When I was about four years old all I wanted for Christmas was a Barbie doll. That was the year my younger sister was born and because she was a November baby, my mother did all the Christmas shopping months ahead of time. Mid-November, baby sister was born and while my mother spent a week in the hospital, I spent a week at home under the watch of my father and his mother.
At the time we lived in a gorgeous old house with a huge front porch and an upstairs that went the length of the house. The "attic" had oodles of closets and cupboards, some of them hard to discover because the walls and doors alike were paneled with dark wood. I adored being up there--it was quiet, full of treasures and hidden places to explore, safe and above ground(I never did and still don't particularly care to hang out in basements--the subterranean room arouses some sort of claustrophobic feeling in me).
My mother returned from the hospital and I arrived home from nursery school to see her and the new baby. She sat on the porch with open arms, ready to reassure me that she still loved me even though there was a new baby taking her attention. I shoved my way past her and ran to the bedroom housing the crib--anxious to see my new sister.
According to my mother, I whirled around after looking in the crib and exclaimed in disappointment, "That's it?" Sometime later I began telling my mother about the wonderful toys I'd found in an upstairs closet. Colorforms! Doll clothes! A puzzle! New books! "Come and see all the new toys!"
My mother was no doubt horrified that I'd discovered the Christmas Stash and encouraged me to take a nap. "We'll look at the new toys afterwards," she promised. Then she promptly went upstairs and hid them all when I slept.
Later that day I awoke and dragged my mother by the hand up to the attic to look at all the lovely toys. I opened the door and found nothing. "But there were toys here! I'm sure of it!" I protested. "You must have imagined them, Honey," my mother assured me.
That Christmas I opened colorforms and books, a puzzle and doll clothes. I also opened a Barbie and a set of Tonka Trucks--it was the 70's after all and we were heavily influenced by Gloria Steinem and Free to be you and me.
What did Santa bring you for Christmas in 1974?