December 22nd, 2022
Treasured Toy Tattoos
Which one of these irreplaceable toys brought you the most joy on Christmas morning?
What is the meaning of Christmas? The answer our younger selves would probably give is simple—presents. As a kid, there’s nothing quite like the adrenaline surge that comes with ripping open the colorful wrapping paper on Christmas morning and being met with that coveted toy you’ve been dreaming of.
Whether it was a stuffed animal or toy race car, there was always something at the top of our Christmas wish list. I was obsessed with Bratz dolls, so I asked for one (or multiple)every year. Not that I needed more, mind you—I literally had a cubby under my bed that was overflowing with so many Bratz dolls that they’d all tumble out whenever I opened it. Still, though, I couldn’t possibly live without getting the newest doll in all the commercials. My brother, on the other hand, was a huge fan of Legos. He specifically went crazy over the Star Wars ones, filling his room with personal builds of the Millenium Falcon and AT-STs. A gift that satisfied both of our hearts, though, was any type of stuffed animal we could add to our ever-growing collection of Pokémon, Neopets, Elmos and teddy bears.
Aside from Bratz and Legos, there’s an endless amount of toys that brightened childhoods around the world. I’ll never forget playing with My Little Pony dolls, Polly Pockets and Tamagotchis, and cherishing the Beanie Babies that came in McDonald’s Happy Meals even before knowing they’d supposedly be worth thousands of dollars down the line. These days, notable brands like Lego and Mattel (the creator of the Barbie) are pushing back on the notion of gendered toys, with research showing how these distinctions affect childhood development. It’s almost 2023, and we’re well past the days of pink Barbie dolls being only for girls and action figures being only for boys. It seems big-name toy companies are finally starting to reflect this.
As we get older, we still get excited about gifts, but ones that look a little different than those classic toys. I’m personally over the moon if I receive a pair of socks, a handy new kitchen tool or a portable reading light. But deep down in my heart, I still miss the days of unwrapping the perfect, pristine toy of my dreams on Christmas day. If we can’t justify buying ourselves a new doll or an Easy Bake Oven, at least we can memorialize them on our skin for all the Christmases to come. What’s your favorite childhood toy, and would you honor the joy it brought you with some new ink this season?
CABBAGE PATCH KIDS
MY LITTLE PONY
MR. POTATO HEAD
MAGIC 8 BALL
AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS
EASY BAKE OVEN
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Sarah Elizabeth found herself by embracing art and hopes to uplift others on the same journey