Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Memories

My Fondest Christmas Memories

Christmas 1967



I was born in 1966. Growing up in the United States late 1960s and 1970s was pretty amazing. Not only did we come into the world in the midst of many of our nation's major historically significant events, but we were able to witness some great changes and advances in society. The first moon landing was July 20, 1969. I vaguely remember it, but I definitely remember the great debate between my father and my great grandmother regarding the disputed fact that man had really walked on the moon. My great grandmother was of the school of thought that it was a giant Tang commercial because she could not fathom the idea of space flight. My dad was much more worldly and tried his best to convince her that it the landing was not filmed on a Hollywood movie set, it was actually the surface of the moon. I sometimes wonder what she would think of today's technology. 

My earliest Christmas memory is from 1968 or so. It was at my grandmother's house, who is pictured above with my two sisters and myself. She would sit behind her baby grand piano on Christmas Eve and play Christmas carols for hours. Everyone would sing along; at least those who knew the lyrics would sing along. We opened presents, ate, and went home to try our best to stay awake so that we might catch a glimpse of Santa Claus when he came down the chimney to leave our loads of gifts. Despite our efforts, we would fall asleep before the man in red arrived. Every year, I was the first to wake at 3am. I would wake my sisters, and together we would quietly sneak into the living room to see 1. IF Santa had come and 2. What he left for us. In our minds, even though we were good girls, a stocking full of coal and/or switches was always a possibility. 

Christmas 1969 was my first favorite Christmas. After going to Miller's Department Store to sit on Santa's lap, and telling him that I what I wanted him to leave under my tree, it happened! Christmas morning came, and HE LEFT DANCERINA FOR ME!!! 










There many favorite Christmases for me after Christmas, 1969. None quite as memorable, though. After all, in 1969, I realized that there really is a Santa Claus! 

Having grown up the youngest of 3 girls, I have limited knowledge of boy toys*. I do, however, have extensive knowledge of girl toys. I have searched for a couple of days to find some of my favorite toys from childhood. I am sure I am leaving out something, so if you think of something, please let me know, and I will add it to my collection. Enjoy reminiscing! 

Baby Go Bye Bye c1968 Mattel
Baby First Step c1965-1967
Baby Beans c1970 Mattel

Chatty Cathy c1960

Dressy Bessy c1970 Playskool




Flatsy c1969-1973 Ideal

 Mrs. Beasley c1967 Mattel

Liddle Kiddles c1966


                                                                                   
I feel The Crissy and Velvet dolls require explanation. Crissy came on the scene in 1968. Because of her popularity, her shorter cousin, Velvet, was introduced in 1970. The following year, 1971, brought "Movin' Groovin'" Crissy, the one in the orange dress. 






Too many Barbie dolls and accouterment that I cannot list it all.




Dawn dolls by Topper 1970- 1973



While researching my childhood toy chest, one thing stood out. Every toy I found had a common thread. The memories were built around my family and friends. I can remember playing with the Dawn dolls with my sister; I remember playing with the Barbie Camper with my neighbors. I suppose I would have fond Christmas memories even if I would have received a lump of coal or a stocking full of switches from Santa, as long as I was still surrounded by my loved ones. 

~~Julie


*The term "Boy toys" refers to toys for boys, not toys for grown-up girls.





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