My family always made a big deal about Christmas when I was a kid.

Well, at least up until my sister got married. It was still always fun into adulthood. But there is something magical about Christmastime when you're a kid. I spent quite a few of them growing up in Tyler, Texas.

Of course there were presents under the tree, from Mom and Dad. Though not too many. Christmas around our house wasn't usually about decadence as much it was about having a sense of wonder.

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On Christmas morning, we'd open the presents from underneath the tree, but we always looked forward to what "Santa" had brought.

Alicia Slough, Unsplash
Alicia Slough, Unsplash

These were things loving displayed around the living room in pretty vignettes of presents. It could be clothes, jewelry, stuffed animals, etc. Usually there was also a "big present." This could be a bicycle, stereo, or a camera. It varied depending on our ages, of course.

I remember wanting a Barbie Dream House so much. It was all the rage that year.

That's saying something considering this was before the onslaught of social media was continually pressing us to buy whatever the hot toy is that had gone viral on any given year.

That Christmas we were spending the holiday at my Grandma's house. That meant we, along with a million cousins, would be packed into her little cozy house in a small town in West Texas.

It also meant our individual Christmas stashes would be on a smaller scale, simply due to the amount of people who were sharing the space under her Christmas tree.

Although I'd asked "Santa" for the Barbie Dream House, unfortunately "he" wasn't able to find one at any of Big Spring's stores. And as this was pre-online shopping days, "Santa" wasn't able to simply order one from Amazon.

And so, on Christmas morning, instead of a Barbie Dream House, I found a smaller dollhouse under the tree.

I, like a truly spoiled kid, cried like a baby.

My poor parents got down on the rug with me and tried to impart the features of this lovely little dollhouse. They showed me the little furniture pieces, the sweet doll family who lived there, and even the lamps that really lit up and made the house nice and cozy--just like Grandma's.

I was not to be comforted. I proceeded to have a mini-meltdown and created an awkward situation for my family, who were no doubt as embarrassed of me as I am of myself in my adult years. LOL. (I've finally moved past it.)

Miraculously my Dad, who could be prone to having quite the temper on occasion, managed to laugh it off and remain calm. The day went on, I calmed down, and we enjoyed the rest of the holiday emotionally unscathed. But my gosh, I was such a brat.

So, guess what happened NEXT Christmas?

Surprisingly, the NEXT year's Christmas morning, when we were back at our own house celebrating with only our immediate family, I finally got that Barbie Dream House I was coveting.

What a brat I was that year... (Tara Holley)
What a brat I was that year... (Tara Holley)

I was very happy, of course. It was what I wanted after all, right? I knelt down, delighted, hop-walking Barbie through the rooms in her contemporary (at the time) mansion and pretended she was having breakfast or sitting in her bathtub, or whatever else we'd imagine her to be doing as she lived her perfect bleach-blond life in California.

Approximately two weeks later, it had become a rather large space-taker in my bedroom. I never played with it ever again.

Ya know what I did find myself playing with on a regular basis? That sweet little dollhouse I'd received the year before at Grandma's. I still think about it sometimes whenever I turn on a lamp. I think about my family and how they had so graciously dealt with a very naughty child on one Christmas morning.

Do you remember a time when you deserved to be put on "Santa's Naughty List?"

DO tell.

Ever wonder what the most popular toy was the year you were born? This is pretty cool...

LOOK: The top holiday toys from the year you were born

With the holiday spirit in the air, it’s the perfect time to dive into the history of iconic holiday gifts. Using national toy archives and data curated by The Strong from 1920 to today, Stacker searched for products that caught hold of the public zeitgeist through novelty, innovation, kitsch, quirk, or simply great timing, and then rocketed to success.

LOOK: See what Christmas was like the year you were born

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