Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 10 Post with Author Sarah Ockler

Sarah Ockler is the author of Fixing Delilah, which we reviewed just a few weeks ago as part of The Teen {Book} Scene's blog tour. I loved Fixing Delilah and I am super excited to have Sarah here on BCM today talking about ...  
Top 10 Presents I Never Found Under The Christmas Tree

Every year, my brothers and I spend the pre-holiday months combing through the giant Sears catalogue and mall store ads, helpfully marking off our wishlist items with post-its and field notes. When Christmas morning arrived, we'd shred the wrappings to judge the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of our eager planning. Some years, score! Other years, yikes -- right back to the drawing board.

Since the season of mass consumerism is once again upon us, I thought I'd share a glimpse at my favorite wishlist items that Santa and my parents unilaterally rejected.

Drumroll please...

Top 10 Presents I Never Found Under The Christmas Tree

10. An ironically *unlimited* shopping spree at *Limited* Express. Yes, back then, it was actually called Limited Express and not just Express. I begged for gift certificates and open-ended credit cards just so I could indulge my middle school tastes in what was actually the same uninspired crap everyone else was wearing. The closest I got to realizing this dream was when Mom would buy one shirt off the Limited Express clearance rack, ask for five extra boxes, buy a bunch of stuff from K-Mart, and wrap them in the Express boxes as if she could fool me. E for effort and T for nice try, Mom.

9. My own phone line, complete with hamburger and/or giant lips phone. Back before the Internets, I used to get in touch with my BFF on the phone, with a cord, through an actual phone line. We'd talk for hours, "tying up the lines" on both ends (meaning, anyone who tried to call either house would get a busy signal). This drove my father nuts -- he was convinced that there'd be some national emergency right at that moment when I dialed my BFF's number, and because we were "tying up the lines" talking about boys and makeup, our families would miss some critical information delivered via phone and be burned alive in the apocalypse. You'd think a private line in your daughter's bedroom would be a small sacrifice to make to ensure the safety of two entire families and pets, but Dad was never one to indulge my adolescent lawyering.

8. 1st grade crush. Facebook has since rendered this memory more awkward than endearing, but there was a time in first grade when I actually asked Santa  (the one at the mall) to deliver one of my classmates from his house to mine, wrapped in a big red bow under the tree. Santa recognized my mental instability for what it was and left said crush with his own family on Christmas, which is probably a good thing, because I don't think jail is so superfun around the holidays.

7. Swimming pool. My brother Steve and I always wanted a swimming pool, and in the months leading up to Christmas 1983, my parents hyped up a mysterious "surprise" so much that we actually thought our badgering had paid off. Swimming pool here we come... or... not. The surprise? Mom was preggers. A few days before Christmas, we got a baby brother instead of a pool. Once the initial disappointment faded, it turned out to be a pretty cool gift!

6. E.T. Ever since I saw the movie in the theaters in the 1980s, I had dreams of bringing E.T. into my house. Apparently, delivering a walking, talking fictional character is not such an easy task for Santa, because this remains another sadly unfulfilled holiday dream. Yeah, E.T. went home, just not to MY home. Probably because when he tried to phone, I was "tying up the line" with my BFF!

5. Modeling contract. Don't ask why I thought this was something you could request from Santa, but I did. Good thing that America's Next Top Model wasn't around back then, or it would've been like the Idol auditions where the so-called friends convince someone to make an ass of herself on national TV even though she can't sing. I'd be all, "Tyra, do you have any room on your show for a smart, slightly poodle-haired 7th grader with a sunny disposition and adorably unique buck teeth?" and she'd be all "I see seven beautiful girls standing before me. Unfortunately you are not one of them. Goodbye."

4. Michael Carrington and/or my own Cool Rider.I need a C-O-O-L... R-I-D-E-R... if you don't get that reference, YouTube it. I don't know if it was the motorcycle or the leather jacket (or more likely the sunset, back-of-the-bike make-out scene), but something about the whole thing just said, IDK, "perfect holiday gift for Sarah." Apparently I was the only one who thought so.

