I remember the Holidays back in the 70’s and 80’s. It was a different time then. Phones were wired at the house, we all watched TV on a 20” CRT monitor, and video games were on an Atari, NES or SEGA system. Cars ran on Regular (til the early 80’s) or Unleaded and sometimes Diesel. You spent about 20 minutes outside warming up and scraping off the car. Albums were on CD. And all your Spam came in letter format, through Magazines or TV commercial.
Does anyone remember the onslaught of Ronco products, Patsy Cline and Zamfir album commercials? Send only 9.99 plus S&H to the address on your screen? They were only a minute long. Not 30. Remember flipping through 3-4 channels and watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on all of them Christmas eve?
Cozying around a fireplace – or a fake fireplace. Drinking Hot Chocolate and eating popcorn that you had to make using a stove. Listening to your favorite Records on the Hi-Fi system. Watching the cool flashing lights on the tree.
How things change. The nostalgic part was cool, but I would rather live in today. TV is whatever you want – you can skip the infomercials. Popcorn is done in 2 minutes, Cocoa is done in 1 – Unless you go to Starbucks and get a frothy Venti Mochachina. Songs are on the iPod. We have Unleaded, 85% Ethanol and Bio-Diesel fuel.
The Onslaught of the Holiday season still has the same feel; however there is a lot more. Big bulbs are being replaced with LED’s to make it more energy efficient. Santa went from a wood cutout to an air filled snow globe. Decorations can be timed to music and people can tune in on a radio frequency to listen. Or if they are lazy, you record it on the digital camera and post it up on You-Tube for all to see.
Snow forts and snowball fights have become virtual – Emails and Facebook apps sending messages like “You’ve been smacked with a snowball”. We can find out weather conditions without having to wait for the TV, or even looking outside. Heck, with a click of the remote, we can turn up the heat, turn the fireplace on, make the coffee and start the car to warm it up. All from the comfort of your bed.
Communication is also easier. Getting Holiday lists out meant sitting down with a pad of paper and pens, then writing out a 2 page letter to your Uncle Brad and Aunt Sally. Then put the letter in the envelope, seal it shut, place a stamp on it and walk out to the mailbox to send it.
Now you just email them. Not 2 pages of information. Just a line. They send you something back, then you respond. Then they respond. Then you, then them, Etc. Or better yet, you could IM them.
This year I found a VHS tape that I recorded back in 93. This is how the nostalgia started. I am going to transfer it to the computer, and turn it into a DVD, then show it during the holiday get-together. Might even do some cool graphics to spruce it up. Bottom line is: Things change, the spirit of the holidays don’t.
The whole point is that the Holidays are here. While we have iPods and Smartphones, HD DVD and flat panel TV’s, there is still a hint of the old times around. Bell ringers at storefronts and Santa’s at the Mall. Oh, and Ronco, too.