6 Popular Classic Christmas Gift Ideas That Are Still The Best

With the holiday season upon us, millions of people begin their seemingly never-ending search for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Most people are out searching for the latest and greatest electronic gadget this holiday season, but some shoppers still seek that perfect retro gift from the "good ol' days". I want to take a look back in time at some of the most popular gifts of all time. These "old school" toys are all timeless classics for the holidays.

1. Mr. Potato Head

Who can forget Mr. Potato Head . I think that we all had one while growing up. The first Mr. Potato Head hit the store shelves in 1952, and it consisted of only eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. You actually used a real potato back then as Mr. Potato Head's body! According to Forbes.com , it took Hasbro (the maker of Mr. Potato Head) 8 years after the initial launch of this toy to include a plastic body for Mr. Potato Head.

Original Mr. Potato HeadOriginal Mr. Potato Head


2. Lite Brite

Back in the day, I was mesmerized by how Lite Brite worked; it seemed like the coolest technology back in the 80's. Well, the Lite Brite was first unveiled in 1967 and has become one of the most popular gifts ever for the holidays. I see young kids playing with a 20 year old Lite Brite at my friend's house, and it's weird to see them enjoying like I used to. Definitely a classic gift for kids that is now available in lots o options. Remember this commercial...

3. Twister

Twister from 1966Twister from 1966
Such a simple idea for a game, and it's turned into one of the best selling board games ever. Introduced in 1966, this board game is enjoyed by kids and adults. Quick note for adult couples (or groups if you swing that way): CLOTHING IS OPTIONAL!

4. Slinky

If you've never owned a Slinky before, you must've been living in a cave for the past 60 years. The Slinky was first introduced in 1945 at a department store in Philadelphia. Since then, the Slinky, made of 80 feet of wire, has sales of over a quarter billion units.

5. Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System with AccessoriesNintendo Entertainment System with Accessories
Forget about trying to get a Wii this holiday season. See if you can get your hands on a gaming console classic--the original Nintendo Console . This was my favorite gaming console growing up. There are a ton of good games like Duck Hunt, Mike Tyson's Punch Out, Tecmo Super Bowl, and Zelda. The original Nintendo was released back in 1986, and it's probably my all-time favorite console (although I never liked having to blow the dust off the inside of each game to make it work!) The update version can be found on Amazon.

6. Red Ryder BB Gun

Red Ryder Ad from the 40'sRed Ryder Ad from the 40's
This BB gun goes hand-in-hand with holidays because of its prominence in the popular movie A Christmas Story, where Ralphie "shoots out his eye" with this BB gun made by Daisy . The Red Rider BB gun is a simple spring piston air gun that has been around since 1938, and it's still sold today for about $45. I had one of these BB guns while growing up, but it was promptly taken away by my Mom when she discovered all of the BB's stuck in the drywall in the basement. (See Red Ryder)

Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog

Updated and republished from original published in December 2007.