How my daughter wore a top before it was given to her.
HEN I was a lad at Christmas, children used to get a pillowcase full of toys.
WAmong their selection, boys could expect the healthy option of lead soldiers, while girls would find a new doll, to go with their old dolls.
Every child would also get a satsuma and a new penny. Of course I am very old. The satsuma was a treat because this was in the days of rationing and the shiny new penny was a novelty not to be spent. Well, not until you got to the sweet shop.
A survey of people who grew up between the 1960s and 1990s shows that while some Christmas presents have changed with the times, old favourites continue to weave their magic and remain in demand.
Back then the top 10 list was a bike, Scalextric, Lego, Barbies, roller skates, Monopoly, a football, Etch A Sketch, Action Man and Meccano.
I got a football as my main present one year and spent an hour kicking it about on the rec on my own before being driven home by frostbite as no-one else in their right mind was out at eight o'clock on Christmas morning.
While presents have the times, continue magic And back in the 1980s, I bought my daughter Siobhan a Scalextric set. She was two at the time but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As she got older, Siobhan perfected the art of taking a present from under the tree, opening, inspecting and replacing it without being detected. This meant there was never a surprise.
During her raids, she used half a make-up kit before it was officially unwrapped, and one year she removed a top, wore it to a friend's party, and returned it to its packaging. On Christmas Day she still managed to say: "Ooh, lovely."
Many toys have become more sophisticated and today's children are looking forward to discovering Santa has brought them robots and high-tech games and equipment.
Fingerlings, unicorns, Paw Patrol, Hairdorables and slime toys are in demand, as well as Greedy Granny, a game that asks "will you risk it for a biscuit" to try to steal a treat from granny without her teeth falling out. Which sounds a bit ageist, to me. Still popular are Monopoly - Huddersfield now has its own version - Barbie, and super dooper sets of Lego with which to build the Hogwarts Express.
I'll settle for a satsuma. And maybe another set of Scalextric.
While some Christmas presents have changed with the times, old favourites continue to weave their magic and remain in demand.