Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

13 Gifts my mother gave at Christmas.

You probably think I'm going to list wonderful personal qualities and characteristics, like honesty, integrity, kindness, etc. No, this really is a list of presents given to us children at Christmas from a woman who made every dollar count, was practical and believed educational things would last. The gift tags said from "Mom and Dad" or "Santa," but we knew who picked them out and wrapped them. Looking back, some of these surprise me (we were were always supervised, but some don't look real safe in retrospect) and this covers about a 10 year period.

Thirteen Gifts

1) Wood burning set. I don't know if these are still made for young children; the box included stamped designs on wooden plaques, metal hooks for hanging, and an electrical tool with multiple points for burning. Then the plaques were painted and shellacked.

2) Building sets: Erector set (for my brother, but I got to use it). We didn't have elaborate sets, but there was a little electric motor. Lincoln logs (for my brother, and I didn't get to use this).

3) Records (probably 78 rpm) with stories; I think some were the sound track of movies. I remember "Treasure Island" with Bobby Driscoll.

4) Oil painting by number. Usually a horse or dog printed on canvas board.

5) Chemistry set. I think it had test tubes and little jars of crystalized chemicals.

6) Pottery kits. These were extremely popular in the 50s--don't know if they still are. The kits had rubber molds and a plaster to mix with water. After drying, the mold was removed and you painted the object. Getting out the bubbles was always a challenge. She also bought us pottery we could paint and glaze. I still have some of them.

7) Embroidery stamped towels, pillow cases and dresser scarves with the thread. Sometimes she also bought the transfer design and we would hem the towels, iron on the transfer, and make our own.

8) Small metal looms to make woven squares from stretchy loops which were then stitched together to make something. I doubt that I ever completed a single project.

9) My first Bible, a KJV with Jesus' words in red, maps, leather binding with gold print. I still have it.

10) Books. I still have some of them, like the Marguerite Henry horse stories and the Black Stallion series. We got magazine subscriptions from her mother.

11) Board and card games. Sorry, Monopoly, Checkers are some I remember best. Authors was a favorite card game. This was even approved for use at my grandparents.

12) Glass dishes, metal pots and pans, and metal stove and sink, white with red handles. I still have my glass dishes. The little kitchen appliances lasted into the 1960s and 70s for their grandchildren to play with.

13) Art supplies--drawing pencils of various hardness. Different types of paper. One box of "oil crayons" I may have kept for at least 40 years. Possibly still have them.

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Visited and visitors today:
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30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some of those sound like really fun gifts!

Anonymous said...

They sure don't make the same great toys these days as they use too! I loved the quality of the toys made years ago. I am lucky, my little girl loves Strawberry Shortcake, which is something I loved as a kid too.

Anonymous said...

Some excellent gifts! My children love craft projects and these would be some things they'd love... I remember a few of them myself... we had a wood burning set and it was just about the coolest thing ever! :)

Happy Holidays!

Writing Aspirations

Melissa said...

Wow, what a great list. I wish more people would give their kids things like this now. Something I want to do for my girls is to get them involved in crafts and learning home skills. So much of that has gone by the wayside. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I wish they still made toys like the Chemistry sets and the pottery sets...not sure if they really do, but I haven't seen them.

My 13 are up.

Wacky Mommy said...

Good list! Happy holidays from Portland, Ore.

Anonymous said...

the gifts we remember. sometimes the simplest are the most precious. what a wonderful list.
my tt is up.

Anonymous said...

My older brother had a wood burning kit. I watched him do it and begged him to let me watch from then on. The soldering iron, or whatever that thing was, scared me to death, but I like to watch him and like the smell.

I never had a Chemistry kit, but a friend did, and we had lots of fun with it.

I didn't personally have much on your list, but my toys were similar in nature. You had to have imagination and you "did" stuff with them. Much different than today's video games and such.

Though I have to say I don't have a problem with video game systems, many of the young engineers I work with are still avid users of the systems in their twenties and thirties, and most were drawn to engineering because of the video games. They all wanted to write the game code and ended up in electical engineering.

Enjoyed your list. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I love that list!!!!!
merry christmas

Anonymous said...

Wonderful gifts! :) I remember playing with chemistry sets. And I love Maguerite Henry's books as a child - I'm sure she's the reason behind my life-long love of horses and horseback riding.

Happy Holidays. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, thanks for the memories! I remember getting story records, though ours were 33 rpm or 45, and the paint by number sets, embroidery kits, metal looms, and all those classic board games. My brother got the chemistry sets, erector sets, and wood burning kits. My first Bible, too--white leather binding with gold-edged pages and Jesus's words in red.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I remember the wood-burning kits and the chemistry kits, and the potholder looms! Wht a great list - and memory-reminder!

Anonymous said...

Oh, building sets, records, books and art supplies are just the best gifts!
My TT is up too!
Have a nice day!
Hugs,
A. xox

Anonymous said...

Those are some fun gifts and some wonderful memories. I still remember the smell from the wood burning kits my brother would get. They still make them. I've seen them at Michael's (craft store) and thought wow, they still make those death traps:) Your mom sounds like a thoughtful person! Merry Christmas Norma!

Julie in Texas said...

I love your memories. I remember the records, I had them too. When I was a second year teacher, I promised my class of first graders if we had a good week I would let them listen to 101 Dalmations (my favorite). Come Friday when I brought out the record player, the look on their faces was priceless. They thought we would watch the movie!

Anonymous said...

I see a theme here... wish more parents today stressed art and building and creating!

happy TT!

Anonymous said...

I loved #s 4 & 8 :-) Great list, btw!

Anonymous said...

I too wish more toys today were more about arts, crafts and interacting with reality and each other and learning a skill. Some of my best memories were doing crafts with my mother, learning to make something rather than destroy things.

Anonymous said...

I received a chemistry set and a microscope one year for Christmas. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Thanks for sharing your memories and for stopping by my site!

Anonymous said...

These gifts encouraged exploration and creativity. You had a smart mother!

Carey said...

SOunds like a lot of great gifts. I like the arts and craft gift myself.

Anonymous said...

Those are the same gifts I used to get for Christmas!! I love the oil painting kits (and mine were usually horses and dogs as well!).

I also liked the weaving kits. I must have made hundreds of pot holders (hundreds might be a little bit of an exageration!)

Merry Christmas!

Chelle Y. said...

My nephew just asked for a chemistry lab set this Christmas!

I loved the records with stories!

MaR said...

What great gifts and wonderful memories.
Merry Xmas to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

I remember the wood burning kit and the pot holder making loom. Some of my favorites! Merry Christmas!

alisonwonderland said...

great gifts - and fun memories!

merry christmas!

p.s. thanks for visiting my list.

Anonymous said...

Great list and ya some of those are still popular with the kids. Well have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

I think your Mom and mine are twins seperated at birth!

Anonymous said...

Wow, very creative. I never got gifts like that, but I did get lots of other things that were neat, and I still think my parents are the greatest in the world. I do hope you do the same with your kids! Merry Christmas la, and thanks for posting on my blog. I havn't broken a bone since college so I think I'm through with it now. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Sounds a lot like the kind of Christmas we had when I was a kid. I grew up in the days of 33rpm records though. And what I remember is how my mother either a) tried to disguise the record (tough!) or b) tried to use as little wrapping paper as possible (the trick is to do it on the diagonal).

Cheers!