Sandra Gonzalez
December 23, 2010 AT 11:25 PM EST

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In attempt to get my mind off the video of the little boy who hates books the other day, I started thinking about my own reaction to Christmas presents as a kid. I recall wide, gap-tooth grins aplenty — especially when I’d unwrap a Fisher Price play food item or a new addition to my Playmobil collection — but I couldn’t remember ever witnessing or experiencing an especially strong positive or negative reaction to any present.

My dad, who I posed this question to, had a different story — and the best part was that it wasn’t about me. It was about my sister, Lucy (who I wish I could tell you was named after the Peanuts character, but she wasn’t). “Mija had heart attacks. I was always afraid of giving her something and killing her,” dad quipped.

The best reaction, he claims, was to her purple-haired Rio doll she got Christmas in ’86. My sister, the biggest Jem fan of the era, had begged and pleaded for the powerfully ugly doll for a while, so she blew my parents’ ears out with excited shrieks (by dad’s recount) when the plastic love of her life was revealed under the tree, ’80s sportscoat and all.

She subsequently lost her wits again a few months later, when Rio’s head unceremoniously popped off and couldn’t be fixed. Luckily, my ridiculously dedicated parents, victims of the pre-eBay era, packed up their station wagon the next weekend and drove the family (then minus me) two hours to Corpus Christi, Texas to get her a new one from an out-of-the-way toy store rumored to be carrying them. Now, that’s love.

Your turn, PopWatchers. What is the best reaction to a toy you’ve seen on Christmas? And most importantly, what toy was it?

Last but not least, a PopWatch PSA: Remember to donate one toy for every evil deed you’ve done this year. The $100 I just dropped at Target says my slate is clean until Jan. 1. Well, it’s at least half-way clean, which is good enough for me.


Kid scolds parents for gifting him books for Christmas. I run to hug my ‘Goodnight Moon.’

Which toy from your childhood do you miss the most?

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