Ah, Christmas time. As we get older, the list of Christmas "must haves" grows shorter and shorter. We all remember when we were younger, those things we just absolutely HAD TO HAVE OR WE'D JUST DIE. Toys, clothes, electronics...it seemed like every year there was something. Here are a few things from my childhood that I can remember just having to have under the tree on Christmas morning.

1. Dissect An Alien


This was something I got one year, and I think I actually wept tears of joy. It was an alien, and the innards fit together like a puzzle. Once you got all the parts inside the alien, you would cover them in slime and zip him up. Then when you were ready, you would take the parts out in all of their gooey awesomeness. It was so very awesomely gross.

2. Boom Box With A T.V. In It.


Oh, the joys of old school boom boxes. I remember sitting for hours listening to the radio with the Play, Record and Pause buttons pressed, waiting for my favorite songs to come on. But then one day, I came across a boom box...WITH A T.V. IN IT! I had to have it, because I could watch t.v. on it, and I could record the audio from the shows onto cassette tapes. Why I needed to do that, I don't know, but I needed to do that.

3. The Coca-Cola Shirt


I'm not sure how Coca-Cola pulled this one off, but they figured out how to make their brand a fashion statement. I'm sure this phenomena is being studied in marketing classes. I HAD to have one of these. My Dad however, couldn't understand why the heck these shirts cost so much. Looking back, I don't blame him. You could get Coca-Cola t-shirts free, but the t-shirt simply wouldn't do.

4. Reebok High Tops


Reebok hit the shoe scene hard when I was in middle school, and these were top of the heap. Why were these so popular? They're actually kind of ugly. Oh well, I loved em and wore them till they pretty much fell apart.

5. Snake Mountain


I have always been a bigger fan of villains than heroes. I liked He-Man, but Skeletor was where it was at. He just looked cooler, and Snake Mountain was WAY COOLER than Castle Grayskull. I remember getting this on Christmas morning, and pretty much disappearing for about 3 months playing with it.

6. Polo Cologne


Here's another one my Dad just didn't understand. I remember being in Dillard's one day and telling him I really wanted some of this for Christmas. He looked at me and said, and I quote "This smells like bug spray. Seriously. Why do you want to smell like bug spray?". I was crushed, because I thought for sure there was no way I would be getting any Polo cologne. I guess at some point, he buckled, because I got some and all was right with the world.

7. Intellivision


This was the year I was probably surprised the most. Me and my brother and sister wanted this so bad, but didn't think we had ANY chance of Santa leaving one of this under the tree. It was a Christmas miracle! I can't tell you many days this thing made me miss school. It was all the Intellivision's fault, not mine.

8. Swatch Watches


Here's another Christmas must have that made my Dad look at me like I was crazy. He said, and I quote "There's no reason why a dumb little rubber watch should cost that much money". He was right, once again. Swatches were something anyone who was anyone had to have to be cool, or at least try to appear cool. If you were really cool though, you wore 3 or 4 of these bad boys at once. I, was not that cool. But, I was lucky enough to find one in my Christmas stocking one year, and my head exploded.

These are the things that stick out in my mind when I think of Christmas when I was a kid. As I typed this, I realized just how awesome my parents were to me growing up. Not that I didn't know that already, but now that I'm a parent, I realize just how hard it can be to make these little Christmas miracles happen.