Friday, May 30, 2008

Flashback Friday

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?


  1. Christmas 1974... The Livin' Train. A plastic train with people who could be stuck together with magnets in their hands. LOVED IT! Wish I still had it...

  2. Christmas 1974. We were seniors in high school. While we were slow dancing at my empoyers Christmas party, my husband asked me to marry him. 5 years later, we did!

  3. I don't really remember, probably new watercolors and such. I never got a Barbie mother rolled her eyes at Barbie dolls!

  4. All I wanted was this baby doll that was incredibly lifelike -- even its skin felt real. I didn't get it, but a friend did and, in my vast disappointment, I rationalized that Santa had made only ONE doll that year and that it was lucky my friend had gotten that one doll so that I could actually see it in real life.

  5. I have no clue. ;-) But I can guarantee that slippers were included.

  6. An Olivia Newton John album. I can't remeber the name of the album but I wore it out playing "I honestly love you" over, and over, and over.

  7. I think I had a talking life sized chimp, monopoly and cluedo....and I bought the Osmonds Purple Album!

    ....feel so old after Clemson girl said she wasn't even born yet!


  8. I loved the smell of Colorforms. I think that might have been the year of my Cher doll.

  9. Hmmm. That was my very first Christmas, and while I strongly suspect there were gifts, I remember not a one!

  10. That home sounds just like the one my grandparents lived in! Uncanny! I used to explore that place every time we went there, including the basement caverns, coal bins, etal.

    Laughing out loud at finding the Christmas stash!!! That happened in our house, too! Great post!

  11. I would have been 10 in 1974. I was probably just past the Barbie stage. I know books were always on my list and I that might have been the year of the really cool poncho.

  12. Oh, the Matron does feel her age with this post. But 1974 would have been about the time the Matron read The Exorcist and Gone With the Wind in an unforgettable six week period. Perhaps she asked for a petticoat or rosary? Probably books :-)

  13. hmmm, I'm pretty sure, as I was in 8th grade in 1974, that Santa brought me clothes and clothes and more clothes...
    if I'm not mistaken, one of the items was a white fuzzy sweater.

    Gosh - I want to find that doll for Jenontheedge and buy it for her!

  14. I was 21 in 1974 and buying for my own child.

    Great story about finding the Christmas gifts. I'm glad it didn't scar you for life. ;p


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