doll with blond hair and brown eyes (the color of mine). It was 1953, the first or second year walking dolls came on the market. They had to be walked; they were nothing like what is on the market today. I remember my mother was as proud of that doll as I was because she had really saved to be able to purchase it.&uot; – Rochelle Mosley

n &uot;I was positive Santa got my message about a red wagon. Christmas morning came, and a major disappointment

– no wagon in sight! Turns out it was in a box awaiting assembly. – Bernard Lewis

n &uot;My absolute favorite toys were the Breyer model horses. One year I received a wooden stable. I spent countless hours in many different &uot;countries&uot; on those horses!

I also loved to get books, too. My husband Kevin’s favorite gift was a BB gun. – Whitman Kramer