Christmas Gifts Given and Gotten (Repost and update)

I looked this over but looks pretty good as is. So reposted on 12/14/2017 as the first of my Facebook 12 Days of Christmas.

This is the best presents blog given & gotten. I added one in the given so the bumped one is noted as such.

So here it is: the best Christmas presents I have received (or gotten) and given. Most of the best ones I got were from my childhood. That’s because now if I really want something I just go buy it. Most of the best ones I’ve given are fairly recent as my income level has gone up. Money isn’t necessary to give good gifts but it helps! This year’s present to my Mom will probably be in the list next year. So without furthur ado (along with a bit of judicious editing):

Best Presents:

Here is a list of some of the best presents I have given & gotten.


1) Atari 2600: The video game machine that started everything. I wasn’t thrilled at first because I only had two games: Pac-Man (the famously dreadful arcade conversion) & Combat (two player game that only I played, not particularly good either). I also thought I wouldn’t be getting those Star Wars figures I wanted when I saw my Mom with it at the mall (so I wasn’t surprised). But when I got Space Invaders and Star Wars: Death Star Battle along with some others I was much happier with it. I was even happier to receive Real Sports: Baseball & Real Sports: Football for Christmas the next year (which would be another top present). Before those games, Atari’s baseball & football offerings were horrible. BTW: got the figures anyway.

2) Train Set: Tyco’s “Silver Streak” train set begun my fascination with trains. I loved it when it worked, which wasn’t nearly often enough. Trains were especially hard to deal with because the track was so hard to put together. But I still loved it.

3) Dungeons & Dragons’ books: 1st edition Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Unearthed Arcana to be exact. One of the last presents I got before my mom started giving me money instead. Later I discovered I needed the Monster Manual to make a complete set but no prob. D&D and roleplaying used to be such a magical experience for me.

4) Hand Held Baseball & Football games: The Sears versions of Entex’s Baseball and Coleco’s Electronic Quarterback to be exact. Also the Christmas when my grandfather has an asthma/bronchitis attack on Christmas day. These games were very handy in keeping me busy at the hospital. As an added plus, my baseball game blew my friend’s Mattel Baseball game away.

5) Stereo Record Player: It was little, white and had two tinny speakers. But it played the radio and my records and I loved it.


1) Led Zeppelin Box Set: A friend of mine really wanted it and I had the cash back then (still living at home) so I got it while we were on a shopping trip, put it on the passenger’s seat and when he sat down I said “don’t sit on your Zeppelin box”. He realized I got it for him and was very happy with it.

2) Navy Picture for my Grandfather: My grandparents are very hard to buy for. My grandfather is very proud of his Navy service (as he should be). My Mom and I came up with the idea to blow up his Navy photo and that of his submarine crew, print them on photo paper, add the logos for the Navy and his sub and present it as a present. He almost started crying when he saw it. This would be #1 but it was a joint idea and effort. It probably should be anyway.

3) Keurig – Probably the most used present I got for my mom. All homes should have one. Except I don’t drink coffee. But it wasn’t for me. 🙂

4) Digital Camera: it was for my Mom. She loves it, really changes the way you take pictures. I also got her a Polorold camera a few years before (which just missed the list, can’t believe i forgot it when I did this originally). They are pretty neat but other than nostalgia the digital camera is so much better. Its an HP, 5 megapixel I believe.

5) Pecan Pie: Usually I give generic gifts to co-workers because I don’t know them that well. But as fortune would have it the math teacher on my school team mentioned he liked pecan pie. Armed with this knowledge I bought him one. Shows I was paying attention.

Cut out of the original honorable mention:

Cuckoo Clock: My mom always wanted on so I got her one. No real story to it. It is electronic instead of mechanical which makes it easier to set. The only downside are the nature sounds that accompany the cuckoo. And now as of 2017 it no longer works 😦

Honorable Mentions

#1) Marvin the Martian stuffed doll: Again for my mom. Couldn’t find one for years but I happened to spot one and she received a pleasant surprise.

#2) Bulid a Bear monkey with marching band outfit. Speaks for itself. That was last year’s big gift for my mom.

Some added gifts I got.

Honorable mentions:

View Master: I loved that thing, especially the reels with 3-D clay characters of popular cartoon characters like Peanuts, Looney Tunes and The Flinstones. I still break out that thing every so often.

First Star Wars figures: Came in the boxes of 4 from JC Penney. Opened the Landspeeder first and asked where are the figures? My Mom said open this one and there were the figures. But one of the sets of 4 was Han, Leia, Chewie and a Jawa. A Jawa?!? Another was Vader, two Stormtroopers and a Tusken Raider. One of these things isn’t like the other, one of them just doesn’t belong.

Music: I got three record albums when I was 11 that represented a shift in the music I listened to. Theey were the “Fame” movie soundtrack, Foreigner 4 and Pat Benatar.

Xbox One: in 2016.

When I was 15 I got a stereo cassette player (ooh) with a subscription to Columbia House with the 8 introductory tapes. Doubled my tape collection. I was lovin it. They were:

The Scorpians World Wide Live

Ratt: Out of the Cellar & Invasion of Your Privacy

The Hooters (nothing to do with the restaurant chain): Nervous Night

The Cars: Heartbeat City

Dio: Sacred Heart

REO Speedwagon: Wheels Are Turnin’

Meat Loaf: Bat Out of Hell

And yes, I picked them myself

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