Growing up, there were simple pleasures that made childhood feel oh so grand.
While my friends had their fancy toys and latest video games, I found joy in simpler things that felt nothing short of luxurious at the time.
A hot fudge sundae from the local ice cream shop, staying up late reading by flashlight under the covers, family movie nights with endless buttery popcorn – these small moments brought me pure delight.
As an adult with responsibilities and bills, I’ve come to appreciate even more the carefree days of childhood where luxury was found not in expensive possessions but fleeting feelings of wonder, discovery and quality time with loved ones.
Let’s take a fond look back at 16 childhood joys that seemed like the epitome of luxury to my younger self.
#1. Above-Ground Pools
In-ground pools are still a luxury and a sign that homeowners are well off, but many children felt that things like above-ground were the pinnacle of luxury.
Above-ground pools are a solid option for those looking to cool off, and plenty look back fondly on memories of visiting their friends’ homes (or their parents got one) just to take a dip in an above-ground pool.
#2. Riding Your Bike All Over The Place
Your bike was the first item that offered you freedom from your parents.
You could jump on and ride around, free from rules and chores.
#3. Cars with Headlight Wipers
Cars have changed tremendously over just a few decades, but adults today remember being very excited about one popular accessory: headlight wipers.
Granted, we know they’re not practical now, but many children used to think they were awesome and an indicator that you had wealth.
#4. Boom Boxes with a Small TV in the Center
Before the advent of MP3 players or other portable music devices, there was the boom box.
The boom box was quite common, and those younger when it was popular likely remember having one of their own.
However, there were more exciting boom box offerings that kids wanted to get their hands on.
These luxurious products were boom boxes with a small screen in the center.
Whether it was for gaming or to watch videos, it was the thing to have!
#5. Finished Basements
If you lived in an area where basements are common in homes, chances are you had a friend who had a completely furnished basement and made it an extra room or hangout space.
Kids who were not as fortunate to have these felt like these were the epitome of luxury, wishing for one of their own.
Of course, some kids felt like anyone with a multi-level home was extremely fortunate.
#6. Getting Takeout
Adults most certainly feel like takeout is a luxury these days, with food prices being what they are.
However, this isn’t something that’s changed.
Those who were kids don’t remember getting takeout that often, and the fact that it was a special occasion made them feel as though they had the extra money to spend and that they were getting a real treat that they were fortunate to receive.
#7. Houses with Central Heating and Air Conditioning
Having an HVAC system seems to be the norm.
But this wasn’t always the case.
Whether we’re talking decades ago or even now in states where HVAC systems are much less common, kids now and then have always perceived central heating and air conditioning as a luxury.
#8. Pizza Lunchables
Lunchables were among some of the best snacks or lunches a kid could have, and some were considered much more luxurious than others.
If you had pizza Lunchables when you were younger, you would surely get envious looks from the other children!
#9. Having More Than One TV
TVs are much more common and affordable than they used to be.
For many families, having just one TV was quite normal.
But some families might have a TV in the living room and a TV for their children or in their own bedrooms.
If you were a kid with a friend with a TV or one lucky enough to get your own, you probably thought you were living it up!
#10. Car Phones
You might have spotted these in older movies.
Back in the day, some people would have phones in their cars to make calls when they were on the go.
Many a child was astonished by this technology, and they thought anyone with this device was sure to be living the dream!
#11. Refrigerators with Ice Dispensers
Not too long ago, refrigerators were much smaller and just performed the basic function of keeping things cool, often with a small freezer portion taking up half the room to keep frozen items frozen.
But those kids with lucky parents had refrigerators with ice dispensers or, even better, an ice dispenser and a cold water dispenser.
Many children believed this was so luxurious that they made it a goal to have one in adulthood so they could say they also made it.
#12. Room Service
Room service has always been considered luxurious, especially for children coming up with a host of things they could order if they had the chance.
Some adults were excited to be able to order room services when they were younger and get equally excited about it now that they’re adults!
#13. A Piece of Cake and Coffee at a Café or Coffee Shop
It’s sometimes the simple things that kids appreciate most.
Some adults talk about how their parents would give them something different at a café or a coffee shop, like a piece of cake and a coffee, which made them feel special and mature.
#14. School Field Trips
It didn’t matter where you were going, just the idea of not having to sit in class all day was the greatest thing ever.
The only drawback was when your Mom was a chaperone!
#15. New Shoes
That feeling of slipping on a new pair of shoes and showing them off to all your friends was unbeatable.
Whether it was a new pair of sneakers, sandals, or jelly shoes, there was nothing quite like the feeling of wearing something spiffy and shiny.
#16. Building A Fort
The ultimate expression of creativity, building a fort with blankets, chairs, and pillows was the perfect way to get lost in your imagination and build something all your own.
Whether it was a clubhouse or a secret hideout, you could stay cozy and have fun for hours!
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This thread inspired this article.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.