Sunday in worship at West we talked about the gifts or “trends” that have been big hits throughout the past 60+ years.
It was interesting to see that some gifts and trends “stuck” and some faded away.
Here are just a few of the highlights of HOT GIFTS if you missed Sunday’s message.
These were the hottest selling items in that year:
  • 2011, 2008, 1996 – ELMO
  • 2001 – the intro of BRATZ dolls
  • 1997 – TAMAGACHI – an electronic pet that fit in the palm of your hand
  • 2005 – BEANIE BABIES
  • 1992 – BARNEY
The one that fascinates me the most personally – – –
  • 1975 – THE PET ROCK (I can’t believe people paid for a rock in a box)
  • 1959 – BARBIE
  • 1952 – MR. POTATO HEAD
  • 1943 – SLINKY
  • 1929 – YoYo
The question I then posed was, “How many of you have purchased one of these items or own(ed) one of these items?”
Unanimous applause.
Then the follow up question . . . .
“Did it change your life?”
I didn’t wait on a verbal answer or applause to signal a “yes,”
it was actually a rhetorical question.
Yet, we know the answer. No – none of those gifts actually changed someone’s life.
When I was in 6th grade I received a gift that I was CONVINCED would change my life. And truthfully, it did, but not in the way you might imagine.
Cabbage Patch dolls were the CRAZE that year! Everyone wanted one and all my friends were getting them for Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, my step-sister (who basically was my mom as I grew up) waited until all the gifts had been opened and she brought me this special package.
As I peeled back the wrapping paper to uncover this doll, I was elated.
It looked just like what I had wanted . . . .my very own Cabbage Patch Doll.
However, upon closer inspection I noticed that it wasn’t the doll you would get in the store. Instead it was a handmade doll. EVEN BETTER!
It was made JUST FOR ME!
I was thrilled. Carried that doll everywhere I went. She sat at the table with me, slept with me. (In 1980s 6th graders were still into dolls – no I was not socially stunted).
It was ALL GOOD til I was invited to a sleepover after Christmas with my best friends. I was so excited to take the doll with me.
However, upon arriving – everything changed.
All my friends had the REAL Cabbage Patch doll. Mine was “fake” .  .  . and then for the rest of the night I was the brunt of the joke – how my family was too “poor” to get me the real thing.
The way my “friends” ridiculed me caused me to view my gift in a different manner.
It was no longer the best gift ever . . . it was a fake.
I found it interesting Sunday that overwhelmingly the “best gifts ever” that you named were not animate objects, but rather time with people or parts of God’s creation (animals).
Check out your list of best gifts ever . . . the beauty of these gifts – they are gifts grounded in our faith – in our relationships. They can never be deemed as “fake.”
  • Time with family
  • All the kids being home
  • Phone call from adoption agency saying, “Come pick up your son”
  • My spouse surprising me by paying for all my kids and parents to be here for Christmas
  • My college degree
  • My daughter’s birth
  • My Dog
  • My son’s first Christmas
  • Vacation with family and friends to Bahamas
  • Family Trip Together instead of Gifts
  • Sharing time w/ Kids, grandkids, and friends
  • My wife said “I do” and I said “I will”
  • My son’s birth
  • My kitten
  • 3 tiny babies that continued to thrive through a rough period of time
  • Finalized adoption
  • A flight home
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6  – The ultimate best gift ever!