What did Santa put under the christmas tree in the seventies?

traditional christmas tree with presents 197s bygone christmasesWhat would kids of the seventies find under their christmas tree on Christmas morning?  We take a look in our ByGone Christmases series.

What was that all important, ‘everyone’s got one – I’m the only one who hasn’t‘, toy that would be tucked towards the back of the tree just waiting to be unwrapped?

Did the choice of toys that Santa left embody the true meaning of Christmas? Probably not, as over stressed parents search for the elusive Raleigh Chopper bike that their child has put on the top, middle and bottom of their christmas list – lest Santa forget. If you didn’t already have one you certainly wanted one!

raleigh chopper

But what did seventies kids pester their parents for?

Probably the most fun and totally impractical must have toy was the big orange Spacehopper. Kids loved them even though as far as transport was concerned they were hopeless (or should that be hopless!)


Sindy’s horse appeared on the UK market for the first time and baby dolls, prams and toy cars were likely to be on almost all Christmas lists.

Everyone had one in the seventies, but very few could do much with it – the Etch a Sketch with its twiddly knobs leaving all your sketches looking like a collection of squares (or a house depending on your point of view) and which with a quick shake saw your masterpiece disappear, as many a mean sibling found out!

etch a sketch

Cuddly toys were popular and none more so than Orinoco,and Tobermory from the ‘The Wombles’and Legoland Space sets were scattered around the sitting room floor

Plastic modelling kits became hugely popular during the seventies and the range available included trains,rockets, warships,spaceships etc the list was endless and kids loved them.

Forty years on and kids still enjoy playing board games, back in the day Cleudo, Mousetrap, Scrabble and Monopoly were some of the favourite games.

board games

A table tennis set was a fun gift to get – not much fun if, like me, you were an only child. Inside the box you’d find 2 clamps to fix it to the dining room/kitchen table, 2 bats (mine were both red) and 1 or 2 ping pong balls.The poor dog used to take cover when this was taken out of the box.

Almost every family in the UK would find selection boxes under the tree as well as their favourite Christmas annual, coloured pencils, paints and a Christmas colouring book.

Gadgets were very popular and walkie talkies were a top toy, unfortunately they were joined together with wire so you couldn’t go too far from whoever had the other one. In 1979 the Stylophone was heavily advertised, this electronic music (?) device, which resembled a mini keyboard, which you would play tunes with using a small stylus that came with it was a must have gift.


Cassette tape recorders (how many times did I sit, in silence, trying to record the top twenty from the radio) and when the tape got stuck rewound it back onto the cassette using a pencil – happy days!

cassette tape recorder

Finally and honestly one I’d forgotten about – the Dymo Label Maker! Anything and everything was decorated with a Dymo label with your name on it – including my long suffering dog.

dymo label maker

What was your favourite Christmas toy?

Get in touch below and let us know in our ByGone Christmases series what it was that made it so special.

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