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Official Article

Retro Christmas Wonderland Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of this exciting look back at a ridiculously jam packed neighborhood Christmas display from 1993. Count yourself lucky that as an 11 year old I decided to take pictures of my walk through one man's demented take on the Christmas season. Although the demented part may actually be my contribution to the affair. Either way, enjoy part 2 of this journey and if you haven't read part one, be sure to go back and check it out for more goofy fun.

There’s something about Raggedy-Ann and Andy that feels like Christmas, though I don’t know that their origins have any direct tie to the holiday. It may have something to do with the animated special by Chuck Jones that I covered in this article last year, but either way the pair were a welcome sight. It’s such a Norman Rockwell, Americana kind of feel when they are around and the inclusion of an old school Snoopy doll adds one more familiar face to this dreamlike affair. But the eagle-eyed observer will notice a nightmare inducing image hiding behind the stitched-face siblings, in the form of a lamp jammed into the head of a mini rag doll. I can’t back this up, but I have a hunch that “Raggedy Randy” back there was infringing on the copyright of the yarn-haired icons and they decided to make an example of him. You better watch your back Lalaloopsy or you’re gonna get RAGGE-DEAD!

Now this little Christmas Bear was kind of sad looking. Taking a long, endless ride on the Santa Express will do that to a cub. The cool thing was that he was riding an actual working train on a circular track, going round and round all by himself. What was not cool, was that the organizer of this Christmas carnival was not letting kids ride the thing. It was obviously made for toddlers to enjoy, yelling “Choo-Choo” all the while. Instead this ungrateful Teddy Bear is hogging all the fun for himself. He’s not even having a good time, give someone else a chance! What actually would have been more fun was to ride in the train cars behind him and scream at the bear to go, "Faster! Faster!". Kids love being annoying like that, especially when their hopped up on Candy Canes and Hot Cocoa.

Now here are the real stars of the show, The Simpsons. Now you might say Springfield’s most notorious residents have no direct tie to holiday season, but you would be wrong. The Simpsons TV show started as a Christmas Special before expanding to a full series, so the very origins of the world’s favorite dysfunctional family are steeped in Christmas lore. Plus, their dog is named Santa’s Little Helper, what more evidence do you need? Having Homer ride in the little plastic car that every 80’s kid owned at some point was a stroke of genius.

If you look closely you’ll see that Bart is very appropriately riding a skateboard, but it’s his cocked head which really reveals his personality. You just know he would be like, “Hey, I got you a present, Merry Christmas.”, then yank it away at the last second. This would repeat several times until you were red with rage, to which the little scoundrel would respond, “Don’t have a cow, Man.” Spotting these two was definitely the highlight of the tour.

There really was a whole lot more to this thing and I wish I could give you the full scope, but alas, 20 year old photographs can only tell part of the tale. Though I do have an extra surprise for you. You see, when the night was over I remember looking out of a second story window and getting an another unexpected bit of Christmas entertainment. Painted on the roof of one of the display shelters was a little message for Steven Spielberg’s Reese’s Pieces loving alien friend. A good E.T., the Extraterrestrial pun was like a stocking stuffer for my heart.

So tell me all about your favorite over the top Christmas displays? Are your family members the culprits or is it just the neighborhood loudmouth making a spectacle of himself again?

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mickyarber Posted on Dec 22, 2015 at 06:30 PM

I wish those people were my neighbors.

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 21, 2015 at 05:31 PM

Those people should be brought up on charges of Teddy Bear cruelty... making him sit alone on an endless train ride. Clearly they have no soul.

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