Memorable Christmas Gifts: 90s Style

Memorable Christmas Gifts: 90s Style



There are certain Christmas gifts we never forget. They tap into the moment and as the years pass by you look back on them with real fondness. I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a few presents like this.

The first Christmas gift that springs to mind is my Nintendo Game Boy. It was 1990 and I had been desperate to get my hands on one since being introduced to its joys by a family friend who was living in Paris at the time. Unbeknownst to me, my parents had bought one while in France* and kept it well and truly hidden for the months prior to Christmas.

The great thing about the Game Boy was that nothing like it had ever been seen. We had little electronic LED games, but we’d never had a handheld console with interchangeable cartridges. And although subsequent models were released, colour made an appearance and rival companies launched their versions, it was very much a case of ‘often mimicked, never matched’.

Anyway, on the morning itself, I knew my luck was in. The wrapped box was the perfect shape and as I ripped away the paper, there it was – my own Excalibur, complete with Tetris. Over the coming hours, I went about trying to master the Russian’s classic. And a day or two later, I spent my Christmas money on Super Mario Land, which I completed by the way.

The second Christmas present that I vividly remember to this day was the Commodore Amiga 500+, bought for me and my brother by our parents. The reason this one sticks in the mind is because it was so unexpected. Of all the Christmas gifts I was longing for that year, it was the Sega Megadrive that topped my wish list. I even remember pleading with my Mum, “Please can I have a Megadrive?! They’re not even that expensive! Some people at school are getting Commodore Amigas and they cost way more.”

Yes, it sounded very bratty I know. But I think my Dad was of the opinion that he’d rather we have a ‘proper’ computer than a games console. And so it was, on Christmas morning, that my brother and I were presented with the Commodore in all its glory. Best of all, though, it still came with games, including our favourite, ‘The Simpsons: Bart Vs the Space Mutants’. Unlike Super Mario Land, however, I didn’t get very far on this one.

Today, these two memories serve as a reminder of how certain Christmas presents are able to take you straight back to your childhood. No doubt there are Christmas gifts galore for today’s kids that’ll do exactly the same thing. And with personalised Christmas gifts now so readily available online, that job may just have got a little bit easier. After all, what child doesn’t love seeing their name on the front of something?

*From what I recall, it wasn’t actually available in the UK at the time. Either that, or it was pricier this side of the Channel.



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