I firmly believe that Christmas is better when you're a kid. As we get closer to the big day this year, I had several presents I received as a kid come back to my memory. It inspired me to come up with the 5 best gifts I received when I was a young brat.

This is a tough list to rank. So many memories. But, I'm pretty sure this top 5 list of past Christmas gifts is solid. Here goes:

5. Mattel Electronic Football

Way before there was a Nintendo Entertainment System, there was this. In the late 1970's, Mattel introduced several electronic sports products. I loved the football one the most. The bonus was they were handheld. Laugh at the little bleeps and bloops now, but for my generation this was as good as it got.

4. ABC Sports Talking Monday Night Football

Almost forgot about this one. My aunt and uncle got this for me when I was maybe 9 years old. The basics of this talking football game is the plays came on little mini plastic discs. One kid picked his offensive play and put the disk in the red player thing. Then, the kid you were playing would choose the defense and then push the disk down. The player would give you a play-by-play of the result. Tremendous fun, but it required having a friend to play with. Being an only child, that was a challenge sometimes. (*sad face*)

3. Johnny Bench Batter Up

This one actually helped me become a decent athlete back in the day. The Johnny Bench Batter Up was a baseball trainer that taught you how to hit. My dad made a cement base and put this in our garage. I spent so much time practicing my swing that years later I would nearly make it to a professional try-out with the Cincinnati Reds. What could have been...

2. Coleco Adam Computer

This gift was both one of my best Christmas presents and also one of my biggest disappointments. The Coleco Adam was my first computer that would play a part in me becoming the nerd I am today. One caveat: it didn't work. The computer was based off of programs on cassette. No matter what I did, I couldn't get the computer to work with the cassettes. My mom ended up returning it, but it did lead me into the computer hobby that I have yet to perfect.

1. Evel Knievel Action Figure

For me, this was an easy #1. The Evel Knievel Action Figure was the coolest toy I ever played with. I jumped ever obstacle in my neighborhood. There was no tree stump that was safe from me and my Evel Knievel Action Figure. My time with this toy ended tragically when I tried to jump Evel over a local creek. He didn't make it. The front wheel broke off when he hit the rocks on the far side of the creek. But, this was the toy highlight of my childhood by a country mile.

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