To a new player, bewildered by the astronomical prices of holiday items from Runescape Classic (also known as Rs1, or the first version of Rs), rares can be a mind-boggling phenomenon. Why is a colored party hat with no equipment stats or any actualk benefits cost hundreds of millions of gold pieces? One word: rarity. Such items, though useless, are the rarest items in Rs so they are worth that much to players.
Allow me then, an older player who was actually there when these rares were dropped explain a bit on how we used to look at these items.
In 2001, two holiday items were introduced, pumpkins during Halloween and crackers at Christmas. Pumpkins can be eaten and traded. At that time, very few got pumpkins as it was thr first holiday item. During Christmas however, people were already somewhat expecting a Christmas item and many were dropped throughout the day.
A rainbow system message would flash on the screen saying "Merry Christmas" and then crackers would appear on the ground. Players would then race each other to get the items. This was just a funny game and no one got upset. Those who got none could easily buy or ask friends for the crackers as no one put much importance on them. They were just a fun item. Crackers are meant to be used on another person and the two people recieve random prizes which always includes one party hat of a random color. For example, I pulled a cracker on Who Da Best. He got 10 iron ore certificates and I got a white party hat.
Some people did not bother to get any party hats or crackers. Some bought theirs. Some sold them. Some dropped their items on the ground. Some sold theirs to the general store. Many ate the edible items (easter eggs and pumpkins). A few kept the items.
In my pics website, a top player wearing a white party hat while pking in the wilderness. At the time this was considered cheap as party hats were worthless. One of my friends used to pk wearing a party hat then drop it for space whenever he got a kill. Another friend was scammed for 500k gp because he didn't know what a pumpkin was, he thought it was rare. Ironically, it has become rare now and it is worth more than 1 mil.
Now as to myself personally, I kept some of the rares, especially the wearable ones like party hats, santa hats and masks. Many people dropped their holiday items because of the very limited bank space but I had an advantage as a pure since I did not need bank space for skills. I just liked the look of party hats so I used them for events such as weddings and level up parties.
Basically, what I am saying is that the early holiday items were fun. We liked them a lot. However, they were hardly important or rare at that time.