Celebs reveal the childhood gifts that got away

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NEW YORK (AP) — Sometimes, Santa leaves scars, by way of kid-coveted gifts that never landed under the tree.

And sometimes, the big guy in the red suit just gets it wrong. Ask Will Smith.

"My sister got the Easy-Bake Oven instead of me," he said promoting his movie "Collateral Beauty."

"I don't know why they don't give boys Easy-Bake Ovens, you know? Boys should be able to cook stuff, so that was actually a tragedy from my youth, that my sister got the Easy-Bake Oven and I didn't," Smith joked.

For Jennifer Aniston, who co-stars in "Office Christmas Party," the elusive holiday gift of Christmas Past amounted to Barbie denied. Or at least part of Barbie.

"The Barbie head," to be exact, to which co-star Jason Bateman wondered on a red carpet: "Just the head?"

Aniston: "Yeah, the bust. Remember? The hair could grow. You could pull out the hair and then you could cut it. Paint makeup on it."

The still-not-sure Bateman: "So a life-sized bust?"

"Yeah," she replied.

Actress Lily Collins was in the Barbie struggle: "I wanted a Barbie Jeep. I never got my Barbie Jeep."

It was personal for country-pop star Kelsea Ballerini.

"I swear every year me and my mom went to go see 'The Nutcracker,' she recalled.

"I've never told this story before. Every year I wanted one of the big tutus, like the big straight-out sequined tutus, and so one year I wrote a letter to Santa very seriously and very well-spoken, and I said: 'Santa, I'm gonna reason with you,'" she explained.

"I need a tutu because I've gone to 'The Nutcracker' like seven years in a row, my last name is Ballerini, I'm basically a ballerina and I need a tutu.' And I didn't get one."

That's not the saddest story ever told for the pet-obsessed, including the younger self of Naomie Harris, who co-stars in "Moonlight."

"I really wanted a dog and I never got a dog and my mom got me a rabbit instead, but a rabbit is not a dog and that was really disappointing," she said.

For funnyman Keegan-Michael Key, it was more like the big fish that got away.

"Oh, God. I wanted a Great Dane so bad but we lived in a small house," he recalled. "They would have had to feed that thing more than me and my brother."

Composer and music producer Hans Zimmer found a silver lining.

"From a really early age, being a geeky kid who wanted to make music with technology, I wanted a synthesizer of course. And there's no way any parent would go and give that to their child because these are expensive things," he said.

"And so when I finally was able to earn the money to give it to myself, that was still in those moments where everybody was saying to me, 'When are you going to get a real job?' I think the greatest thing about not getting the gift was to be able to earn the gift myself and doing something with it," Zimmer said.

Aniston's "Office Christmas Party" co-star T.J. Miller had it easy.

"Mine is the Technodrome, which is where the villain Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was with Bebop and Rocksteady, which was this very large — it opened up and ooze would come down and there were little torture places for the turtles," he said.

"For some reason I wanted that more than anything," Miller added. "And then when Santa brought it I just lost my mind."


Associated Press writers Nicole Evatt in Los Angeles, John Carucci and Jill Dobson in New York and Kristin Hall in Nashville, Tennessee, contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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