If I had to pick out two things I love most in the world, they would be getting legitimate presents for Christmas and ranking things in a “Top 10” fashion. I dig it. I do it all the damn time. I don’t always write this stuff down, but the ideas are there. Hell, just about everyone enjoys a good “Top 10” column, at least on a weekly basis. Seeing as though it’s Christmastime (finally), I thought to myself “Hey, self! Why don’t we do a power ranking of the best Christmas gifts you’ve ever received!? I bet a general audience of your peers would identify with such a list and enjoy reading it! Plus it would be a great way to kill time while we’re waiting for traffic to clear!”
10. Complete Set Of Weapons From The Original Power Rangers
I dare you to find one other 22 to 25-year-old that didn’t convulse with excitement when they heard that guitar intro to Power Rangers come on the morning. I remember sitting squarely in front of the TV, mouth agape, fascinated by the martial arts skills of Jason, the Red Ranger. I’m sure everyone else did as well because it was the unchallenged favorite show of little kids for years. You can imagine my unbridled glee when I saw the full weapon set used by the Power Rangers sitting under the tree. You could even put them all together and make the super weapon. SHITYEAH!
The silver Dyno bike was my very first form of transportation. I rode the streets and avenues of my suburban neighborhood on that majestic silver steed. It came
assembled by my dad, drunk at 2am complete with sweet-ass handle grips and hand breaks so I didn’t have to peddle backwards like a moron. My friends and I would race down hills, try and jump over things, and ride to the local convenience store to buy POGS. The bike was the best and it’s actually a family treasure that still sits in the garage to this day.
8. Good Pair Of Headphones
This one was more recent, but takes the #8 spot in this countdown. Not necessarily monumental in any way, but I’ll be damned if I don’t go a day with getting some sort use out of them. Practicality is the theme here, and those soft cushy sound producing pillows pump killer beats into my earholes every day.
7. CD Player
Any set of headphones would be useless without a source of sound to plug into, which leads us to #7 on the countdown: my very first CD player. God. Damn. That thing was on another level. It was translucent blue, so you could see the CD spinning inside of it (whispers to self: “the future…”). The CD player was a major catalyst in my transition from sweet little boy to surly, angsty teenager who didn’t talk to anyone on the bus because he was too busy jamming Papa Roach in the back seat. I would crank that shit to 11 and jam along with Sum 41, The Offspring, Blink, Green Day, you name it. My parents were worried it would destroy my hearing, but I had the YOLO spirit before Drake was even auditioning for Degrassi. #PunkRock4Life
6. Game Boy
Game Boy? More like game CHANGER! When I got my first Game Boy, I can remember thinking, “You mean to tell me that I can take this in the car and play video games…ON THE ROAD?!” My mind was similarly blown when I realized the same thing was true for airplane rides as well. The Game Boy and I became best friends. I carried it everywhere right next to the CD player.
Easy. Cash takes the #5 spot because it’s neither here nor there. It’s not something you specifically remember (unless Grandpa sends you way more than expected), but it’s something that I always used to get things I really wanted. So, a big shoutout to cash money, the most consistent present of all-time.
4. Yomega Yo-Yos
Go ahead and raise your hand if you can still recite that damn song for the Yomega Yo-Yo commercials. You can’t see me, but both of my hands are in the air. You have to give props to Yomega for taking arguably one of the oldest toys since “ball in a cup” and making it super cool again. Great marketing ploy. I mean, how sick was the “X-brain?” It came back to you! I pestered my parents for these yo-yos for weeks until I finally got a few for Christmas. From there I quickly became a master of yo-yo tricks and carried it in my pocket. I would use it at school until they were banned like every other really fun toy during that time. Still, believe it or not, one of the best presents I ever got.
3. Pokémon Red/Blue
You’re a liar if you say you weren’t into Pokémon when these two Japanese cash cows came to graze in every store possible. Second only to Tetris, Pokémon Red/Blue became record breaking games in terms of sales. Everyone played Pokémon and everyone had their favorite one. When I die and go to heaven, I would like a stat card listing the number of hours I spent catching and training various monsters in this game. It’s an embarrassing amount of time, but who cares? I was in my personal happy place when I was beating gym leaders and finding rare candy to feed my Pokémon.
Then there was the year I got a computer. I think this speaks for itself. Dude, I got a Dell! This opened up new doors and entire new worlds on the internet for me. It was a gateway to knowledge and truths unknown. It was a wellspring of life!
Just kidding. I used it to chat with hot girls from school on AIM and look up some things I would later be grounded for. However, the computer was probably the gift I used the most.
At least until I received the number one Christmas gift of all time…
1. Nintendo 64
The king of the consoles. The crown jewel of anyone’s Christmas bounty. The mighty Nintendo 64. It was beautiful. I came downstairs and there it was, almost begging me to open it and play it right then and there. If I can remember correctly, there was even a glow about it. Or maybe that was me that was glowing. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the Nintendo 64 would define friendships and shape my impressionable, formative years. It even came with me to college and beyond. Having a sleepover? Time to play Super Smash Brothers until our eyes fall out. Oh, you’re home sick from school? Sounds like a great time to figure out how to beat that goddamned water temple in Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You could save the galaxy in Star Fox or ask your mom if your friends could come over to play MarioKart. The Nintendo 64 created friendships and tore them apart at the same time yet everyone loved it. It didn’t matter if you were 11 or 21. You took a great deal of joy in getting together with your friends to cap each other in Goldeneye 64 and making fun of the kid who always wanted to play “slappers only.” It’s the only Christmas gift that has truly stood the test of time, while holding sentimental value. You can keep your PS4 and Xbox 1. Just give me my N64.