Gift Week, Day Four – Gifts We Remember

What is the best Christmas gift you ever received? Which is the most nostalgic? Which ones do you remember from your childhood?

This is one of the first gifts that I remember receiving – a marionette of Princess Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring, from the Howdy-Doody Show.



The best gift I ever received was a new car (1985 Pontiac Grand Am).


The most nostalgic gifts I remember aren’t ones that I received, but gifts that my new husband and I made for our friends and family the first year we were married. We had very little money, so it was both challenging and fun. Friends of ours were just as broke, and got their “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree from the neighborhood lot for a couple of bucks. We all chipped in to make the decorations. Lots of fun!

Best of all, just a few weeks after Christmas, we were blessed by the birth of our daughter. A never forgotten and best gift ever!

This entry was posted in Family, Hobbies & General Interest, Holidays, Nostalgia, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Gift Week, Day Four – Gifts We Remember

  1. czarina33 says:

    The year I was 15 my father brought ruanas as back from Peru. No it’s not a small furry animal, it’s a wrap woven from llama fur. He worked for Braniff Airways & went to South America for business several times per year. My mother got one with red on one side & black on the other, my sister’s was brown & beige, mine light blue & white. They had a strange smell which took a long time to disappear, probably llama smell. Used it for 30 years till it just wore out.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

    My best Christmas was 1979. I still have the photo of my 2 week old daughter under the tree. She was all we had under there, but we were so blessed.

    Liked by 9 people

    • stella says:

      Mine didn’t arrive until the first week in February, but I know what you mean. All of our gifts that year were home made.

      Liked by 2 people

    • czarowniczy says:

      I was going to say my kids (most, anyway), grandkids and great grandkids (including the one who’ll arrive in early February) but Czarina would roll her eyes and consider me saccharine. So I won’t.

      Liked by 3 people

    • ADDgolfer says:

      Our daughter too was born the Christmas season of ’79. The morning before, Dec 24th.
      We named her Christal Rae, for the ray of Christmas sunshine she was for us that blessed season.
      Her 2 1/2 yr older sister and I brought a few wrapped gifts to the hospital, to place under the small tree we set up in their Mom’s room. Christal too was lovingly placed among the gifts for photos.
      There were no digital or smart phone cameras back then of course. There was our Instamatic 110 camera.
      Money was tight and in ’79, no one hour photo kiosks. A couple of weeks later opened the photo envelope of 24 blank pictures. You see, I grabbed the one of two 110 cameras we owned, the one with the broken shutter. (sigh)

      Christal is well aware of what happened. Why no proud, joyous photos of her first Christmas?
      Unlikely she will really know, just how much this seemingly minor mistake weighs on me each time I think of it around Christmas and her birthday.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Phokencougie says:

      My folks brought me home on Xmas day back in 1965. I’m pretty sure I was their best Christmas present. I know they were mine.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Same here, but in 1963; I was brought home in a Christmas stocking.

        My parents were still teenagers and made many mistakes along the way, but I love them each dearly and we all have peace about the past. Now, I hope my own children will forgive my mistakes that I try hard to avoid, but am surely making (human condition).πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 3 people

        • czarowniczy says:

          Closest I can come to a holiday kid was my last son, born on July 4th, 1976. For Christmas that year I received a Federal Civil Service job…haven’t worked since.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Jacqueline Taylor Robson says:

      That’s what Christmas is all about, a little child!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Menagerie says:

    Best gift from my childhood. Yes, I still have it.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Menagerie says:

    Best Christmas memory associated with a gift was the year that my sons and I, in the early 90’s, took a road trip to Dawsonville, Georgia on Christmas Eve. Oldest son would have been a young teen, youngest ten I believe.

    My husband’s favorite NASCAR driver had changed teams and no merchandise was available yet for the upcoming year. We went to Bill Elliott’s shop in his hometown and got my husband a couple of shirts and hats.

