Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas Crapbook: 1980 edition

So this was supposed to be a blog about my favorite Christmas toys of all time. But that went on and on, and I realized that holidays are about far, far more than stuff anyway. So instead, I'm going to share my favorite Christmas memories and photos, year by year, in the coming weeks.

Let's start where it all began, in 1980. For most of my life, the only thing I knew about my first Christmas was that I visited my dad's mom and, according to what my mom wrote in my baby book, I looked adorable in my Santa suit. I also knew that John Lennon had been shot dead a couple weeks before. Mom also noted that in my baby book, because she knew that would be important to me later.

Around the time of that tragic event in history, my family attended the YMBC Christmas party.

That's me on my grandmother's lap, with my mom on the left. That beer is (probably) not mine.
Colin with his toy train. I owe you video footage of his balloon fight.
The YMBC (Young Men's Business Club) was a civic organization in Carencro, Louisiana, that my grandfather helped run for decades. They held Christmas parties every year through 1990, and I attended every one held in my lifetime. I can even tell you what toys I got for most of them (many of which I still have around someplace). 

After my grandfather died in 1999, I found a videotape in his extensive VHS collection that held a few hours of YMBC events. Among those were the Christmas parties of 1980 and 1982. Generally, I'm not a miracle-awestruck person, but the fact that these were even made (VHS camcorders were not common household items at the time), combined with the fact that the videotape wound up in a blogger's hands (and still plays surprisingly well), is a real-life miracle.

Adding an extra layer of freaky is that, while mountains of photos chronicle my entire life, very little accessible video footage of me exists before age 14. I hope historians are taking note here. This is big.

With all that in mind, I'm slowly preserving the tape's key footage, and for this blog at this time of year, it doesn't get much more key than this.


(Lest you doubt this was really 1980, note the kid whose shirt says, "I shot J.R. Ewing.")

Granted, the video wasn't very long and I didn't do much, but again, I was a baby. I did my best. As Nell Carter would say a year later, gimme a break.

Next page: The trippy black-and-white Christmas of 1981!


venessalewis said...

The special effects make this just that much better. Iron? I an?

Ian McGibboney said...

Wait'll you see what Santa does when confronted with my name in 1982.