One of the most exciting gifts of all time

Puppy Surprise

Thinking about gifts this week, I remembered one of my favorite Christmas presents of all time: Puppy Surprise, a stuffed animal that kept her “babies” in a belly pouch. Kind of like a kangaroo but, you know, a dog.

My little sister and I were absolutely nuts over these things — and I remember begging for one for months. I probably saw it in a catalog or something. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I was desperate in my pleas for the dog family — and probably none too quiet about it. My grandparents always let us open one gift apiece on Christmas Eve, and when we ripped into that colorful paper? There she was: my white dog and her multi-colored pups. Surprise!

As you can see from Kate’s photo above, we. lost. our. minds. And this photo was taken after we actually opened the toys at Gram’s, guys — not even a live-action shot. My sister has always been a cat person, so her kitty variation was a huge hit. I remember being so excited over Puppy Surprise that I woke up multiple times in the night, peeking into the darkness to make sure she was still by my bed.

And then, eh, Santa brought some more stuff — and a merry Christmas was had by all.

But nothing could top that fluffy dog.

I found the photo above when flipping through some old family albums; that gem came from 1992. Though I often pitched a fit as a kid, I’m so glad my mom had us pose for countless photos at all the right moments.


What’s the most exciting gift you remember from childhood — something akin to “A Christmas Story’s” Red Ryder BB gun? Or one of your most memorable holidays?


35 thoughts on “One of the most exciting gifts of all time

    • Oh, the bike Christmas — always an unforgettable one, Kathy! I got my first bike on my sixth (or seventh?) birthday — a small purple one with training wheels. I was in love.

  1. I had a Puppy Surprise, too! Remember how you didn’t know if your puppy had 3, 4 or 5 puppies until after you got her and, well, for lack of a better word, opened her. Lol. Ahh to be young again. 🙂

    • Opened her! Hahaha . . . yes, absolutely. Kate and I were just talking about how, in hindsight, it’s sort of creepy that the “surprise” came when you opened her belly. Um. But it was so fun!

  2. Love this post! My favorite, that I remember reminding my parents about over and over was PJ Sparkles! I’ll have to find the picture somewhere (In it I’m wearing my NKOTB pajamas, LOL)

    • OMG JENNY, PJ Sparkles. I was absolutely obsessed with mine and totally kept her in my bed forever, though she wasn’t really all that comfy to cuddle with. That bow! But no matter. Thanks for the memories. 🙂

  3. What a wonderful Christmas memory Meg! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Made my heart all warm and fuzzy :-). I remember Puppy Surprise, but I never owned one.- So happy you have these wonderful memories of your childhood…ahhhh, the good old days…eh?!

    • The good old days indeed, Kristin! I love seeing “new” versions of classic toys I loved as a kid, but somehow the originals are always the best. If a modern Puppy Surprise came along, probably wouldn’t be nearly as awesome.

  4. I haven’t heard of them, but I can see why you would’ve wanted one. Those kind of toys where things were hidden or interactive were fun (I’m thinking of the dolls you fed and changed the nappies of). My overall favourite would probably have to be Shufflies Castle. I’d wanted one for years, and was probably past the target age group by the time I got it, but couldn’t have cared. Picture here:

    • That looks really cool, Charlie! I’m not familiar with Shufflies, but it’s probably something I would have liked! And you’re right: the fun toys were the interactive ones. Teddy Ruxpin falls in that category!

  5. I’ve never of Puppy Surprise, I can see it being something I’d have liked when I was a kid though.
    My favourite Christmas present as a kid was probably the Gold version of Pokemon. It took me about two hours to figure out how you were even supposed to get out of the players bedroom. But after I’d figured out that, I loved it, I still have a sneaky play on it now and again.

    • I remember having a Pokemon video game (maybe for Gameboy Color?), Rosie, and was all about conquering it around middle school! I’d completely forgotten about that. Not sure if I ever “won.”

      • It was huge when I was at school as well, more the trading cards than the games, I never understood the whole trading cards thing though. I was more than happy trying to breed and create weird mutant pokemon.

  6. Those collars on your dresses are a crack-up. We had similar dresses (three girls in our family) for every holiday. Handmade by mom. And even though we give her such grief about the matching outfits, my sister and I sometimes coordinate our daughters during the holidays. I guess the tradition perpetuates.

    Honestly I can’t think of any gifts like that that thrilled me to the max. I do remember when my baby sister got Go-Go the Walking Dog, though. What a furry nightmare.

    • My mom always had handmade dresses (and accessories!) for us as kids, Trish! I hated it at the time, of course, but look back fondly on those outfits. 🙂 It’s so nice that you and your sis are continuing the tradition — I love it! And have a feeling Kate and I will do the same.

  7. I have never heard of Puppy Surprise but I love how excited you both got! I think my fave gift was the year I got a Popple. I heard “Santa” in the living room but I was afraid if I got up to see him, he wouldn’t give me a Popple. So I pretended to be asleep until it sounded like all was quiet, then I snuck into the other room and there it was. My first Popple, sitting under the Christmas tree with a little bow on its head!

  8. Such a cute picture! I love that 80s/90s couch 🙂 I am so glad you mentioned puppy surprise, because I often, for some unknown reason, get the commercial stuck in my head.

    Puppy surprise, puppy surpriiiiise! How many puppies are there inside? There could be three, or four, or five! Surprise, surprise, puppy surprise!

    When I try to explain to someone, anyone…. no one knows what I’m talking about! I was starting to think I made it up.

    And OMG Popples!!!

    • Don’t worry, Daci, we’re all Puppy Surprise lovers here. And I’d totally forgotten that the real “surprise” was how many puppies actually were inside. Looks my sister and I each got three . . . total rip-off. Heh 🙂

  9. Oh my god. As soon as you typed the words “Puppy Surprise” I had this flashback to my own puppies! I totally had this and I remember playing with it and everything. Funny! I probably haven’t thought about it in years and years. All it takes are two words…

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