When you’re a child, nothing compares to that moment of excitement and anticipation when you spy a mystery present that is guaranteed to evoke joy, excitement, and happiness. It might be waiting to be eagerly unwrapped for a birthday or special occasion, and, as will be the case this coming weekend, for Christmas by people celebrating the holiday across the world.
So, we asked those members of Team Snorble who have memories of Santa making their Christmas morning special which gifts under the tree were the most memorable of their childhood.
Our Community Manager, Ryan Patey, went straight to memories of tech when it came to fondly remembering his favorite present.
“I think I would have to say our first home PC,” says Ryan. “It had a multimedia kit with a CD-ROM and everything! My parents even made it a hide and seek sort of gift, so we had to go around the whole house finding the different pieces. At least, that’s how I remember it.”
“As someone who now spends his days on a laptop, that first PC was a turning point for sure. Granted, my sleep patterns went downhill, but now I’m working with a company that aims to improve bedtime for families, so it balances out, right?”
Electronics also sparked joy for Team Snorble’s Head of Experience, Patrick Wesonga.
“I would say my favorite Christmas present ever was my first stereo when I was in elementary school,” he remembers. “My parents couldn’t afford to get me one that was name-brand and as impressive as the ones my friends had, but they did the best they could.”
“This was before smartphones (or portable MP3 players, or people even universally having cell phones), so it was a great way to immerse myself in another world with music.”
You might expect Team Snorble’s Engineering and Manufacturing Lead, Steve Hecker, to follow suit with a high-tech toy from his childhood, but that isn’t the case. That said, he picked a toy that in its branding message boasted that no matter what a child did to them, they would never fall down. And that’s genius.
“I remember when Santa just started filling stockings and leaving them on the mantle over the fireplace,” says Steve. “He left me two Weebles, as in ‘Weebles wobble, but they won't fall down!’ in my stocking! It left such an impression on me that even though it was such a long time ago, I still remember it.”
When we asked Operations and Program Manager Dina Rizkalla for her memories, she claimed to have no recollection of gifts received as a child. But we put that down to the fact that Dina has been so focused on ensuring all our Snorble® backers received a holiday gift from us that she had a memory lapse. After a while, she remembered.
“I do remember I received a fashion drawing kit that came with stencils so I could design clothes,” says Dina. “That was fun. I also had a Rainbow Brite doll, which I was inseparable from. OK, maybe I do have recollection, just had to think about it.”
Snorble’s CEO, Mike Rizkalla, had no hesitation in recalling his fondness for a remote-control model airplane from the famous Hamleys in London.
“Coming from Newfoundland, there was no toy store even remotely like Hamleys,” he recalls. “It was a mesmerizing experience and I had never seen a remote plane in real life.”
“I was en route to Egypt with my parents and we carted that plane from London to Egypt and then back to Newfoundland. Thinking back, my parents were/are saints.”
Dan Luke was as creative as you’d expect as a child since he is Snorble’s Animation Director.
“The best Christmas present that I can remember is that one year I got to pick the tree,” Dan explains. “I had gotten it in my head that since we lived in Australia, we should have an Australian Christmas tree, so we ended up decorating a big eucalypt branch with all our Christmas ornaments. It reminds me that my family was always there to back me up, even if my ideas were a bit weird.”
Snorble Tech Lead Thomas Chan didn't really celebrate Christmas growing up since it was not part of his family tradition, being first generation immigrants from China.
"My parents were really careful about how money was spent," says Thomas. "They would not hesitate to spend two grand on a set of leather bound Encyclopedia Brittannica or even that much for a 286 computer. That was a lot of money in the '80s, and I remember crying for a week straight to get a die-cast Voltron 5 Lion Set for $200."
"And wouldn't you know, that is now worth $1000 on eBay."
And finally, Team Snorble’s Head of PR, Michael Preston, has a festive memory from his forties that eclipses even the snooker table he and his brother were overjoyed to receive as kids.
“My wife and I welcomed a fourth child into our home a few years back and he was a teenager who had endured a tough upbringing,” explains Michael. “I can’t even remember what the present was that we had bought him, but this tough kid who had been out on the streets for a while couldn’t hold back the tears when we gave him his gift. We had no idea that it was the first time he had ever received a wrapped present, so that really brought home the message of Christmas.”