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Readers share memories of "Christmas Past" PDF Print E-mail

Dana Lee:
My favorite toy I received for Christmas was a blonde-haired Barbie doll. I saw it in a store and asked my parents, Santa and my grandparents for the doll because I thought she was so pretty. I took it for kindergarten show and tell and I passed it around the room and when it came back the leg was broken.
Today a lot of the toys are electronics. A really cool toy that I wish had been around when I was a kid is a battery operated car that you could ride in.
One of my favorite Christmas memories was when all my cousins were back staying with my grandparents next door. It  was lightly snowing on Christmas Eve and we played hide and seek outside in the dark. The moon was bright so you could track each other around town. It was so much fun being with family!
Monica Poppe:
One of my favorite toys I received for Christmas growing up was a new Barbie doll and a whole bunch of handmade Barbie clothes. I probably saw it in the JC Penny Christmas catalog.
The doll clothes were all laid out on the floor. Each piece so sweet, accessories like shoes and purses for each outfit. They were very special because my mom made all the clothes without me ever knowing it. I still have the doll and a few clothes.
I would like to see little kids with a dolly or toy car in their hands instead of video games.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is loading up my new doll from Santa and heading to Columbus to see my Grandpa and Grandma. It was a long drive but I had my new doll to play with. I got to take the changing table/bath and the doll crib, too! Packed it all up in the back seat of the car. Not sure I left much room for my bother! Sorry, Mike!
When buying a toy for a child, I look for something that they can use their imagination with or a classic book they can keep forever.
Are there cool toys today? I am usually drawn to dolls, farm sets, books, etc. Oh, wait, I did see a miniature shopping cart I would have loved!
All the toys I ever got were awesome because we never got many. Only for birthdays and Christmas! Loved them all and I still have almost all of my dolls!
Dean Friedel
I was recently asked what my favorite toy was that I had received for Christmas when I was just a lad. The item that I received that I still remember was a Schwinn 20” bicycle with a banana seat and the high rise handle bars. It was awesome!
I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I got the bike. I rode it everywhere and anytime I could. I lived out in the country and the nearest neighbor kid close to my age was about 5 miles away. No problem when a guy owns a 20” Schwinn with a banana seat!  The roads were gravel but that just made it easy to leave brake marks and to slide the bike sideways. My buddies and I rode in the snow, rain and dark of night, weather and road conditions were of no concern.
I don’t recall if I asked for the bike or if it was truly a gift from Santa. I rode the bike for several years until around age 12 or so, the bike suddenly shrunk and it did not fit as well as it once had.  Many memories were made while riding that bike, all of the fishing excursions to Indian Creek, the attempts at hill climbing, ramp jumping, and later, modifying the bike into a chopper.
I believe the bike eventually ended up on the scrap iron pile near our pond. This signaled my change in interests from bikes to horses and eventually to motorcycles and most other forms of motorized transportation. The bike no longer exists, but the memories remain.
Dana Harris:
One year Santa gave my brother, sister and me a toboggan. I’m not sure I even knew what a toboggan was until then, but my parents were very excited.
We all loaded up and headed into the Wildcat Hills behind our place. The old-fashioned toboggan was large enough to fit all five of us and we headed down the hills. We had a lot of fun that year and for years after.
Even after we got older it was great fun. I still  can remember being a senior in high school and taking it out with my brother. We each took a sled and zoomed down the hills while standing up, jumping over the bumps until one would prove too large and we’d crash in a spectacular heap.  
One of my fondest memories is hearing him say with genuine concern as he stood over me, my face still planted in the snow, “You okay? You spun just like a helicopter blade that time!” My brother and his family still have it.
I don’t need a toy that works with my television show or video game or phone, thank you.
When buying a toy for a child, I look for one that will be fun and useful or last longer than the day it’s received. The old standards are the best, but those remote control helicopters look pretty cool!
Steve Snyder:
The best toy I ever got was an Evel Knievel wind up motorcycle that I had seen on television. I wrote Santa a letter and asked him for it.
The motorcycle had a stand that you would up and when you pushed the release button, the motorcycle ran by itself.
I remember cranking the motorcycle up and running it clear across the house. It knocked the Christmas tree down. Mom wasn’t even mad. I have no idea what became of it.
I think some of the toys today are pretty amazing. I like to help my kids “break in” their toys.
Honestly, I look at the price tag when buying a toy for a child.
A really cool toy they have now that they didn’t when I was a child is a remote control boat that is rigged up for fishing.
I don’t really remember receiving a toy that I didn’t like.
Cheri McCormick:
When I was five years old I received a Barbie for Christmas–back when her arms and legs didn’t bend. I probably saw it on TV and asked Santa for it. I liked her because she was something new and I still have her.
Toys today need to inspire imagination, not entertain. When looking to buy a toy for a child, I look for one that will foster learning and creativity.  
When I was young, I wish they would have had the variety of art supplies available today.
I can’t think of receiving a toy I didn’t like.    
I think it’s important to keep the magic in Christmas for kids, but we need to keep in mind what it’s really about.
Timothy Johnson:
One of my favorite toys I received for Christmas was a huge green sled. I saw it in a catalog and asked my parents for it. I liked it because it was so big. It broke last year so we had to throw it out.
Today the toys are more for younger kids, but they are still fun to play with.
I still remember when I received a basketball hoop from Santa.
When buying a toy for a child, I look for one that makes noise. What child wouldn’t like that?
I wish that they would have had the toy helicopters that actually fly.
The worst present I ever received was a camera box with underwear inside.
Carlie Wells:
My favorite toy that I received for Christmas was a Big Wheel. One of my friends had one and I asked Santa for one, too. I thought it was cool riding up and down the street and the way it would spin around. I rode the Big Wheel until the front wheel was gone.
I think we buy too many toys where kids just sit around a screen and get no physical activity.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is Christmas at my grandmother’s, the smell of the food and the excitement to open presents after dinner.
When shopping for a child, I always look to see if the game is played with other kids and if the toy will keep them physically active.
I wish we would have been able to use these music devices that are available today. Instead, we had to buy cassette tapes and listen to them until they broke or the cassette player ate them.
The worst toy I received was a doll. I have four sisters so my aunt bought everyone a doll.
Before you parents buy your kids a phone, iPad, Kindle, etc., please make sure they have heavy winter coats and food on the table.
Terry Prante:
My favorite toy that I received for Christmas growing up was a bicycle. All my neighborhood friends had bicycles. It was all I wanted from everyone put together.
Having a bicycle meant having independence, speed and freedom until I wore it out. The toys today do not leave much for the imagination to grow with.
My favorite Christmas memory was the big family Christmas at my grandparents.
When buying a toy for a child, I usually look for a toy that child wants. One toy that kids have now that I wished I would have had is any Nerf toy that shoots a projectile.
The worst toy I ever received was an electric car. It did not work and could not be returned to the store.
Christmas is a very special time of year. Most people become a little more friendly and the pace slows everywhere except in the stores.
Merry Christmas to all!