Christmas of ’87: The Day

I think I have written this three times and each one was longer than the last. I cropped photos, recounted each toy I could remember and gave extensive detail to what they were and where they came from. It was exhausting and ultimately it came out flat. There are probably thirty thousand blogs devoted to archiving toys from the 1980’s and brother, this ain’t one of them. I never had the knack for specifics when it came to cartoons or branded toys. I take my hat off to those who do and heaven knows, I read these blogs which devote that certain energy but this little space of mine in the internet is more personal.

It was a restless night back in ’87. There is so much anticipation a little kid has on the eve of Christmas. I don’t think it’s about gifts either but rather the culmination of months of excitement all coming to ahead. Everything seemed to be so still and peaceful back then. I have a vivid memory looking out my window on to my street, all the houses decorated and lit with not a single soul to be seen. It was so serene.

I drifted off to sleep trying not to think about Christmas morning. The longer I dwelled the later it got. Instead I would pretend I was an Imperial officer having to prepare navigational charts for a Star Destroyer. (I was a weird kid) That was  an instant sleep remedy for me. Boring fantasies make me sleepy even today.

Like any kid at the ripe age of ten, once 5am came around, my internal clock kicked in and I was vertical. I moved slow and deliberate, creeping down the stairs, unsure what time it really was. I made my way to the den and flipped on the lights.

That’s the sight every adult has in their heads when thinking of the magic of Christmas to a child. That moment when you wrestle with yourself how Santa came while you slept and left you something. The smell of Scotch tape, wrapping paper and pine so early in the morning as you shiver with excitement and the fact it’s also 34 degrees outside. Then the long wait since getting the parents up probably wouldn’t be the best idea so you sit in the middle of the gifts, taking it all in and hold out until sunrise.

This was Christmas of 1987. The one that stands out above the rest. It isn’t because of a certain toy although it was the year I got Megatron and broke off one of his legs by going against my Dad’s suggestion of “not forcing it”. I think that year stands tall because Christmas seemed to permeate every aspect of my young life. The Christmas TV specials were amazing, the toys of that era were second to none and it felt as everyone was in the spirit. I have not felt that in years. And I am scared I probably never will.

I have memories. That is what Christmas is really all about, anyway. We come together and share merriment in an event that is logged in our hearts for years to come. Kind of magical, if you ask me.

So Merry Christmas to you. Don’t let this time go by without remembering what it is all about. Tell those around you how much they mean to you, keep the loved ones a little closer and hold out your hand to those who might not have someone. Think of the troops far off, kids who aren’t waking up to piles of gifts and the people who do not have a roof on cold nights.

Peace on Earth, good will toward men.

Good night and thank you for sticking with me this season. Hope everything amazing happens for you. Merry Christmas.


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