Last week I wrote about all of the wonderful Christmas specials of those Claymation-y, commercial-y 1980s and early '90s. Well, I forgot to mention an important partner in the resurrection of every thing you've ever watched in your life: YouTube!
Turns out, the California Raisins Christmas special is alive and well on YouTube, and in its entirety, too. Joining it is the "Star Wars Holiday Special" (shudder) and another gem I neglected to mention last week - the Beavis & Butthead Christmas special, where B&B (in an amazing coincidence) watch the California Raisins Christmas special! It's like holiday "Inception."
The B&B special was so often watched by me and my brother that the VHS tape that housed it (along with "Ghostbusters 2") is now completely unwatchable. So, in the last few years, our family has gathered 'round the Apple TV and enjoyed those animated teenage scamps via wifi, as they watch and make fun of classic Christmas videos by The Ramones and Buster Poindexter.
Beavis & Butthead always reminds me of when my dad got a T-shirt with the duo printed on it, which I stole and wore to Champion Rollarena, almost getting me in trouble because it said "butt" on it. I wouldn't want to run afoul of my favorite rollarena, even though it later claimed one of my teeth, so I retired the T-shirt.
See, even cartoon hoodlums can create a warm Christmas memory. The spirit of Christmas can be found in many things: a beautiful snowy landscape, the family trip to get a tree, the time your grandma gave you too-small underwear that you and your cousin wore on your heads instead.
For instance, this year as I unraveled my many strings of tree lights, I discovered NOT ONE string worked. Well, one teased me and worked for five seconds before blinking out. Thanks for stealing my hopes and dreams, lights. I seriously went through all the bulbs Clark Griswold-style and checked the fuses. One was burnt out, and of course I had replacement fuses in the wrong size. Tree Decorating Night was a bust.
So, I was pouting about my light fail to my dad, who can surely understand the importance of tree illumination. So, the next day he called me saying he cannot let my tree go naked, and will find some new lights for me. See? Family, giving, saving the day, and the (hopefully) soft glow of Christmas lights at last. A new holiday memory!
They just kept coming, too. A friend was in town for the holiday, and we went to Touch the Moon Candy Saloon in downtown Youngstown. There, the clerk told us that if you see someone and give them a smile, you can possibly change their life forever, so he smiles at everyone he sees. Now, if that isn't some kind of holiday special starring talking teddy bears wrapped up in a big fat bow, I don't know what is.
So, this year, try to find a new holiday memory whether you're with your family doing last-minute shopping, or walking down the street. Something magical can happen to you as you're dropping change into the red kettles, or as you're in line for the cookie tray you bought - er, baked yourself - for the big party. Smile at someone, and see what happens. Do the buy-the-guy-behind-you's-coffee surprise. That's the spirit of the holiday - hope, happiness, good will toward men, the whole shebang.
Your next big holiday memory could be just around the corner. YouTube is a good place to start. Just make sure after "Star Wars Holiday Special" not to gouge your eyes out. George Lucas has enough, he doesn't need another pair of traumatized eyeballs.