I’m 23 now and I’ve had “that” Christmas gift – the one that you always bring up in conversation when someone asks what your favorite Christmas gift is. For me it was the Mighty Max Skull Mountain playset.
To set the stage for you people who missed Mighty Max, it was Polly Pocket for guys. It would mostly be these compact sized playsets with the tooth sized Max figurine and the toys were cool. They were cheap enough that they could be picked up as a small gift, McDonalds had their own versions of the toys and there ended up being the Saturday morning cartoon – one which ended grimly for the character by retconning everything in the last episode and by killing off people, if memory serves.
My mom during the Mighty Max phase wasn’t good at paying attention to toys though. It was before I was supposed to be exposed to branding and hell – I was 4 at the time. Half the stuff I came up with was bunk.
So when we went up to my aunt’s for Christmas, my mom and my aunt (who filled the role of the sweet grandmother in my life). So Christmas morning we broke into the toys with rapt intent and at the end there was no Mighty Max. And Christmas died. My mom could make mistakes but not Santa! I’d told Santa that I wanted Mighty Max toys and I started crying.
The guilt broke apart my mom and my aunt and they realized I’d forever lose hope if they didn’t do something. It was a simpler time though so all of the stores were closed on Christmas. Remember how nice that was? People could spend time at home.
So the next day before I got up my mom and aunt ran out, got to the store and found the Mighty Max toys. The $3 toys that were so important to me and the giant Mighty Max Skull Mountain playset. Gifts in hand they snuck back before anyone else got up, wrapped the gift and then shoved the box into chimney.
When I finally got up, still devastated, my mom and aunt had my brother and I run upstairs to try and knock the snow off the roof by jumping up and down. And then the box came down – the box Santa forgot. The box that I knew was for me! Santa just got stuck! He didn’t forget me.
Mind you, everyone else had no idea what was going on, just that I was so happy over the toy. Of course by the time we opened it before we got home, I’d lost a Might Max somewhere in the house (those things were tiny) but I kept onto the playset till we moved from that house. It established the magic of the holidays in me and for that I am thankful.