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A White Christmas

Well, I'm FINALLY posting what is now officially my very first article on this website! I've had some experiences with writing in the past, but for today, we'll be tackling a topic that I'm pretty sure most of us here are relatively familiar with:
CHRISTMAS!
Christmas. Who doesn't love Christmas? I mean, except for people who don't celebrate it, of course. If you're a Christian, there's been a time in your life when you've just fallen victim to the magical whimsical nature behind Christmas. I honestly cannot get enough of the holiday to this day. Join me today as we talk about family, video games, memories, and much more in a special article titled:

A WHITE CHRISTMAS.
Now, if we're going to discuss memories about this holiday season, we gotta talk about the best part; putting up the Christmas tree. Now, I know a lot of people as kids hated putting up the tree, but for our family, it was something, different. It was the moment that signified "Hey, the Christmas season is here, kiddies!" Figuratively, it was the day after Christmas, and while we were all putting up the tree and getting out the decorations, we would also have the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade we previously recorded on the TV. If we weren't watching it, we'd be blaring Christmas music from the radio. Oh, and if I could go on a bit of a tangent here, but why are there SO MANY COMMERCIAL BREAKS DURING THE THANKSGIVING PARADE? Seriously, I would be waiting for that one float to fly by, but I had to wait like, what, 20 commercial breaks before I could see Garfield fly by? Bullcrap.

With Garfield's eating disorder, how is he even staying afloat?
Garfield floats aside, setting up the tree was an exciting time. See, it was fun to burrow through the attic and pull out all of those old decorations and ornaments, and my brother and I would usually play around with them like they were action figures or something. Our tree had personality, in that it probably took a good 2 hours to put everything together, usually due to the fact that my mother and sister were very picky about how the tree looked. You'd think they were professional Christmas tree "modelers" or something. Personally, I could've been content with something like this:

"...but hey, I'd settle for anything at that point".

One of the key essentials to a fantastic Christmas is to, you guessed it, watch the classic Christmas specials. Most people enjoyed The Grinch, Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph, you know them all. Now, those are great, don't get me wrong. However, my personal favorites are the ones that have Christmas undertones, but aren't really the most holy films around. You know what I mean when I say this. I could only be referring to Gremlins and Die Hard. Both of these films feature plenty of violence and dark undertones, but they have Christmas themes, music, and colors. They're Christmas movies, and NOBODY else is going to tell me otherwise!

"The most holy jolly Christmas films around".

Now, watching the right movies is the first half to building up a Christmas atmosphere. The second half is having snowy weather. Now, once again, I know for a fact that a lot of people just flat out hate the snow. To be fair, driving in snow is not exactly a fun experience, but if you want to have a good/charming Christmas atmosphere, you NEED to appreciate/have the snow. People in areas like California or Florida are unable to experience the snow so, that sucks for them, I guess. Personally, I love the cold, and I love the snow, so it's a double whammy for me. There's nothing quite like going out into the big city with the lights of the buildings, lampposts, and neon signs sparkling off the snow. The best word to describe it is "mesmerizing". It's one of those things that, if you have a heart, you'll appreciate. True, it may just be frozen water particles, but they're beautiful frozen water particles.

"DAT SNOW".
Speaking of snow, how about those snow days? Seriously, as a kid, if I heard that there would even be a 1% chance of snow, I would start flushing the ice cubes down the toilet, jumping on the bed, all of those stupid things we did as children in hope of a snow day actually happening. And when it did, there was no finer feeling than waking up and looking at your alarm clock and seeing it be 9:00. I remember it was the day before Christmas break, and we had gotten a snow day. On that same day, we were scheduled to have a big test in English class. I was so happy! And then, I returned back to school and got a awful grade on the test because I didn't study, but that's beside the point! Snow days were those days where you could just sit back, relax, and reflect on the Christmas season as a whole. Whether it be VIA sitting around the fire, playing in the snow, or anything else, snow days were the days where you could just immerse yourself into the beauty that was the Christmas season. Or you could've sat inside and played video games, I honestly don't blame you.

"This takes priorities over everything in this universe!"
If there was one thing I hated about Christmas as a child, it would be having to go to church. Now, please don't take this the wrong way! I am a born-again Christian! However, nothing is worse for a child then having them open their presents, and before they can play with them, having them get sucked out of the house, and sent to church for an hour. Afterwards, rather than heading home, they THEN go to one of their relative's houses for a couple hours, and by the time they get home, it's nearly midnight, and they have to wait until tomorrow to actually play with their toys and have fun. Once you become a teenager and start maturing, you begin to appreciate that time around your family. But as a KID, I can tell you firsthand, THAT. FRICKIN'. SUCKS. When you're a kid, you're not thinking "Christmas is about the family!" NO! You're thinking "Leave me alone at the house so I can play with my toys, so that way it turns into Home Alone where Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern are trying to rob the house and I have to set up incredibly elaborate traps that no nine-year-old should ever be able to construct".

