Top Five #034: Favorite Holiday Gifts

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

It’s a time for giving and receiving – and we all like to receive. In this episode we take a look at our favorite gifts we’ve received over the years.


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  1. So there I was. It was Christmas Eve, 2012. We’d survived an apocalypse, children all over the world were struggling to go to sleep, and I was listening to a brand new issue of the Top Five podcast.

    I was nearly asleep when Zach, the youngest of the hosts, mentioned he had a guitar. Stephen, the frontman for all the podcasts they do, told him to bring that guitar into the studio one day. He said, “You could sing the Major Spoilers song that we play at the end of the shows. I have the chord chart, I’ll give it to you.”

    At that, I bolted upright in bed. You what? WHAT? I am a guitar player, too, and have been trying to figure that song out for ages. For some reason I just can never recognize chords by ear. A chart with all the chords to “What a major spoiler” would be a godsend— the best christmas gift ever!

    So, please, Major Spoilers… please, consider my request!

    As for best gifts, I honestly don’t remember my childhood very well. I’m sure I got a few awesome gifts in my time, I just can’t remember any.

    5. I’ll say legos, because I had a huge lego collection and I would build random stuff for years. I don’t specifically remember getting legos for christmas or birthdays, but I’m sure I did.
    4. A leather jacket that I got when I was 14 or 15, that I wore for years. It was a great jacket.
    3. I’ll echo Rodrigo’s answer of an Ipod. Everything Rodrigo said on the matter, applies to me as well.
    2. Money. Specifically, a large amount of it, from my grandmother, as a way of saying “ya grew up good, kid, now here, go make something of yourself”.
    1. A deck of playing cards bound together, each one with a printed panel on them, forming a book. The book is titled, “50 reasons why I love you”. My girlfriend gave it to me this year.

  2. No. 5: A Johnny Jet. This toy was a early 60s jet airplane console with rubber dart missile launchers, levers and buttons to play with, and, the coolest part was a screen in the middle which, when you turned it on, would light up and the scenery would scroll past the screen. There was a lightbulb mounted between the middle of the scroll, and a metal model of a saber jet, which would cast a jet shaped shadow onto the scrolling scenery. The metal jet was hooked to the steering wheel (Hey, I was six at the time, so I didn’t question a jet having a steering wheel) so when you turned the wheel, the jet silhouette would turn. It was the coolest toy!

    No. 4: Legoes. I had more fun playing with Lego than any other toy. Endless hours of fun. This was in the day when there were no sets that built into specific things, just a box of bricks. Greatest toy ever invented since the Lincoln Log.

    No. 3: Sears red Coaster Bike. My Older brother got the three speed model and I got the single speed. We’d ride all over creation, some times going miles and miles across town without telling our parents where we were going or when we would be home. Didn’t realize at the time that the Sears nameless bike was cheaper than Schwinns or Huffies, but it was a rugged bike and rode it for years until I outgrew it. I’ve owned better and more expensive bicycles since but none of them meant as much to me as that cheap red bike.

    No. 2: An iPod mini. I didn’t ask for it, and I didn’t think I wanted one, but one year my Dad spontaneously gave me an iPod for Christmas. It’s a rugged beast, with simple functions (a pre-iPhone era iPod) but I have almost my entire music collection on the thing (except for classical music which doesn’t go well with the shuffle function). Of course, most of my iPod music is over thirty years old. When I connect to iTunes and the Genius tries to match my library with new offerings, iTunes Genius melts down without delivering results. I guess they don’t know who the New Kristi Minstrels or the Kingston Trio or Credence Clearwater Revival were. I don’t use it as often as I used to because I discovered that iPods are about the most anti-social invention ever, but I still get a lot of enjoyment out of it.

    No. 1: A Nintendo DS. I never wanted one, and didn’t ask for one, but it was another surprise Christmas gift from my (now) late parents. I only rank it above the iPod because I have replaced my original Nintendo twice – once when they came out with the unit with brighter screens so you no longer had to play it in a dark room, and a year or so ago when they came out with the XL so I no longer have to wear bifocals to see the screen. There aren’t many games that I’ve cared to play on the thing, but it enabled me to (at last) play the DragonQuest games and some newer Zelda games, too. I keep going back to Animal Crossing. It’s just as repetitive and mindless as Farmville and games of that sort, but you don’t have to burn bandwidth or pay online fees to bore yourself to death with it. I rarely turn on my PS2, X-box 360 or Gamecube, but hardly a day goes by when I don’t fire up the DS.

  3. Not to bring up the past or anything, but can we maybe get just a comment thread going on the top five death scenes (The lost top five episode of november) ? I know you can’t find the actual episode, but it just sounds like too cool a topic to completely skip.

  4. Chino Devine on

    I’ve had many a great gift, but the number 1 and most important thing was my daughter. She came home Chirstmas Eve, and even though her mother and I aren’t together anymore, she’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received (so far)


    • Chino Devine on

      Also, as a small aside: that he-man bee guy was named Buzz Off because his real name was tzzz-tzzzzzz-tzzz (or some crap like that) and no one could pronounce his real name. He was pretty bad ass in the newer 2000’s version


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