Sunday, December 20, 2009


Today I'm taking a trip down memory lane to remember some of my favorite toys as a child.

The first one I remember would be a Betsy Wetsy doll that I received probably when I was around 6 or 7 yr old. She also had a little pink plastic playpin and an additional set of clothes. I loved that doll and played with her a lot. Then one day, I decided to give her a haircut!!! Oops!!


My most memorable doll was when I was about 8 or 9 yr old. Barbie was very popular then; and that's what I asked for at Xmas. But on Xmas morning, this is what I opened.
I was never disappointed that I got Tammy instead of Barbie. My mom explained that whereas Barbie was a teenager, Tammy was a preteen -- just like me! That first Xmas, I also got a set of Susy Goose furniture for Tammy - a canopy bed, wardrobe and hope chest for the foot of her bed. I also got one other change of clothes -- this one they called Pizza Party. My kids think this outfit is hideous (and I guess I'd have to agree with them). But you know, when I look at it, all I can see is the joy and hours of fun I had dreaming and acting out MY ideal preteen life with Tammy.

In our tiny bedroom, my sister and I had a large wooden wardrobe: my Mom wallpapered the floor and about 2' up the sides, and that became Tammy's bedroom.
Then the next Xmas, Santa brought me 3 more outfits for Tammy -- School Daze, Cutie Coed and (my favorite) Cheerleader.
Also that Xmas, my Aunt gave me a wonderful pink plastic china cabinet (with little grey dishes). And later my older brother gave Tammy a sofa and chair (made of wrapping paper covered cigarette packages!!!). With various empty thread spools and other doodads, Tammy's home began to take shape.
Tammy was only produced for a few years in the 60's. I played with her for years, but with a younger sister about 3 yr behind me --- and 2 brothers with GI Joe's and science kits -- MY Tammy never survived the decade. (I have, however, been able to replace my original doll as well as collecting a lot of Tammy clothes [much more than I ever owned] and the Susy Goose furniture via Ebay. She sits proudly on the top shelf of my bedroom hutch!)
For a few Xmas's in a row, I would receive the same gifts -- another favorite! A transister radio -- whose batteries were usually dead by Dec 28th due to the nights of falling asleep with it under my pillow! Batteries were an expensive item to replace for young kids! And if it was left around idle for any length of time, it would inevidibly be taken apart and examined by my older, extremely inquisitive brother -- thus necessitating the need for a new one the following Xmas!

I'd also receive books at Xmas. Then there'd be many late nights in bed with a flashlight reading -- either these books....

OR these books ... (Robin was a preteen who lived in California and had her own horse! Dreamy sigh!!)

or Trixie Belden, Dana Girls, Bobsey Twins OR even these books given to my older brother....
As I entered my teen years, Xmas was be full of cheap dusting powder (always appreciated by me and usually a gift from THAT brother!!). Or there'd be this much coveted perfume - Evening in Paris! Ooooo! How exotic that sounded! Too bad it didn't smell the same way (unless you think the docks or your local recycling centre smells exotic!!) Really! I believe it was pretty bad!!
As far back as I can remember, my life has always revolved around music. So for all of my teen years, I'd have a tiny record player something like this one, which would get replaced the next Xmas as I wore out the previous one! I very fondly remember a lime green plastic one that I adored! There'd also be many Xmas's of K-Tel records (I still have them); and throughout the year, I'd save my baby-sitting money to buy 45's of The Beatles or The Guess Who or Gary Pucket & The Union Gap.
And these records would be kept in a little box like this. *
What wonderful fun it's been to walk down memory lane with you.
What were some of your favorite childhood Xmas gifts? I'd love to take the journey with you.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What lovely memories you've brought back for me today too! I remember the evening in Paris and the transistor radio and the record players. I had some lp's that got played over and over again. And it had an attachment for 45's too. Those were such great days and I'll be hoping that someday my children can look back at Christmas past and say they had great memories too. I never had a Barbie, but my daughter did and our dog at the time promptly chewed off her feet. Oh dear, those puppies did a lot of chewing...the gi joes and the legos all had their turn. How nice you have collected the doll and clothes. I've not done anything like that. My memories are now in picture albums and in my heart. 'On Ya'-ma

The Garden of Egan said...

