I know that I just posted one of these “Christmas Memories in Crayon” articles last week, but would you mind if I went back to the well? Inspiration hits where it hits.
Below: Five more memories from long ago Christmases, rendered in crayon.
As you know, my family opens its gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. Time moved slowly when I was a kid, and the wait was torture. I was usually allowed to open one small thing early in the day, which was essentially my mother’s hush-money payment. It kept me out of her hair while she went about setting the table and frying the galamad.
The first “early gift” I can distinctly remember was the vintage Star Wars Yoda figure. This was probably in 1983 but no later than ‘84, so I would’ve been four or five. Most of my memories from that age are hazy and holey, but this thing with Yoda feels like it happened yesterday.
I sat on the couch with that tiny little Yoda for fifteen minutes, fawning over his pet snake, which he wore in classic Jake Roberts style. I eventually stole Yoda’s snake and carried it around for the rest of Christmas Eve. He was my buddy for the day, and I was sss-o proud to introduce him to everyone. Read More…
Dino Drac’s December 2018 Funpack is here, and guys, it’s Christmas in a box. I’m like Santa if Santa was a for-profit business.
AVAILABLE FOR THREE DAYS ONLY! UNITED STATES ONLY!
I assume y’all know the drill by now. Dino Drac’s Funpacks are available on a subscription basis, and for as long as you remain subscribed, you’ll keep getting new boxes of retro nonsense each and every month. The cost is $25 a month (that includes shipping), and you can cancel at any time without penalty.
The December 2018 Funpack is loaded with deep cuts, with a particular focus on the early ‘90s. Scroll to the bottom for ordering info, or keep reading to learn about everything you’ll receive in this month’s box! Read More…
Welcome to the second edition of my now-annual series, Christmas Memories in Crayon. (Not to be confused with my maybe-annual series, Thanksgiving Memories in Crayon.)
Below are five mini-essays about assorted Christmas memories, supplemented by bad crayon doodles. I may have written about a few of these memories before, but, well, just gonna be honest here… I really wanted to draw and color the Zelda game box, even if it meant repeating myself.
When I was a kid, the Christmas season didn’t properly begin until we carted the decorations down from our attic. Honestly, that was one of my favorite days of the whole year.
Giant cardboard boxes littered the living room, dusty as hell and smelling faintly like glue. Strands of lights, still coiled like snakes, were tested in every available socket. Christmas arrived not with a flurry, but a full-blown blizzard.
The thing I loved most about the ordeal was admittedly kinda weird. Like many families, we used newspaper to wrap our decorations before returning ‘em to the attic in January. Unlike many families, we almost never refreshed our newspaper stock.
Even by the later part of the ‘90s, I was still finding crumpled pages from 1985 in those boxes. Reading old comics and checking out the obsolete movie ads became an annual event, totally outside of the Christmas season’s bubble, but still so integral to its success. Read More…
I love Christmas music. No matter what the holiday season throws at you, it’s always there, ready to make something out of nothing. I pretty much listen to nothing but Christmas music in December, and even during those dark days when the world is a ginormous pain in the ass, it never fails to make things seem just a little bit better.
…which may explain why our annual Purple Stuff Podcast episode on this subject is always one of my favorites to record. Yep, it’s time for our FOURTH holiday playlist!
This week, me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit add ten more tunes to the pot, including everything from all-time classics to, uh, Splinter’s version of The 12 Days of Christmas. It’s an eclectic mix!
As a reminder, The Purple Stuff Podcast is now also on Patreon, where we’re tossing up exclusive bonus shows and other goodies. Thanks so much to everyone who’s signed up! (Our December bonus show is dropping pretty soon, too!)
If you want some spoilers about the songs featured in this week’s episode, here are some images:
Thanks as always for listening, and for sharing the show around!
PS: If you know of an offbeat or obscure holiday song that everybody needs to listen to, share it in the comments!
Happy December! It’s the month that moves too fast and costs too much, but I love it, and if you’re able to stomach me, I’m guessing that you love it, too.
As is tradition, I dug through my piles of home-recorded VHS tapes searching for more ancient Christmas commercials. Here’s the latest installment of Classic Christmas Commercials, featuring bees, burgers and Blockbuster.
Honey Nut Cheerios & Scrooge! (1980s)
This marvelously melodramatic Honey Nut Cheerios commercial was always one of my favorites, preposterous on its face yet so purely uplifting.
Here we had the Honey Nut Cheerios Bee trying to lure Ebenezer Scrooge away from work with the promise of breakfast. Bee’s motivations weren’t clear — he may have truly pitied Scrooge for working on Christmas, but it’s also possible that Scrooge was just then signing everyone’s houses over to some evil bank, and this was Bee’s cagey way to halt the process.
Scrooge is disinterested until hearing about the honey and nuts. His delivery of the line “…did you say honey, and nuts?” is still studied by budding thespians, who’d gladly settle for being even 1/10th that good.
Between Scrooge’s acquiescence and the goddamned Tallis Scholars singing about Honey Nut Cheerios, this is easily among the most feel-good of all Christmas commercials. Read More…
My reviews of old toy catalogs are usually one-and-dones, but boy, I could write about this book forever:
Behold, the 1987 JCPenney Christmas catalog. I was in my prime “toy years” when this baby hit mailboxes, and there is sooo much shit in these pages that I had, wanted or outright prayed to God for, sweaty brow and all.
Narrowing the book’s highlights down for one measly article was ridiculously hard, so let’s consider this “Part 1” and agree that I can revisit this catalog at a later date without anyone complaining about me being out of ideas.
Below: Five of my favorite things from the 1987 JCPenney Christmas catalog, in no particular order.
Triple ‘T’ & Cobra-La 3-Pack!
Oof, these are some of my all-time favorite G.I. Joe toys right here.
I got the Triple ‘T’ vehicle about a week before Christmas in ’87. It was that year’s “super early present,” which shouldn’t be confused with that year’s “early present,” nor that year’s “two-mornings-before-Christmas present.” My parents weren’t pushovers, but your boy knew how to chisel.
I still associate that vehicle with the holidays, thanks to the fond memories of pushing Sgt. Slaughter across our living room carpet while Rudolph saved Christmas on the nearby TV. (Slaughter was included with the Triple ‘T’, which was what made the vehicle such a must-have.)
Then there’s that Cobra-La three-pack, featuring the bizarre villains from G.I. Joe: The Movie. Most notable among them was Golobulus, the wormy dude on the left. At that point, he was far and away the weirdest figure in the entire G.I. Joe collection, and also the only one that could be worn like a cuff bracelet.
PS: That movie is still my favorite slice of G.I. Joe media. Just you try to deny the artistic value of turning Cobra Commander into a literal snake, and then pairing that snake with Roadblock, and oh yeah, Roadblock’s temporarily blind, and you know what, let’s throw them both into a violent blizzard, too. Keep in mind, all of that still only qualifies as the film’s third most important subplot.