I’m really on a break now - had my last business-ish meeting yesterday, no Zoom calls scheduled through the new year. So I’m going to write some holiday/end-of-year blog posts.

First up, inspired by this tweet, a list of my most memorable Christmas presents from childhood.

  1. A tape recorder. When I was around 5, Santa left a beautiful red tape recorder under the tree for me. I hadn’t asked for it; I’m not sure I even knew such a thing existed. But it rapidly became my favorite thing. I took it to church for the Christmas morning to show off; I told people that it was just what I wanted even though I didn’t know I wanted it. For years I used that tape recorder to record imaginary radio shows or, as we would call them now, podcasts. I also used it to record my baby sister singing “La Bamba,” which was priceless.

  2. A globe. I loved that globe. I can’t tell you why. I just remember spinning it and touching the raised mountain ranges and feeling like some new knowledge had suddenly become accessible to me. I was 7 or 8 for this one.

  3. A telescope. I never quite got it working right, but this was like an exponential increase in the feeling I felt when I got the globe. I have been interested in astronomy ever since. Probably got this one when I was 9.

So there you have it, my most memorable Christmas gifts from childhood. Or, if you prefer, evidence that I have always been this nerdy and into learning.

Have a good weekend! I’ll be back next week with thoughts on some holiday movies and my year in books.