Flashback: My Favorite Childhood Christmas Presents

I love presents.  There, I said it.  I love wrapping them.  I love opening them.  I love the look of a bunch of presents under the tree (although, with a one-year-old, we are NOT doing that this year!).  Presents have always been a thing of mine.  Call it silly, selfish, or unnecessary, but I truly do love a pretty, well-wrapped present.

Christmas presentWhile I also love finding out what is IN the present, I can honestly say that the whole process of shopping, wrapping, and seeing everything under the tree is a favorite of mine.  This is the adult in me talking.  As a child I was definitely into presents, but also…TOYS!!

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I have a great memory.  My memory has also led me to many a Google-search as I look for pictures of and info about some of my childhood toys.  I can honestly spend hours emailing links to my sister or watching old commercials on YouTube.  Such a fun waste of time!

Toys are just not what they used to be.  While that is true, I am sure Jessa will have just as much fun opening her new toys on Christmas morning over the next few years.  Hopefully many of you who grew up in the 1980’s and 90’s have fond memories of some of my faves.  Here are ten, in no particular order.

  1. Care Bears – Did anyone else’s grandma hand sew their Care Bear? Doubt it!
  2. My Little Pony – I even had the Ice Cream Shop!
  3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Loved the show and wanted to either be April or Leonardo (I mean, my name starts with L AND I love the color blue!).  My husband’s mother kept ALL of his, and now they grace our home with their presence.
  4. Puffalumps – I opened the blue elephant with some WILD glasses one Christmas morning!  Oh how I loved that little guy.  He was made of the same material as all of those colorful windbreaker outfits (we called them windsuits) we wore in the early 90s.
  5. Popples – Who doesn’t love a stuffed animal that you can roll into a bowling ball?!
  6. Cabbage Patch Dolls – Need I say more?
  7. Pound Puppies – To be totally honest, I (the younger sister) had a Pound Pur-r-rie (a cat). My older, more fortunate sister received the Pound Puppy.
  8. Game Boy – Tetris, Kirby, Mario…oh, how my hands used to get so sweaty holding that heavy handheld console while staring at a green screen!
  9. Books on tape – I remember following along to “The Ugly Duckling” while wearing headphones and making sure to rewind the cassette when it was finished (or did I have to flip that one over? I can’t remember.).
  10. Baby Uh-Oh – She drank a bottle, peed, and pooped.  What more could you ask for in a doll?

I could go on for long time talking about Corduroy, Legos, Barbies, The California Raisins, Gak, Floam,  Rainbow Brite, etc.  I’m not positive that all of the above were Christmas presents, but most were.  Memories!


I hope that in the coming years I will wrap a few Christmas presents for Jessa that she will remember well when she is 29.  Now that we live in the age of computers, tablets, and amazing game systems, it will be interesting to find out if it is a certain doll or stuffed animal that will be her favorite and most memorable!

What were your favorite childhood toys?  I know I omitted so many great ones, so fill me in!

Lana Criswell is a born and bred Hawkeye fan who has lived in Iowa City for almost ten years! She came for college and never looked back. Lana has been married to her husband, Tom, for two years and is momma to Jessa (3.5 months) and Charlie, the dog. She finished graduate school nearly four years ago in speech-language pathology and works at Children’s Center for Therapy in Iowa City. She is excited to be able to work 80% time now and have some “girl time” with Jessa each week. Lana loves spending time with family and friends, cooking/baking, going to Hawkeye games, going on walks around the neighborhood with the dog, and reading.


  1. Reis has my pink popple on his bed and my sister and I both got cabbage patch dolls the same year. Mom still has them and I LOVE to look at them and reminise! I will also never forget getting my game boy. Seriously loved that thing!!! Those were all Santa gifts too. I’m going to strive to make the Santa gifts the ones they never forget!

  2. I still have my Puffalump somewhere! And get this-My Little Ponies have made a huge comeback, not just with girls but with teen/tween boys as well! They call themselves “Bronies” (I am not kidding) and my friend at the comic book store (I know how nerdy I sound, lol) says the My Little Pony comics are their best sellers. These are the things you learn when your kids reach junior high age. 🙂


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