Are you still trying to find that “perfect” gift?
Millions of shoppers are on that same quest – to find the absolute perfect toy, trinket or gadget which perfectly encompasses the personality of the receiver and will save Christmas.
As I struggle to finish my Christmas shopping, my mouse finger aching as I collapse near the finish line, I decided to look to the spirit of Christmases past. After all, everyone has a relative that’s difficult to find a perfect gift for. Everyone wants to give a gift that will be remembered and cherished forever.
So I decided to investigate. When gift givers of yesteryear needed a perfectly timeless, memorable, forever treasured gift, what did they buy? What are the gifts that are still being remembered, played with and loved by all those lucky Christmas gift-getters?
Parents of the last decade became concerned that Barbie dolls gave little girls unrealistic body images to emulate. With her nightmarishly long legs and road cone breasts, Barbie’s PR took a hit, and parents flocked to…Bratz dolls. With their bad attitudes and enormous heads, now little girls had something new to be insecure about. They say if Barbie were a real woman at 5’6″, her measurements would be 39 – 21 – 33. Is that any less realistic than a 40 pound cranium?
Pogs were invented when a few bored dairy workers made up a game of flipping milk caps while on work breaks. In the early 90s, the milk cap game was commercialized as collectible cardboard disks, and became the top selling Christmas gift. Years later, Pogs are still being recovered from couch cushions all over the world.
Millions of dogs and cats were neglected while kids fed their electronic keychain pets and picked up digital dog poo. When the pets died, many owners even buried them in pet cemeteries, which I’m sure made sense to the parents who paid for the pets (whose deaths, incidentally, were not permanent. They could just be reset.) Tamagochies are now about fourteen years old, and I have no idea how old that is in battery powered pet years.
This is the face that launched a thousand shipments of Christmas toys. Since crazed mothers first got a taste for blood by trampling a store employee for a ticklish Elmo doll so many years ago, Elmo has made an annual tradition of saving Christmas for children…and ruining it for everyone else in the family.
Promising several minutes of fun, this classic 1978 game challenged players to summon all of their strategy and wits to…bang on the game board faster than the other players. Now that the kids who got the game for Christmas are adults, they can rediscover the magic of banging on hippo handles with their kids.
Lucky owners of a brand new pet rock in the 1970s got their new best friend delivered in a cardboard pet caddy, complete with air holes, and a thirty-two page training manual. And since the average lifespan of rocks is somewhere around a billion years old, no doubt that rocks everywhere are still being cherished and loved by their friendless owners.
Hmmm…actually, after looking at all the gifts that saved Christmases of years past, it makes me wonder when today’s iPads will become tomorrow’s Furbys. The gifts so many of us craved and prized so highly, we forgot just as quickly. Or we realized how dumb we were for wanting those things so badly.
What about you? Most of us have at least one gift we still remember, one that stands out above the rest, one that we kept long after the rest were trashed or donated. What was yours? Does anyone still have any of these once top selling gifts?