Ricky’s Christmas List 1976

Ah, ’tis the season!

My mom found this old Christmas list I made when I was twelve years old . . .

So what was the discerning middle school boy hoping for in 1976? A schist-ton of Legos, apparently. I also wanted a Telstar, which was the cutting edge equivalent of the XBox One, capable of playing three (COUNT THEM, THREE!) different versions of Pong. Yeah, that’ll keep you busy for several minutes.

I also wanted a strobe light, because those things were WAY groovy. And a hammock, and a warm hat. I’m not sure if I intended to use all those things at the same time. Glad to report some books actually made it on to my list, as well — the Chronicles of Narnia.


Looking at this list, it seems an appropriate time to think about what I’m grateful for. Not just the loot I got as a kid, but the fact that I had parents who got me through a very tough time. Middle school was horrible for me, but I had support at home, and support from a few great teachers. These were the years when I learned to escape from reality by reading and building my own fantasy worlds. From a reluctant reader, I became an avid fan of sword & sorcery books, and then began writing my own stories.  Somehow, in the blinking of the strobe light and the beep-beep of Pong, amidst piles of Legos, a young writer was born, wearing a warm hat.

Fast forward to the present, I am even more grateful for all the blessings in my life. I get to write stories for a living. I have a wonderful family. We live in a beautiful city. I have the best readers in the world — clever, funny, enthusiastic fans who (if I may say so) also have excellent taste!

My Christmas list these days would just say, “I’M GOOD. THANKS.” Because honestly, I couldn’t ask for more. For those celebrating the U.S. Thanksgiving, I hope you have a great turkey day, and please know that I’m thankful to have you as readers!

Rick Riordan