I have trouble answering questions like this, because the things I remember most strongly about the holidays, are the experiences I have had, related to the holiday, not necessarily to the 'stuff' being gifted. I still remember Christmas parties, and all the black olives, chicken wings, and other munchies that were so much fun, but usually not on the menu.
I discovered that I was to receive a mouse one Christmas ahead of time, since Dad hadn't hidden the cage/wheel, etc. well enough, but I was SO THRILLED!! I really wanted one, but didn't think it would ever be the sort of thing I'd receive, especially from Dad. Happily enough, I was so jazzed about getting the mouse, my excitement was genuine, if not created exactly in that moment, LOL!
The main Christmas memories I have, dating from childhood, are of the way my mom used to decorate the house. Sure, for most of the holiday season, there'd be decorations up, lots of them, she'd put us kids to work helping, but on Christmas Eve, she'd add stuff to it, and see to it that everything in the house had a little extra Christmas magic that appeared overnight. The room with the tree and all the presents would be arranged in such a way that all the presents were shown to their best advantage and look especially magical. The whole house seemed magically transformed and extra-Christmassy, overnight.
She'd work really hard finding neat stuff to put in our stockings (there was talk of some neat store in New Orleans, but Dad doesn't seem to remember it anymore. ), and she'd wrap everything in our stocking in tissue paper, so we had LOTS to unwrap. There was always something special in the toe of the stocking.
These are great, great memories, and I adore them, but Mama died when I was young, and the first few Christmases after her death were kinda rough, since Dad was clueless, and the stepmother we got always put the nuts no one would eat from the nutbowl in the toe of our stockings, along with a pitiful looking orange. I still don't understand why she thought it was appropriate to do that. Nothing in HER stockings got wrapped with tissue, lemme tell ya! (She and her kids always had some lame tradition about how they always got the same stuff in their stockings every year. Oranges, nuts, paddle ball whatchamacallits, etc., etc. . How dull!)
Given my mom's devotion to creating a magical Christmas setting, is it any wonder I believed in Santa longer than most kids?
A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.
Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine,
something Brussels sprouts never do.
P. J. O'Rourke, humorist