All I Never Got For Christmas Part 3: The Final Conflict

Our last episode…

Denise: Funny, I wanted Rock ‘m Sock em’s and and EZ Bake oven, too. I got the former from a secretary as a gag gift because my writing partner and I fought so much. It blows. And I bought the latter as a holiday gift for my daughter. Interesting, going on the web site I found out back in 1963 when it came out it cost 19.95, exactly what I paid for it today. Now I know why I never got it. You do the math. Sadly, I never wanted things. I wanted people. We were the only three people in our family on this continent and we weren’t even Christian! So Xmas became a sad anemic ritual. Now I do the whole shabang, tree, big dinner, lots of cheer, and what a pain in the ass. When I was 9 I got a real Singer sewing machine that I didn’t even ask for and it was thrilling. I still use it today. The best toy I ever got was the Mattel Thing Maker with the open hot plate that I’m sure could cause third degree burns and industrial fires. God I loved that thing. I can still smell the Goop you used in it today. David C.: I can only think of one story – and it came way past childhood. My (well-intentioned) mother bought my then-fiancee a hobo-doll that looked insane. It so scared the hell out of her that I had to bury it in a box in the garage. Convinced that it was a cousin of Chuckee, and would therefore chew its way out of the box and murder us in our bed, she insisted that I take it to the dump where it was bulldozed into oblivion Vanessa: Things I wanted but never got: plastic high heel dress up shoes, Strawberry shortcake doll. Things I got that ended up sucking: Barbie dolls. Wanted them so bad. Then I cut their hair and realized that changing their outfits was really, really boring. Other thing that ended up sucking: Shrinky-Dinks. Plastic things you colored on that shrink in the oven. Whoopdy-doo! Kristy: I wanted a Barbie Head Doll forever. Then I got her and found out that she had the same balding problem after a month as my Uncle Bill for whom my Aunt Julie took responsibility for pulling all of his hair out because "he wouldn’t do everything she wanted." So back to the Barbie head doll. The brush was too small and the fake rollers didn’t make her hair do anything but stick inside them. I even remember the makeup it came with was like one giant hard cake of chalk, like writing chalk. What a disappointment she was. Barbie Beauty Queen beheaded onto a plastic plate. Sick really. Oh and now that I think about it, you had to place her between your legs to get any leverage on that long silky plasticide-like hair. Much like an oral sex pose. It was Barbie Head Doll…but c’mon…. Carey: Since I was an only child, I pretty much got everything I asked for when I was a little girl. Except, I always wanted a pony. Living in Palm Springs, all of my friends had one so I thought why couldn’t I. For every year I asked, my parents thought that horse-related gifts would suffice: a collection of Black Beauty novels, plastic collectible horse figures, cowboy boots, etc. While all those things were cool, I still wanted the horse. My sucky Christmas gifts didn’t come until I was an adult, actually, last year to be exact. My husband of five years (now ex) gave me boat loads of Bath & Body Works lotion–the really strong smelly stuff. While most women love that stuff, my asthma kicks in just being within two feet of it. (I think he was trying to inadvertently kill me for leaving him.) Also, a good friend of mine gave me one of those martini shakers that have recipes for all bar drinks engraved on it. I am not a heavy drink and put myself through college being a bartender and cocktail waitress. I guess, the friend wasn’t as close as I thought. Jerrilyn: This is the very stuff that has probably inspired me to avoid therapy lo these many years, but if you insist: Things I wanted from Santa: Barbie with the cool poofy silk skirt, EZ Bake oven and every packet and miniature box of cake mix they made, and a real microscope. Things I got in my stocking each and every year: One apple. One orange. One banana. And a small package of sequins. (Additional note of pathos: Since we didn’t have a fireplace in our mid-century (hah!) split-level house in the suburbs of Chicago, my brother and I hung our brown stockings (borrowed for one night only from my dad’s sock drawer) from a piano bench in the living room–the room with the clear-plastic slipcovers over the pastel blue couch. The above was what my sweet Jewish mother imagined was enough for her kids to get from that Santa Claus. Barbara: I wanted cowboy boots. I was probably 8 or 9. For some reason, I thought my parents weren’t going to get them for me and I was really upset. I searched the house hi and low, couldn’t find my hidden gift. (They knew better than to leave it under the tree before Christmas morning.) By the time Christmas day arrived, I had worked myself into a real snit. When I opened the box to see my authentic, leather, pointy toe boots, I made one attempt to pull them on and then threw them across the room declaring in a hysterical pout, "They don’t even fit. I found out later that those boots are stiff and you really have to work them on, especially when they’re brand new. Linda V.: I really wanted a chemistry set, and in a moment of temporary insanity when my mother gave the gift-getting over to my father, I actually scored one. Of course, I didn’t have a lick of talent for anything scientific, and the only thing I ever ended up doing with my chemistry set was burning sulfur. The house would smell like rotten eggs for days on end. Mary: I don’t really remember any gifts that sucked, but I will say that the gifts that hold up best, long-term, seem to be live animals. Like the hamster I got one year – it was the best gift I can remember. I would have liked a pony, but I understood it was never going to happen. Jennifer: Well, I have thought long and hard about this one (I was an only child for the major portion of my childhood) and the only thing I can think of is a baby blue jersey wrap skirt from K-mart that said "Disco" on it. Thank god my mom said no. I told her she’s not the one wearing it, and she replied, "Yes, but I’m the one who has to walk around with you."

Happy Holidays one and all…Tod

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