I'm not sure I remember all the excellent Christmas gifts over the years I received over the years. Some are pictured in my copy of the home movies we took back then, which shows -- in classic home movie form -- going from showing off our presents in December to jumping into the lake for swimming in June.
I believe I received practically every football game ever made during the 1960's, including one that wasn't such a hit with me: Electric Football.
For those who don't remember electric football, two players would like up little toy players on the metal gridiron. Then a switch would be thrown and the field would start vibrating. If things worked well, a ball carrier would go forward, the blockers would bounce into defenders, and the runner would go for a few yards before getting touched by a defender to end the play.
The problem is that it never worked that well. The players would go in no particular direction, leaving a less-than-exciting game.
I had played the game at others' houses as a child, so when one showed up under the tree one year, I believe I said in my 11-year-old voice, "Oh, I don't like this game, you can't control what happens." I believe I got a good-sized lecture about being outspoken and less than gracious.
I thought of all this when reading Bill Plaschke's column in the Los Angeles Times that ran on Christmas Day. Boy, he's good.