IT’S inarguable that Christmas has snowballed into a giant hulking materialistic bezerker over the past few decades. However, it wasn’t all poinsettias and candy canes back in the day either. I’d like to highlight just a few things that are perhaps better nowadays…
1. No More Christmas Tree Flocking
If you have a vacuum cleaner attachment specifically for purposes of flocking, there’s a very good chance you’ve taken holiday tackiness to new heights.
You don’t see much flocking anymore. Other than it being a fun word to use, it’s probably best that flocking has fallen out of favor. I feel bad for the flocking manufacturers, but really it’s not my flocking problem nor is it any of my flocking business.
(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
2. Wrap Ready Presents
Mom and dad still have to put some things together Christmas Eve, but the assembly required today versus a few decades ago is almost quaint. Most of today’s toys are put together in advance by children in the slums of Bangladesh and fastened securely intact in the box. In today’s fast paced world, we don’t have time for such nonsense.
Not so in the 1970s. To assemble those toys you needed a degree in civil engineering and a welder’s license. Many good and decent fathers, upon embarking on a Christmas Eve assembly, were found hours later in fetal positions pumping their arms full of heroine. Be glad those days are over.
3. Fewer Lousy Holiday Specials
Holiday specials haven’t been completely put to rest, but they’ve at least taken an Xmas Xanax and relaxed a bit. In days of Christmas past, every D-list celebrity would crawl out from the rock they were hiding under to appear in some tiresome special.
Many of you reading this are thinking that this actually sounds kinda nice – what’s the problem with a cheesy special now and again? It sounds benign enough… until you’re on your 14th special and simply can’t take any more Charles Nelson Reilly gags or song and dance with Florence Henderson.
4. Fewer Unsightly Christmas Apparel
There’s a kitschy trend these days to wear tacky Christmas sweaters. Well, I have news for you – tacky Christmas clothing was worn back then without the slightest sense of irony. We wore our matching festive garments proudly… it was only decades later that we look back with a profound sense of shame.
5. Better Gifts
At the risk of sounding like an absolute curmudgeon, I have to say that kids get an insane amount of presents compared to years back. This is a great thing if you’re on the receiving end – not so good if you’re the giver.
In my day (said in a creepy old man voice) we just didn’t get as much stuff. A 1981 Christmas looked something like this:
- Phil Collins Face Value audio cassette you didn’t want
- Brown sweater you didn’t want.
- Garfield the Cat board game you didn’t want.
- Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook you already have.
What a difference a few decades can make. Merry Flocking Christmas!
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