5 Best Gifts I Ever Got as a Kid

By Joey Cantacessi

Dreaming about Battle Balls
Dreaming about Battle Balls

The holidays are fast approaching and I know one thing for sure: kids love getting gifts. It’s no secret. They get so excited at the thought of getting presents that they make wish lists months in advance. Did you ever receive a gift that really stuck with you? I sure have. Gifts are nostalgic, a way of showing love for someone, and a true sign of compassion. The gift that you consider “the best gift ever” stills holds a certain emotion till this very day, doesn’t it? That’s because presents are special. Here’s a list of the greatest presents I ever got as a kid, and maybe this list will help you out on your Holiday shopping excursions.

SOCC’EM BOPPERS Socc'em Boppers I’ll never forget when my brother and me opened up our Christmas gifts only to find the greatest (and simplest) children’s game of all time: Socc’em Boppers! We instantly ripped open the packaging without any consideration for taking the toys back to the store, blew up our Socc’em Boppers, and beat each other relentlessly (painlessly) the entire day. Socc’em Boppers are basically child-proof inflatable boxing gloves. Some parents were afraid to give their kids this type of present in fear they would hurt each other, but not my parents, and thankfully they did, because entertained the heck out of my brother and me. I wish I could find these things today, because I honestly still think they are really flipping awesome.

NINTENDO 64 Nintendo 64I am forever indebted to my parents for giving me as sweet a gift as the limited edition green Nintendo 64! Gaming systems have evolved into insanely well-made pieces of technology nowadays with real-life graphics, online capabilities, and limited buffering. However, there will NEVER be a gaming system as fun and classic as the Nintendo 64. I remember playing Donkey Kong for almost 24 hours straight the day after I received this gift. The graphics were awful, but I still loved every bit of it. To this day I would take a half-functional N64 over a brand new XBOX One or PS4 anyday. I don’t know if they knew at the time, but my parents literally hit perfection with this present. Everyone was jealous of me. Great gifts for the win!

BATTLE BALLS Battle BallsOkay, I was hardly a kid when I received a Battle Ball for Christmas *cough cough 20 years old* but I will NEVER forget this present! Battle Balls are probably the coolest toy currently still on the market. Basically they are giant inflatable plastic bubbles that cover your body and allow you to slam into other people and things without feeling any pain. You could roll around in complete circles and bounce off of anything; they are outrageously fun. It helps if your friends also have Battle Balls so that you could play Bubble Soccer, which is just like soccer but everyone is wearing a Battle Ball and slamming into one another. These things helped me exercise without even knowing it and I have some memories playing Bubble Soccer that I’ll cherish forever. I didn’t realize you could play this sport with EVERYONE! My dad, mom, sister, little brother, grandma, you name it! And no matter how hard we hit each other everyone got up laughing and wanting to play more!

ORIGINAL iPOD MINI 1.6_MediumBack in 2004 I was absolutely floored when I received an original lime green iPod mini in my Christmas stocking. I actually remember trying it out for the first time, looking at my Dad, and saying, “Wow, technology is crazy.” Oh how time has changed! I think I still have this laying around somewhere but I don’t plan on finding it because my taste in music was not very good 11 years ago… Nonetheless, I was the coolest kid on the block when I showed up to school blasting Simple Plan’s “I’m Just a Kid.” That sounds pretty lame now, but at the time I felt limitless. This changed the game for me. I thought “my parents outdid themselves.” They really did though. If only a pleasant memory and a good story, my iPod mini still holds a special place in my heart. I doubt you could still get these extinct devices, but Apple and Samsung have a whole catalog of newer, even cooler devices to choose from for this upcoming holiday season.

LEGO HARRY POTTER HOGWART’S CASTLE Howgart's CastleNothing was ever the same after receiving the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwart’s Castle for Christmas… My mind was BLOWN! If you’re as big a Harry Potter fan as myself, then you could relate to my uncontrolled excitement even as I talk about this gift today. I was young, I loved LEGOs, and loved Harry Potter. This gift hit the nail on the head. I still think really any type of LEGO makes a great children’s gift for any holiday or celebration. To me, LEGOs were the reason I became interested in building things and seeing from different perspectives. Besides the fact that this gift was just so fun, it got me interested in creativity. LEGOs are fun, educational, and serve many purposes in a child’s life. You can’t really go wrong with a gift like this!

Happy Holidays and good luck shopping people! I hope this trip down memory lane was entertaining and helpful in your endless quest to find your own child the best gift of their life 🙂