    I wound up robbing Peter and Paul in the Christmas budget that year. It was an impulse trip when I got off work unexpectedly early. Then, I had planned to get him one shirt, one hat. We got down there and the boys and I couldn’t agree on a shirt and a hat. Middle son dug in his heels and finally, I decided to spend just about all the money I had and get him the shirt and hat I liked and also the ones they liked.

    And yes, at the back of the closet somewhere I know he still has them. Racing fans in Chattanooga were walking up to him and trying to buy the shirt and hat off of him, so we were very excited to get him something special.

    It was a beautiful trip through the north Georgia mountains, and we listened to Christmas music the whole way, were loud and happy and joked around and had the best time ever on our trip. We were all so excited to be able to have a really special gift that my husband was bound to love, and the several hour drive unexpectedly was exciting to the boys.

    It’s my favorite Christmas memory ever, and my most fun Christmas memory ever.

    Liked by 11 people

  5. czarowniczy says:

    And I do think I mentioned this some time back. During Desert Storm the Saudis bought IRBMs from China and the ones delivered had mounting systems on their noses for nuke warheads. One could say these were the only ones available after the midsummer missile buying season but the identification of some support technicians who came along with the missile as known nuke specialists sorta makes that unlikely.
    So to establish who’s boss in the Mideast we give nukes to the Saudis to balance off Iran and Turkey. What could possibly go wrong?


    • czarowniczy says:

      OK, Czarina pointed out (where would I be without her helpful guidance) that the above post ended up here instead of under the ‘general discussion’. Well, in my defence, consider it an early Christmas present, some festive holiday paranoia, yet something else your government is doing without mentioning it openly. Thought eid fitr in here but yule have to be the judge.


  6. Menagerie says:

    Reblogged this on The Last Refuge and commented:
    Stella does excellent job on Gift week posts. I just have to share today’s post because most of us have such wonderful memories of gifts from our pasts. You guys should pop over to her place and share yours.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. the phoenix says:

    Hi Stella,

    Nice to meet you! πŸ™‚ I was referred here from The Last Refuge, where I posted this:

    Always loved these as a kid:

    I look forward to getting better acquainted with your blog.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. ADDgolfer says:

    I too found myself “transported” from CTH. Figured I’d take a break from politics and world events. Since you Stella, are part of the CTH family, this has to be a decent place to visit and browse.

    I’m unsure how to insert a photo of my strongest childhood gift memory. I’ll attempt to use an “open image in a new tab” address. If it doesn’t show up…
    It was an early 60s Deluxe Reading Topper Playmobile Dashboard

    Liked by 8 people

    • stella says:

      Wow. I’ve never seen anything like that. Looks like the dash of our ’58 Ford.

      Liked by 2 people

      • ADDgolfer says:

        The internet is such a fantastic creation for so many reasons. I haven’t visited this memory in a very long time. I can not only visit it mentally, but can have hundreds of looks at something long gone.
        As a dad I can just imagine the kick my dad had, when mom and he came upon this at the store. Their budget was limited and I doubt this thing was cheap at the time, especially with a brother 1 1/2 yrs younger, who’d require something comparable.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Your Tour Guide says:

        Had one , too. Completely forgot about it. Would be worth a fortune
        if it was still around. 18 years ago I sold a robot that I’d gotten for
        Christmas when I was 5. I was going to give it to my 3 year old, until
        a coworker brought in a catalog with old toy prices. I got a thousand
        dollars for it. (Never did tell my son).

        Liked by 1 person

    • the phoenix says:

      Closest I’ve ever come to this was
      sneaking into the front seat of my friend’s dad’s Mustang convertible one day
      to pretend we were driving.
      We were probably around 6 years old at the time …

      Liked by 1 person

    • Menagerie says:

      That is really cool. My grandkids would love it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • auscitizenmom says:

      My son would have loved that!


  9. Hi Stella, do you still have the marionette of Princess Summer-Fall-Winter-Spring? I can see why you will always remember, it’s precious.

