29 December 2010

list thirty-one: christmas gifts I have loved

I loved that little coffee maker so much

1. purple tricycle, 1973. complete with plastic white basket and little chrome bell. love.

2. kitchen set, 1975. with a refrigerator door that opened and closed and a stove that had knobs that turned on and off. details that thrilled me.

3. toy coffeemaker, 1977. as pictured above, friends. it was filled with a dark brown liquid that made it look as if you were really making coffee. and of course, there was an on and off switch. very important, the on and off switch.

4. darci doll, 1979. coolest doll ever. because she was a brunette. because she was a little bit larger than all the other barbie dolls. because she came with a portfolio that contained little paper magazines with examples of her work as a high fashion model. because clearly, she was a modern woman. you know, just trying to make it on her own. and who also just happened to own several very awesome pairs of metallic shoes.

5. shiny red leotard and skinny gold metal belt, 1980. there could not have been a more perfect gift for a solid gold dancer-loving ten year-old me.

6. mr. microphone, 1981. OMG I LOVED THIS THING.

7. white casio boombox, 1983. with dual cassette feature. classic times one hundred.

8. the harvey edwards leg warmers poster, 1986. what I wanted was the life of the person in this poster. bad. and my friends, they knew this. so they went in together and bought the poster for me. which, if I'm telling the whole story here, was purchased on the DL the day we snuck off to st. louis to go christmas shopping together. which wouldn't have been so bad had I actually been allowed to drive on my own with friends the two hours over to st. louis. this was the first major lie I ever told my parents and I'll spare you the details but I will say this: it did not end well. a week or so later, when my friends finally gave me the poster, I wanted to cry-- not because I was still in a crapload of trouble (and I was) but because it was the first time anyone outside my family had ever given me such a thoughtful gift.

9. vintage black velvet cocktail dress, 1988. which I originally found at a vintage shop downtown covington, kentucky and promptly hid deep in the rack so no one else would buy it before I got my mom down to the shop to buy it for me for christmas. really, I had no idea where I'd even wear such a dress but I wanted it. and I wanted it bad. I wore it around the house for a while. and then five months later, I wore it to my senior prom.

10. silver heart locket, 1990. very first christmas gift from ward, very first christmas together. seriously smitten.

11. charlie brown christmas soundtrack, 1992. favorite christmas album ever.

12. photobooth by babette hines, 2003. first spotted at a book shop in new york and then it seemed to disappear. but somehow, ward tracked it down. I am never tired of this book. never, not ever.

13. record player, 2004. six years later and I am well on my way to wearing this sweet little machine out.

14. sterling silver hula girl charm, 2005. with hips that actually move. LOVE.

15. vintage turquoise hermes rocket typewriter, 2007. the first year ward and I participated in advent conspiracy, we established two rules: the gift must be secondhand and it could not cost more than twenty dollars. imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found this beautiful thing inside. people, I could not love a typewriter more. I could not.

16. modern dance paper dolls, 2009. isadora duncan, doris humprey, martha graham, katherine dunham, they're all there. the awesomeness of such paper dolls cannot adequately be put into words.

18. every bracelet, necklace, ornament and painting ava and ezra have ever made and given me, 2000-2010. sweetest christmas presents ever. ever ever ever.

p.s. I don't know what happened during the nineties. I really don't.


  1. I love this list! I can barely remember most Christmas gifts from when I was young - I'm impressed that you can remember so many details! :)

  2. wow i'm impressed you can remember all these!

  3. what a fab list, I can vividly remember my 'disco' roller boots and pogo stick!

  4. I had that exact same couch when I was growing up! Or one a lot like it. And my dad had the very same moustache! Of course he did.

    My sister did a very similar post here:

    (You can kind of see the corner of the very similar couch in one of those photos.)

  5. Your list got me reminiscing about my favorites -- one of which was the Snoopy in your photo. I still have him - packed away (along with his sister Belle)

  6. Great list, Andrea.
    The Charlie Brown Christmas album is my alltime favourite too. :)
    Happy New Year!

  7. I had a Darci doll! In fact, it was one of the dolls I had the longest. I combed her hair so much that it got all ratted together and I kept 'trimming" its frayed ends until Darci was practically bald. Even then I tied little pieces of fabric on her head giving her a headscarf like Rhoda. I'd forgotten about her portfolio until you just mentioned it. Oh the memories!

  8. Probably one of my favorite posts you have written. I love it all and you know the 90's were just odd for many reasons. :)

  9. I loved my Mister Microphone!

  10. what a memory! i've got to know...how did your parents find out about st. louis?

  11. The only Christmas gift I remember from the '90s was Billy, the all-white English Bulldog my parent's surprised my and my kid sister with. We went nuts over him, even after we realized he wasn't a polar bear.

  12. good for you for remembering all of this! all i remember is a holly hobby lunch box once upon a time...

  13. This is my favorite of all your lists. Love it!

  14. i think you need to make a book of your lists (if you aren't already) they are just TOO good. and that hula girl charm. i want! 'with hips that move' soo cool. also, how sweet is a the first gift from Ward? like the most perfect 1st xmas gift ever. :)

  15. Hi, I loved reading your favorites list. I love the Darci Doll with her very own portfolio. And the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack is also my favorite Christmas album. And so cool that you got to wear that vintage black velvet dress to your prom! When I was a little girl I loved paper dolls and used to make my own outfits for them. And that typewriter is a beauty.