Fifty years of holiday memories

Sixties

  • Remember?  Bob Hope performing for the troops
  • Kitchen Smelled like: Julia Child’s beef bourguignon
  • On the hi-fi: Nat King Cole, “The Christmas Song”
  • On the tube: Charlie Brown, Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch specials
  • In theaters: Babes in Toyland, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  • Under the (flocked) tree: Hot Wheels, Easy-Bake Oven, Etch A Sketch

Seventies

  • Remember?  Waiting for our Polaroid photos to develop
  • Kitchen Smelled like: Butterball turkey
  • On the 8-track player: Jackson 5 Christmas Album
  • On the tube: The Waltons: The Homecoming
  • In theaters: Scrooge with Albert Finney and Alec Guinness
  • Under the tree: Pet Rocks, Legos, Wonder Woman dolls, Atari 2600

Eighties

  • Remember?  Cutting down your own tree
  • Kitchen Smelled like: Honeybaked ham
  • On the cassette player: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid
  • On the tube: Roots: The Gift, Johnny Carson’s fruitcake jokes
  • In theaters: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Scrooged
  • Under the tree: Transformers, Cabbage Patch Kids, Rubik’s Cube

Nineties

  • Remember?  “Merry Christmas” gives way to the secular “Happy Holidays”
  • Kitchen Smelled like: Organic, free-range turkey
  • On the CD player: “These Are Special Times” by Celine Dion
  • On the tube: Seinfeld’s “Festivus for the rest of us” episode, “Elmo Saves Christmas”
  • In theaters: Home Alone, The Santa Clause
  • Under the tree: Beanie Babies. Poké mon, Furbles

Aughts:

  • Remember?  Mulling whether to get a greener— or is it? — artificial tree
  • Kitchen Smelled like: Turducken
  • On the iPod dock: “Harry for the Holidays” by Harry Connick, Jr.
  • On the flat screen: Marathons of A Christmas Story and 007 movies
  • In theaters: Elf, The Polar Express, Bad Santa, Harry Potter movies
  • Under the tree: Wii, gift cards, Razor Scooters
via AARP Bulletin, December 2012, Page 68

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