Open thread: Best Christmas Ever
Getting nostalgic with your all-time favourite Santa drop-off
I’m visiting family in the UK this week. And it’s cold. -4°C last night (25°F, at the current exchange rate). I’m boring my family to death with my narrow topics of conversation, all related to the temperature and my increasing need for layers. We were outside visiting Santa Claus earlier in the week (the two real reindeer were a nice touch) until my son needed to go home because his “feets” were “getting ouchey.”
He did as he was asked—sat nicely with the big man, wasn’t too frightened, and shared what he wanted: Miles Morales, his favourite character from Spidey and His Amazing Friends, who is simply referred to as “Black Spider” in our house. If you haven’t seen the show, imagine a room full of Disney executives, drunk on (super)power, discussing the need for a “family-friendly MCU on-ramp for our crucial under 5 demographic”, then tasking a junior creative team to copy and paste PJ Masks, but put a web on it. You’re pretty much there.
We’re gearing up for the big day, with a little over two weeks to go. It’s had me thinking about the Ghosts of Christmas Past, and some of the all-time greatest chimney deliveries.
There’s a clear winner. I must have been around 8 years old when I descended the stairs to find the Ghostbusters HQ beside the fireplace. It came with a tub of slime, which could be poured onto the roof, dripping through the building, onto the fearless foursome and their plastic-firing proton packs, before spreading onto the carpet, where it would stubbornly remain, much to the increasing rage of my old man.
I saw an Ecto-1 in Forbidden Planet over the summer. Had to hold myself back from buying it. But enough about me, what about you? What’s that one Christmas morning that sticks out in your mind? Was there a toy you always wanted, but didn’t get—and have you rectified that now you’re all grown up? What was the one gift Santa gave that you’ll never forget? Pro-tip: add “retro toy” to the end of your Google search for an extra-special nostalgia hit.
In addition to the NES above, I remember a few gifts that stand out:
-Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy on CD
-the original Lego Castle
-Apple Computer (we found it a few weeks prior in my parents closet)
We always asked for a dog, and never got one. Fast forward to last night, in responding to a note our youngest wrote for the Elf on the Shelf, I had to tell her - in my opposite hand scribbles to throw off the scent - that pets are hard to get.
A snowboard, glossy black top sheet with orange flames, propped against the wall behind the tree. That was the best, but the most memorable was one I didn't get, or at least it wasn't set out on Christmas morning.
I'd asked for one of the NOW compilation CDs (Now that's what I call music!). I think it was volume 7 or 8. But I'd told my mom about having a vivid nightmare where I got an Anne Reed CD instead, one of her favorite artists who I thought was lame. Then, being a brat, a few days before Christmas I sneaked a peek into the CD-shaped package from my aunt. It held the CD I wanted. But I didn't stick the tape back in the same place on the wrapping paper. My mom went to prank me, to replace the CD from my aunt with one of her Anne Reed CDs, and she noticed that it had already been opened.
So my shock was doubled when I opened it Christmas morning. And when my parents asked if I'd snuck a peek, I denied it, sweating and tense, to their laughter. After a minute I admitted peeking, and they retrieved the CD they'd swapped out and hidden in their bedroom. But it didn't sound very good to me after that, and for years I felt sick about what I'd done.