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Top Five Gifts of 2008: Nostalgia

Nostalgia – a longing for things from the past. As a woman who has in the past two years dealt with entering my thirties, realizing I will never have another baby, and watching my baby girl become a pre-schooler on her way to kindergarten next year, I’ve felt the bittersweet pangs of longing for my own childhood. These moments are intensified exponentially when my family travels back to my parents’ home, and I have the joy – the kind of joy one might experience in the Twilight Zone – of watching my children play with my childhood toys. This year I’ve decided that nostalgia will be a driving force in my holiday purchasing decisions, a sort of antidote to aging, a way to travel back to the “glory days” of the 70’s and 80’s. And the marketing geniuses at the country’s top toy countries are more than happy to oblige. Here are my Top Five Nostalgic Gifts of the 2008 Holiday Season:

1. Baby Alive – Every little girl needs a doll, and in 1973, the world welcomed the ultimate toy for girls – a doll baby that eats, drinks, needs diaper changes, and falls asleep in your arms! Back in time for the 2008 holiday season, Baby Alive now comes with new and exciting features. You can go online with your daughter and create a Birth Certificate or Birth Announcement, choose from a whole line of Baby Alive dolls, and purchase dress-up accessories for your little one’s little one. To learn more go online to http://www.hasbro.com/BabyAlive/.

2. Cabbage Patch Kids – In 1983 my dad stood in line with hundreds of other parents to purchase my first Cabbage Patch Kid – Elizabeth. She wore a blue and white gingham dress and had brown, yarn ponytails. About a dozen of her brothers and sisters – preemies, cornsilks, and even a little girl from Holland – entered my childhood over the following several years. My daughter and son carry them around now every time we visit my parents’, but this year I’d like to celebrate the CBK 25th anniversary by getting my daughter a kid of her own. This year’s anniversary kids look just like the one I adopted 25 years ago, and you can learn more about them here: http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/.

3. Easy Bake Oven – This year is the 45th anniversary of the Easy Bake Oven, and if you were lucky enough to own one of the eleven different models available over the years, you understand why this gift is number three on my list. With delicious mixes available by the fabulous chefs at Betty Crocker and accessory kits to make baking more fun, the Easy Bake Oven is even better than ever! Want to win a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida? Enter your best Easy Bake Oven recipe using an Easy Bake Oven dessert mix, and you can win this vacation of a lifetime for your family to compete for the title of “Baker of the Year!” With one winner each month, enter now here: http://reg.hasbro.com/easybake/bakeroftheyear/

4. My Little Pony – Last holiday season these adorable little ponies celebrated their 25th anniversary by reintroducing some of the same ponies that I played with; heads down demurely, silky mane flowing. This year the bright-eyed, poseable equines are speeding into the holiday season on a remote controlled scooter! Scootaloo, the latest Little Pony in a prolific line of adorable toys, comes with her own RC vehicle with flower petal wheels and a butterfly remote. Always looking for more accessories for my daughter’s ponies to play with, I’ll be picking this toy up soon. Meet Scootaloo and her pony friends here: http://www.hasbro.com/mylittlepony/

5. Play-Doh – Invented over 50 years ago by a New Jersey school teacher, play-doh is a childhood favorite. My kids still grow monster hair with an old accessory kit that my brother and I enjoyed for hours and hours in the early 1980’s, and create endless shapes and animals with molds from days gone by. This year my children have placed the brand new Magical Swirl Ice Cream Shop on their wish list for Santa. There just is no other gift that says childhood so clearly than Play-Doh. Safe. Fun. A classic. See what’s new with this old favorite: http://www.hasbro.com/playdoh/

These products have been chosen by the author based solely on their merit. No products were gifted in exchange for a review.

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