If you were a kid of the 80’s and 90’s these were definitely on your Christmas wishlist

Melissa Imbesi by Melissa Imbesi
November 27th, 2016

Of all the holidays, Christmas is by far my favourite. Sure, it’s stressful for those of us (ME!) who leave all of our Christmas shopping to the final week and then bitch and complain about how packed the shopping centres are, but there’s nothing quite like watching excited little faces tearing into their gifts from Santa.

While I try to instil in my kids that Christmas isn’t actually about the presents, but more about, you know, Jesus’ birthday (if Christianity is your thing) or at least about families and friends coming together to chow down on all the food and guzzle all the wine, let’s face it – they’re often totally focused on what is under that tree. My brother and sister and I weren’t spoiled as kids, but Christmas was always magical for us and somehow, even when times were a little on the tight side, ‘Santa’ always managed to surprise us with a few of our favourite things.

Thinking back to my own childhood Christmas wish list as a kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I suddenly feel TRES OLD. When I showed my kids the pics below, they cocked their heads and looked puzzled like little puppies and asked, “What’s that?” at the cassette and VHS tape. Poor things, they’ll never know the joys of receiving your favourite ‘Cassingle’ from old Saint Nick.

If you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s I’m pretty sure that some of these were on your Christmas wish list too…


Oh, the technology! No longer were we resigned to having to sit by our tape players to listen to music, we could now WALK AROUND and listen to MJ or Poison or Prince. Even at the shops, with the volume up to 10 if we so wished. This was the end of hearing our parents yell, “Turn it down!” from the other room, but they paid the ultimate price by having to listen to our tone-deaf voices try and hit those “I Will Always Love You” high notes without the help of Whitney or the actual music to drown us out.  A generation of people ignoring each other really started with us…


News Flash: YOU CAN TOTALLY STILL BUY THESE!! The only thing cooler than rocking a Swatch (or better still, a Pop Swatch) watch on your wrist was having a human sized one (better known as a Maxi Swatch) hanging on your bedroom wall. I never had one and have never gotten over it.

The Swatch Maxi. A watch...for your wall. Ugly but cool.

The Swatch Maxi. A watch…for your wall. Ugly but SO cool.


Long before ‘Brangelina’, the boffins in language land came up with the original word hybrid that combined two of our favourite things – the ‘Cassingle’ (Cassette Single). Best friend of the Walkman, the Cassingle was perfect for buying all those Top 40 one-hit wonders without having to commit to an entire album you knew would be shit. Classic examples: Informer by Snow. I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred. Jump by Kriss Kross.

The Cassingle. Not sure why this person didn't just buy the 'Faith' album. #wasteofcassingle

The Cassingle. Not sure why this person didn’t just buy the ‘Faith’ album. #wasteofcassingle


Even if sport wasn’t your bag, your footwear made you feel athletic AF when your were sporting these kicks. Reebok Pump first debuted in 1989 with Nike Air Huarache not far behind in 1991. They were big and clunky and somehow looked awesome with anything you wore. If you had these, you had instant cred with your peers. Special mention goes to Nike Air Jordans.

The chunkier the better.

The chunkier the better.


HOW GOOD WAS THIS BOOK?  A festive take on the original book, this Christmas-themed beauty follows the Jolly Postman as he delivers the Christmas mail to fairytale characters we all grew up with. It’s filled with postcards, letters of varying shapes and sizes and even has a little puzzle to assemble. Even though you knew the contents after a couple of reads, you still went back to it time and time again. It’s a cracker that keeps on giving. Snap one up for your kiddies and try to restrain yourself from opening the mail.

The gift that keeps on giving.

The gift that keeps on giving.


Was there ever a better story of friendship than that of Vada and Thomas J? Those of us old enough to remember when this gem was first released will remember one of the saddest movie deaths we’d ever seen. Vada yelling out “Where are his glasses? He can’t see without his glasses!” as she stares at Thomas J’s open casket was a scene that was burned into our brains for eternity and cemented our hatred of those FUCKING BEES. Owning it on VHS let us watch it over and over and OVER again and ‘cos it was pre-DVD days, we also knew the pains of sloooooowww rewind and constant need to adjust the tracking in the bits where the tape had worn out from over-watching. I still miss the coming attractions at the start of those VHS tapes. They were the best.

Oh, Thomas J.....

Oh, Thomas J…..

What was on YOUR Christmas list as a kid?? 

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