Briggs: What was your version of Ralphie's Red Ryder BB gun?
We know Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" would do anything for "the holy grail of Christmas gifts." What was the one gift you had to have as a kid?
One of my favorite Christmas morning traditions the last few years has been to start making breakfast while watching “A Christmas Story” on the kitchen television. One of the stations runs it back to back to back all day.
The 1983 film is one of my favorites for so many reasons, among them watching Ralphie try to find ways to convince his parents to buy him “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.” Not just any gift, he says, but “the holy grail of Christmas gifts.”
So I started to wonder, what was your “Red Ryder” toy? What was the gift you just had to have as a kid?
I threw the question out on Facebook and was delighted by the answers. So here are some of the responses I received, along with a couple of my favorite old Christmas toys.
A Cabbage Patch Kid when I was 5 in 1983. My parents could not get their hands on one, but my aunt and uncle in Arizona were able to at the last minute. They called me on Christmas morning to tell me that Santa left his gift for me under their tree by mistake. I remember being so excited! — Gretchen Kindseth.
FURBY! I felt like I had won the lottery when I opened it — Becky Blair.
When I was in middle school in 1974 I was desperate for boots like these (left). But red galoshes (right) are what was under the tree. I’m not kidding. My beloved mom. Always the pragmatist. — Nancy Christenson.
I sooooo wanted a pair of pink saddle shoes in the ‘80s. I didn’t get them. My mom said they were too expensive. — Karmen Evans.
With me it was a battery-powered boat — a Coast Guard Cutter I think - that came from JCPenney on Broadway. I was so excited. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. The propeller didn’t spin and the rudder was broken off in the box. It went back to the store, and there was not replacement since it was the last in stock. — Dick Lunde.
The white rocking cradle from the Sears catalog. Although it is #10 here, in the catalog I saw it in it was #3. I repeatedly requested it by number, so to this day it is called my ‘number three cradle.’ — Heidi Twedt.
This doll! I wish I remembered her name, but I was crazy for her. I insisted that she be in all of our pictures and I had her for so many years. — Tami Blanchard Llewellyn.
I begged for these hiking boots with the red laces. — Kelley Switzer DeMars.
And finally, I’ll leave you with one of my favorites — the Crissy doll. Do any of you 1970s kids remember her?
She was about the size of the modern American Girl doll. She wore a very groovy orange lace dress and had blazing red hair.
But the coolest thing was you could change the length of her hair with the yank of the ponytail at the top of her head. I can still hear the machine gunlike "brrrrrrrrripppp" sound when I pulled the ponytail out of her little plastic scalp.
I guess it was kind of like my version of the Red Ryder BB gun. After several years of play, her beautiful red hair was a tangled mess, and the mechanism which converted her hair from short to long broke, so she was stuck with one long synthetic dreadlock. But she was loads of fun — and best of all, I never shot my eye out.
Here’s hoping you get everything you wish for this Christmas!