Ah, Christmas. Like a lot of things, it was more fun when you were a kid, wasn’t it?
While we get ready for Christmas 2018, we thought it was time for a bit of reminiscing about the good old days. So, we’ve had a chat in the Party Delights office and tried to remember everything our childhood selves loved about Christmas in the 90s. Come join us on our journey back in time!
Obviously, when you’re a kid the best part of Christmas Day is the presents, isn’t it?
In the 90s, every parcel you found under the tree had the potential to be impossibly futuristic and cool. Even Pogs, which were basically just bottle tops with cartoon characters on them.
Remember unwrapping these classic 90s toys on Christmas morning?
Take Tamagotchis, which taught us about the fragile nature of life. True, they also taught us that pets can survive on a diet of bread and sweets, and that they’ll simply regenerate if you forget to feed them, but plenty of 90s kids will have put more time into caring for those little guys than they’d like to admit.
As the new millennium drew near, Furbys arrived to confuse our older relatives, which of course made them the best present ever. While learning Furbish was basically a full-time job, trying to teach these freaky fur-balls a few choice English phrases was classic 90s mischief-making.
Video gaming entered a new dawn with the arrival of the Playstation and Game Boy Color. You’d spend the rest of your childhood being constantly warned that you’d get ‘square eyes’, but that was fine by you – after all, Lara Croft had tombs to raid and those Pokémon wouldn’t catch themselves, would they? Nowadays it’s either PS5s or games around the dining table with your family.
Meanwhile, in the land of dolls and cuddly toys, the quest for a full set of Beanie Babies and Trolls dominated our every waking moment. Polly Pockets were lovingly unwrapped and then almost immediately lost forever. Baby Born dolls cried and weed every five minutes, and for some reason dealing with it was seen as a leisure activity.
Everyone’s got a favourite Christmas present from their childhood. Is yours on our list?
Before X-Factor took over the Christmas charts in the noughties, festive playlists were packed full of Yuletide bangers. Fresh from a decade that had given us classic Christmas hits from the likes of Shakin’ Stevens, Wham!, Band Aid and The Pogues, the 90s went from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Take the battle for the Christmas number 1. What other decade could follow the re-released ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (1991) and Whitney’s iconic ‘I Will Always Love You’ (1992) with that Mr Blobby (1993)?
Relive the novelty nonsense in all its horror below – we let it stay at number 1 for two weeks as well. Shame on all of us!
A year later, East 17 stuck some sleigh bells on the end of ‘Stay Another Day’ and convinced us all it was a better Christmas tune than Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Listen to them both and decide for yourself.
The Spice Girls’ dominance of the 90s charts included three Christmas number 1s in a row, with ‘2 Become 1’ (1996), ‘Too Much’ (1997) and ‘Goodbye’ (1998).
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
While undoubtedly a fine trio of tunes, it’s important to remember that their nearest challengers in 1997 were the Teletubbies, while in 1998 they went head-to-head with South Park’s Chef and his ‘Chocolate Salty Balls’. Two festive anthems, we’re sure you’ll agree.
The Christmas film
Some Christmas traditions never change. The festive film is one of them. When everyone hits that point where they’re too full to eat any more, usually between 5pm and 7pm, all eyes turn to the TV.
Those are the rules.
These days, between Netflix, Amazon Prime and a house full of DVDs and Blu Rays, you can pretty much choose between every film ever. Sounds great, right? But think about it – who wants that pressure on Christmas Day? By the time the whole family has agreed on something, it’s nearly Boxing Day.
Not a problem in the 90s. There was one film on BBC1 and one on ITV, and one or both would be a stone cold classic. ET, Batman, Hook, Jurassic Park, Babe, Sister Act, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Jumanji, Field of Dreams, Crocodile Dundee II – every one of these could be found on your screens throughout the 90s.
We also have to talk about Christmas Eve 1990. On this day, a little plasticine adventurer and his faithful dog set off for A Grand Day Out to a moon made of cheese, and Wallace & Gromit were born. They’d be back in 1993 with The Wrong Trousers and again in 1995 with Shaun the Sheep in A Close Shave. Truly, the 90s spoiled us.
We haven’t even ventured into a cinema yet, either. Families popping down to their local picture house in the 90s could’ve stumbled across Home Alone (1 and 2), The Santa Clause, The Muppet Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Jingle All The Way. What a time to be alive!
Did we forget anything?
If you’re a 90s kid, we’re sure you’ve got your own festive memories, from scoffing a whole Selection Box before noon to sleepless Christmas Eve nights waiting for Santa.
Can’t believe we haven’t mentioned yours? Why not tell us about it in the comments below?