Christmas was a big deal around my house when I was a kid. It was my mom’s favorite holiday by miles, and my parents always treated my sister and me to lots of gifts — usually a few big centerpiece things from Santa that we woke up to find (unwrapped) on Christmas morning and a pile of wrapped gifts from my parents. Decorating the tree was a big affair, with the old classic Christmas tunes (many of which I play for my kids now) going on the stereo, and I would “help” my dad string the lights on the tree. It was the one day (or few days) per year that we would spend in our more formal living room, which mostly went unused. Here are a few pictures from Christmases as I grew up.
I still have a few of these ornaments today. I’m not sure where the tree topper got to. It was a crocheted angel that I believe my mother’s mother made.
Nothing like a cowboy Hulk. This reportedly is from 1981.
At six years old in 1983, I was really into He-Man, and I very well remember the punching bag in the background. The walkie-talkies were a big deal too. The black thing in the chair is a little magic trick cabinet. I forget exactly what all tricks it could do, but I believe it would do various vanishings and transformations. The yellow thing at bottom right is Funshine the Carebear. I remember being disappointed to get the little plastic one because I really wanted one of the big plush ones.
Here I am in 1985, still into He-Man (the spider thing is a He-Man toy, and it would walk when you turned it on). The Construx kit was sort of like an all-plastic erector set, and I used the heck out of it and have actually looked in more recent years to see if it was still available for my kids. The little stuffed animal was light sensitive and made weird noises when you shadowed or shone light on its facial sensors. I guess it was sort of a precursor to the Furbie.
This bike was a big hit — my first with hand brakes. It had foot pegs too, and a rotor that would let the handle bars spin freely, and I did lots of dangerous things on this bike over the years. I believe that’s a Swiss army knife I’m holding, and with the sleeping bag and arrows, this must have been a very Boy Scouts-centric year for me.