Christmas Gifts of the ’70s: A Not-So-K-Tel Collection ~ Outside the Margins with Shae Connor

Join Prism Book Alliance® as Shae Connor goes Outside the Margins today.

Trying to figure out a blog topic for Christmas Day is a struggle, yo. What can you say that hasn’t already been said, and probably better than I could manage?

So let’s talk about my 1970s childhood, and some of the more memorable gifts that showed up under the tree.

One of the earliest Christmas gift stories my mom loves to retell is from the year I was four. The main thing I wanted for Christmas that year was a doll called Harmony. She was the coolest guitar-playing hippie ever, with her long streaked hair and pink gingham dress. Unfortunately, she was also impossible to buy. To get one, you had to sell bottles of Stanley brand degreaser. Many, many bottles of Stanley brand degreaser. Never let it be said that my mom is one to back down from a challenge. She sold (and bought) the degreaser, and I got my Harmony doll.

The next year, my biggest gift was a complete kitchen playset (similar to this one). Somewhere we have a picture of 5-year-old me in a frenzy of pretend cooking, most appropriate considering the story Mom loves to tell: she called me to Christmas dinner that day, and I looked at her, wild-eyed, and said, “I don’t have TIME to eat dinner!”

The year after that, Santa got mixed up, and my request for a “Kiddie Fondue” set (hey, it was the ’70s!) was translated into a kitty. So instead of play fondue, I got Buttons, my very first cat, and was perfectly happy to wait for my fondue set (which I did eventually get).

When I was 7, in 1975, we went to New Jersey to visit Dad’s family for Christmas. I have two primary memories: it snowed on Christmas Eve, so we got to play in the snow on Christmas Day, and my grandmother’s upstairs neighbors gave me a gift that they said Santa dropped on his way through to leave my presents. (I also apparently was stressed out that Santa wouldn’t know where to find me, or so Mom tells me!) My primary gift that year was a Kenner family treehouse, which my mom almost had to fight another parent over.

In 1976, we had what we refer to as “Christmas at the Convalescent Ward.” I had a broken arm, my mom had severe burns on both her legs (from a fondue pot spill, believe it or not), and my 6-week-old sister had cellulitis in her foot. I mostly remember that I got to open all of Erin’s gifts along with my own. My primary gift memory from that year was my set of Donnie and Marie dolls. I was never a big Barbie fan, but I did love these. They came complete with microphones—and far too many teeth for plastic dolls.

Unfortunately, over the years all of those toys have been lost. My mom did buy me a new Harmony doll about 15 years ago (one of her early forays into eBay shopping), but the rest are long gone, along with most of my other childhood toys. Sometimes I wish still I had them, and other times, I look around at all the clutter in my apartment and think better of it. The good thing about Christmas memories is that they don’t take up space anywhere but inside my head.

Merry Christmas, and happy memories to all!

~Shae Connor

Title: In From the Cold
Author: Shae Connor
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 12/04/2015
Cover Artist: Shae Connor
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance, Winter Holiday


When Jeff Young walks into the rural Georgia lodge Neal Owens runs, he’s just looking for a room to escape a frigid late December night. What he ends up finding is a new friend, a lover, and maybe more, all wrapped up in one hot package.

Second edition. First edition published 2011 by Silver Publishing.


In From the Cold on Goodreads

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

About Shae Connor

Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. She’s conned several companies into publishing her work and adds a new notch on her bedpost each time another story is unleashed onto an unsuspecting universe.

A member of the Romance Writers of America and the Rainbow Writers chapter, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available from Dreamspinner Press, Wilde City Press, MLR Press, and Amber Allure.

Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not chained to her laptop, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching baseball, and reading voraciously, and she’s an annual volunteer for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon. You can find her hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can email her at or visit her website at

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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