    My mom was a young single parent with 2 kids, although she worked very hard at a full time job, we didn’t have a lot of money. I remember a time before Christmas when I wanted this particular winter coat (I was around 5-6 years old) but I could see the sad look on my mom’s face when she saw the price tag. I knew then the coat was too much money even though she smiled back at me. I didn’t talk about the coat again. On Christmas Day my mom handed me a present and gave me a big warm smile, I opened the box and there was the coat!

    I will never forget that day or how hard my mom had to work for that coat and I wore that coat until it couldn’t be worn any longer.

    Liked by 6 people

  10. Twinsonic says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is when I was 5 years old – Seeing the Sears Christmas Wish Book the first time and spent hours looking at the toys but I was too shy/reserved to mention it to my mother. Living in Chicago Chinatown in 1970 in a lower-middle-class neighborhood – my father at that time was working 10-12 hours, six days a week, working in various restaurants in Chinatown, to support a growing family of five with my sister barely a year old. My brother, a year younger than I, was a handful to deal with at the time – drove my stay at home mom bonkers. Me being car crazy at the time (and still am) toward the back of the Wish Book, saw the pictures of Matchbox/Lesney and Tootsietoy miniature cars and trucks and fell in love with it. Well, a few days prior to Christmas, I observed my mother wrapping gifts at night. I inquired about it and her answer was – the family is going to Monee IL to visit my godparents.on Christmas. The day came, cold and sunny – we loaded the car and headed south. I experienced for the first time, spicy spaghetti and Italian sausage, garlic bread, and pumpkin pie. After the meal, the time came to open the presents – I received box after box of Matchbox/Lesney and Toostietoy cars and trucks that I played for hours if not days or weeks. I now collect Sears Wish Books, Matchbox/Tootsietoy cars, and trucks, and my love of spicy foods. Thank you for letting me write my story here……

    Liked by 6 people

    • stella says:

      Thank you for telling it!


      • Twinsonic says:

        Your welcome, – Fun fact – many years later, my mother mentioned that in all three children, I was the quiet, easygoing one and she knew where I was at – playing with my miniature cars and trucks or reading in the corner of the living room/bedroom. But when my poor mom would not hear my brother and/or sister, another grey hair grew on her head….. : )

        Liked by 2 people

  11. Mary Kate says:

    Christmas 1980. As the youngest of 5, most of my clothes and toys had been enjoyed previously by my siblings. But on this magical day, I received brand-new lavender Levi’s corduroys, and a coordinating purple sweater with pompoms adorning the front. I bet my mom stretched the household funds for weeks to afford such a treat. Magic!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. jeans2nd says:

    Does stealing one’s fav Christmas gift count?

    Lil Bro rcvd a Mighty Matilda for Christmas. Perhaps he was too young to appreciate it. MM was quickly appropriated, and remained mine. Lil Bro never seemed to notice, nor miss it.

    Mighty Matilda Atomic Aircraft Carrier
    The Mighty Matilda Atomic Aircraft Carrier was another of Remco’s classic toys of the 1960s. It came with 100 officers and frogmen, rafts, tow truck, pursuit jets, bombers, helicopters, and rockets. It had motorized elevators to bring the planes up to the deck and a working jet catapult. It also had a battle alarm, a rotating radar, and would roll along the ground.

    Those elevators and the catapult were fun, while the batteries lasted.
    Thx for the post, Stella, this is fun reading everyone’s memories.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. harissalobo says:

    Thank you Stella, great post! Found you via CTH.
    The presents came on St. Nicholas day, December 6th… marsepein is still the most special treat and gingerbread/spekuloos cookies, ah, traditions!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. lovely says:

    Welcome to all of Stella’s visitors πŸ™‚ . I hope you stick around.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Plain Jane says:

    Christmas gifts were only necessary items when I was a kid. Times were tough, but the first year DH and I were married, we made a list of would like to have. We were only supposed to purchase one item. He got me everything on my list – a food grinder, a scarf, earmuffs, and I don’t know how he found one, but I so wanted a chartreuse angora sweater. I loved that sweater to death.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Kenneth Felton says:

    I still have a Howdy Doody doll from the fifties.


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