3. Bo Duke (or at least the pink nightgown that said "My Heart Belongs to Bo" right over an airbrushed picture of his face). By this point in my young life, my parents and Santa had grown quite wary of my requesting live people and/or fictional characters who play live people on TV as Christmas gifts. They didn't get me Bo *or* the nightgown that year -- I guess they didn't want to encourage any more of my intricate yet freakish kidnapping fantasies. Maybe I should've just asked for some therapy and saved everyone a lot of trouble down the line.

2. A Cabbage Patch Kid Koosa, and all the other dumb crap they invented as companion toys to the original stuffed doll with a plastic, yarn-haired head that mysteriously smelled like baby powder. Unlike my friends that had dozens of these dolls, I had two -- a premie named Benedict and a girl with brown hair named Miranda (I called her Mandy). That was fine, but I really wanted them to have a Koosa friend. Looking back, I can see why my parents frowned on this. For one thing... well, no, there's really just the one thing: Koosa's are freaking creepy. WTF are they anyway? 

1. A robot. This was hands down the number one most requested Christmas item year after year in the Ockler household. I think my brothers and I were under the same delusion that a $100 toy Robot from Sears that beeped and rolled back and forth on the carpet was actually more like Rosie in the Jetsons, and that by receiving such a cool-yet-functional gift, none of us would ever have to do our own chores again. Santa must've misunderstood our request, because the closest thing we ever came to a robot was a new canister vacuum cleaner for Mom, which did nothing but increase our chore load. So not fair, Santa.

So now that I've given you a glimpse into my ghosts of Christmas past, it's your turn! Anything special you always wanted for the holidays but just never got? And more importantly, who wants to send me a robot present? :-)

Hugs and happy holidays to all!

-Sarah Ockler


I absolutely LOVE this guest post and remember wanting so many of these things myself. Thank you for the post Sarah and thank you to The Teen {Book} Scene for the great tour! If you'd like to follow along with this tour, you can check out the rest of the schedule HERE.

And HERE is the link to my review of Fixing Delilah.

Want to buy it? You can do so here: Fixing Delilah 


  1. This was so funny! I actually googled a Koosa and they are so weird looking. No wonder I don't remember them. They scared the hell out of me that I blocked them from my memory.

  2. I'm not really sure what some of these things are/who some of the people are, but the fact that Sarah had a penchant for asking for fictional characters makes me laugh. I can't really think of any presents that I desperately wanted, but never got for Christmas, but I know there were several things. I'm sure it will come to me eventually.

  3. That robot story was so cute!

    I had a Koosa, my parents say I begged for it, and yes it was a fugly looking thing. Looked like a bulldog...with peach human skin.

  4. I love this post!!! Great list of top ten things, I had several of those on my Christmas list and never got when I was little too. =D

  5. Awesome wish-list ... haha, I had SO MANY things I begged for each year that never seemed to magically appear under the tree. One thing that really sticks out is that Mall Madness game (the FIRST edition). For some reason I really wanted one for ages... never happened. :) Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I had a Kooosa! In fact, I think it's in my garage...Hm. I, too, remember shopping at the Limited Express. I know what you mean about craving those plain clothes...I had a bunch of them and thought that I was so very awesome. But, I wasn't. I just had big hair and plain clothes.

    Thanks for sharing your list. My biggest Christmas wish that never comes true are gift cards to book stores! Why does no one buy these for me? I have no idea...Everyone knows I read constantly!

  7. Great answers! Haha!

    I actually DID get my own phone line and I had a curfew for it. Whaaat? And my parents frowned upon me being on the internet with my phone line and talking on the phone with my cell. Even though I had free minutes.

    I miss the days when people communicated with a PHONE that had a CORD.

    I never got a puppy. But my brother did, for his birthday (he never even asked for one). Go figure.

  8. #3 cracked me up!

    I remember badgering my parents for one of those pink barbie jeeps that kids can drive around the block. I've never quite let that one go. There's a facebook group for it (though I swear I didn't create it!):!/pages/My-childhood-was-ruined-because-I-never-got-an-electric-jeepbarbie-car/136223499757648

    I don't think we ever get over the disappointments of our youth :P

  9. That is one amazing top ten list. I don't think I could cone up with things as interesting. I might have to try now, though.

  10. That is one amazing top ten list. I don't think I could cone up with things as interesting. I might have to try now, though.



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