Are those your actual toys that you still have?
I'm so impressed.
I got a Betsy Wetsy too!
Love the post. It was a real blast from the past.

Eva Gallant said...

What a wonderful, nostalgic post! Loved theo photos! Life was so much simpler then, wasn't it? How great that you've been able to acquire all the momentos of your childhood!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, I LOVE this! I'm in the midst of composing my own post along this theme, so I won't reveal my memories here, but I WILL say...
I vividly remember the Tammy doll, but I don't remember if I ever actually got her. I did, however, get Barbie's cool teenage cousin, Francie.
Those books! Nancy Drew - had 'em all. Robin Kane - one of my sisters' favorites. Trixie Belden - I knew Trixie and the Bob Whites so well, I counted them as my very best friends!
What a fun post, my friend! Have yourself a very merry Christmas!

Suburban Princess said...

Wow I am so impressed you can remember all of those things and the doll clothes etc! I used to get Trixie Belden books for xmas too!

Sara said...

This is really testing my memory. The first doll I remember having was Chatty Cathy. You pulled a string in the back of her neck, and she had a few phrases. I can't remember what she said, but I remember my older sister (14 years older) and her friend thinking Chatty Cathy was hilarious.
I had Skipper and Barbie, but mostly I loved to play with trolls! One Christmas, my mom paid my baby sitter to make a bunch of clothes for my trolls and I got a little dresser with a mirror from Santa. I LOVED those gifts. Sadly, my trolls got tossed by my dad's second wife...she figured I didn't want them since I left them at home when I moved out. Sob.

Maureen said...

What a great post! Many memories for me too. I think your mom made a great choice with Tammy - she's so cute. And thankfully not 38-20-34! Although I did love my Barbie!

A very Merry Christmas to you and your family.

mattenylou said...

I remember getting a Ginny doll, and Betsy Wetsy. I loved my dolls, too! Every year we all got brand new Lindy ballpoint pens in our stocking, and a new box of 64 Crayolas... that was a treat because they were always pretty worn out. I remember getting a hair dryer when I was around 10 or11, with a big plastic cap that filled with hot air... and I thought I was so cool! Great memories...

Nikia, May and da kids said...

I had gotten a transistor radio from my grandpa when I was little and a record player when I got older and bought it for myself. i actually bought me a DJ turntable set in high school and gave it to my little brother for his birthday when he got into middle school.

No Christmas gifts for me after my dad died when I was 7. We were just really poor and lucky if we could afford a tree.


Nezzy said...

Oh, my! Are you sure you didn't spend Christmas in my house. Oh...those were the days my friend. Sorry, I easily break out in song and dance. Thanks for sturin' up all these girlhood memories, they were good memories.

Have a super day preparing the last tasks to make the season bright. {SIGH}, now all we have to do is to remember to breathe! God bless.....

A human kind of human said...

What a lovely post. It took me back many, many years to my own childhood. I never received many Christmas presents (we were poor but I only found that out once I was almost grown up - lol) but I did have a transistor radio and yes, I ofte fell asleep with it under my pillow. I would listen to "The Creaking Door" last thing at night - a very scary program for a twelve or thirteen year old in those days. Books, oh what a delight although I never received any I read through or school library (just a cupboard filled with books) many times getting to know Nancy Drew very well and then of course all the Afrikaans characters. How delightfully uncomplicated childhood was... even though we were poor!

Fran Hill said...

My favourite Christmas gift was a box which held mini chocolate bars and when you put a coin in, it delivered one to you. Unfortunately, I didn't realise that once the stock of chocolate had run out, they had to be replaced. Ah. Complications. That was one of those 'life lessons' one has to learn.