"Random opinion: I really liked the second Home Alone, and I feel like the only one that did."
While we're on the topic of being at home on Christmas, what did you do at your house the day after Christmas? For us, December 26 was "Sulk About the End of Christmas Day". We were so caught up in Christmas ending that we almost NEVER took down the tree until about mid-January. That's actually kinda sad. While the day after Christmas was really depressing, there were some upsides, such as having a whole day to yourself to play with your toys and video games, being able to play in the snow, and just being able to relax. One of the things about Christmas is that it can get pretty hectic, what with all the relatives, presents, weather conditions, shopping, and much more. I imagine that, as a parent, Christmas just gets even more hectic and stressful. However, once December 26th rolls around, it's a time to just lie in bed and think about what will happen next. I know that, as a kid, I just wanted to play with my action figures. Being older now though, I look at the day after Christmas as a day of reflection on my past. Thinking back to the simpler times in life. Well, December 26th is also Kwanzaa, but I don't celebrate that, so yeah. Sorry about that.

During Christmas time, we, as I previously stated, would have Christmas music blaring from our family's sound system. My favorite Christmas music mostly involves everything that Frank Sinatra has done, because man, that guy has a great voice. My favorite Frank Sinatra Christmas song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". Another great tune that I love is "Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul Mccartney. If you haven't heard that song, shame on you. Lastly, I like the cover of Let it Snow by Vaughn Monroe. If you don't know which one that is, it's the one from the credits of Die Hard. Besides that, however, a lot of my Christmas music preferences are a little bit more obscure. Music like the snow level from the first Banjo Kazooie game on Nintendo 64, or the "Dreams Dreams" acapella from the video game Christmas Nights. Seriously, that song is beautiful. It has the magical power to make you remember vivid images from your past. The singers, Issa Clemon, Marlon Saunders, and Gabriel Morris, did a fantastic job doing a cover of the original song from Nights Into Dreams, and it always does a good job at getting me into the Christmas mood.
 
"Click the box art to be linked to the song!"
However, throughout all of this, we cannot ignore what I love the most about Christmas.
The family time.
I kind of already brought this up, but it is really vital to having a good Christmas. If any children out there are reading this article, (for some arbitrary reason), listen to me when I say this: the family time IS important. When you're a child, you don't really care. However, when you're older, you really grow to appreciate your family and all they've done for you. At least for me, I've been blessed with a kind, loving family, and as I'm a bit older, I truly enjoy being surrounded by family members, talking about memories from the past, playing games, watching sports on TV, and sharing good times together. At least for me, that is one of the most important things about Christmas. I mean, besides everything I mentioned above.

"Imagine this picture, but with a Christmas tree. There you go".
As I conclude this article, I looked out the window, and saw snow falling all over the ground. It must've been nearly a foot. I just looked out on the horizon, and I just stared in awe. The snowfall, like I said before, has tons of potent power. Power to make you remember the past. Power to make you remember seeing the presents nestled comfortably underneath the tree. Power to make you remember the mess of wrapping paper spread across the ground. Most of all, it has the power to not just make you have memories of Christmas, but memories of your youthful years as a whole. Where the worries were small, but the curiosity was high. When anything was possible.When people didn't bring you down, and when joy could be found inside your own home. That's the power that snow has. Thanks for reading my Christmas Retro-Daze 2013 Article. See you later!
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Fulton4V Posted on Dec 19, 2013 at 03:24 PM

I missed the thanksgiving parade this year. Was there a Garfield ballon in it this year again? That was one of my favorite balloon characters every year. I like this article segafan.

SegaFanatic Posted on Dec 18, 2013 at 08:11 PM

Thanks for reading, Vaporman! It means a lot! And thecrow, yeah. I loved the Family Matters Christmas specials. I probably should've gotten a picture from those, but oh well.

Mr Magic Posted on Dec 18, 2013 at 03:41 PM

That Urkel pic reminds me of all the Family Matters Christmas specials they used to show on ABC. Those writers really understood how to make Christmas episodes.

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 18, 2013 at 03:25 PM

Wow! Where to begin? So much of what you have gone into here I can relate to.

For starters, I can't agree with you enough regarding commercials during the Parade. Good grief, does there really need to be THAT many breaks in the action? I suppose if you had recorded it previously (as you mentioned), you could simply fast forward through the commercials... but it shouldn't have to be that way.

Putting up the tree as a kid was not something we really did much as a family. Now that I have my own little family, we DO make it an occasion (especially the choosing of the tree and the star that will adorn the top).

An what Christmas would be complete without the right television specials and films?

When you're a child, it doesn't really matter what you're told or how you're taught... you are GOING to remain solely focused on presents. How can you not? So a kid can hardly be liable for not desiring to attend a church service in the midst of such excitement. And I say that as a Christian myself. Thankfully, the actual time for opening presents (and playing with them) and attending service rarely conflicted for me.

Finally, I share your affinity for snow. During the beginning of this month, we were in Florida. It was so strange to see all the Christmas lights and hubbub in such a warm climate. I felt like something was missing. Then, in the Magic Kingdom, there are places and times when "fake" snow (consisting of clumped up bubbles) fall from the sky. I felt sad for those there that have never actually seen the real deal. That fake snow made me long for home and the real thing.

Great first article SF! Thanks so much for sharing!

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