As there is no Saturday Night Live this week, and this weekend in general is a bit wacky, with the upcoming holiday madness, I thought it might be fun to flashback to a simpler time.

When I was a kid, my mother would make us write out Christmas lists to Santa before Thanksgiving even hit. "Santa is busy and needs the notice," she'd say. "The faster we send it, the better your chances are." Depending on my family's financial situation that year, Santa would either come through or come pretty damn close, as even in our thriftiest years, my parents found a way to make our Christmases memorable. My parents are a bit Christmas crazy; my sister and I, who are 2 years apart, would often get "the big present" that our hearts desired as a sort of shared sister deal, and my mother and father would take so many pictures of us opening it that I think they had more fun with it than we did. We'd open boxes of socks and school clothes before hitting the jackpot: the big present, which was usually hidden behind the tree.

One of the presents I remember most was the My Little Pony Dream Castle, a pink plastic monstrosity that housed several ponies at once:

But beyond "the big present," my favorite gifts as a kid were the weird ones that I'd get from a kooky aunt of mine, who always found us gifts at science museums and educational stores: water weebles, scientific yo-yos, and pretty polished rocks. And, of course, the chocolates that Santa left in my stocking and the books that my neighbor would always wrap in shiny silver paper for me. What were your favorite presents as a kid? Feel free to post the commercials in the comments below. Have a nice night, and I'll see you all in the morning.