Old faithful, spending retirement in the corner of my home office.
So here we are sliding down the back side of Fall, with the season of holidays picking up steam.
Or as I always thought of it when I was little “the season of the holiday TV cartoon special.”
I freaking LOVE ME some holiday cartoons. If you animate it, Keri is HERE. FOR. IT.
And don’t get me wrong – Jr is totes here for it too…
But it’s just… well… Different.
This year when I fired up It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, (onDemand, natch,) he was at least one foot in the “meh” zone about the whole thing.
I taped TONS of Halloween/fall episodes of some of his absolute fave cartoons, and I was more excited than he was for the most part.
That last sentence? Therein lies the rub if you really look at it – I said “taped”…. People don’t “tape” shit anymore Keri, ffs. You record it. Because it’s NOT on tape. But really, you don’t even do that.
You pull it up on Netflix, or Amazon or onDemand (like my Charlie Brown example,) or WHATEVER platform you dig, and you do it any damn time you want.
It’s not special. It’s just normal. And it’s bummin’ me out a little bit.
When Dr. Sissy and I were tiny twins, holiday cartoon specials were a big deal. Like CAPITAL “B” CAPITAL “D” Big Deal, yo.
If The Great Pumpkin was coming, or The Grinch was going to steal Christmas on TV that night, preparations were made in advance at our house. Sometimes it meant we got to pick something special to eat for dinner – like my high holy culinary grail of kiddo- Keri-coveted treat dinners: The Swanson’s Fried Chicken TV Dinner (dear God Keri, stop talking and delete this embarrassment… but NO, I push on.)
Even if it was just hot dogs and blue box mac and cheese, it ALWAYS meant we got to eat in front of the TV that evening, which was rare. We had two TVs in the house, in a VERY technical sense of that count. One normal “modern” television, and one that was O.L.D.
Holiday special nights usually meant that we fired up the O.L.D. set at least a half hour before said special started, so THE TUBE HAD TIME TO WARM UP (I shit you not, kids, this was a thing back then.)
Did I mention it was a black and white set?
See, now this is making Keri sound older than she actually is – we were well out of the B/W TV set era by the time all of this was going down, but the set was in the room right off of our kitchen, and chances are daddy was down stairs watching football on the TV in the family room (or anything other than cartoons, because he was not the adult fan that his daughter is today,) so we fired up old faithful, carefully set our metal chicken dinner containers onto our TV trays, and waited for the picture to fade in.
Sure, as we got a bit older and a VCR that we could set to record (which was a bitch, BTW,) came into our lives, we could’ve taped the shows (and I mean actually taped here, folks,) but we didn’t.
We checked the TV Guide (that was an insert in the newspaper each week that listed what was on – before we had 9 billion channels and an interactive guide,) we adjusted the foil on the bunny ear antenna, and we got excited.
And if we missed it, then it was just too bad. Life lesson learned.
If we missed the Great Pumpkin, we were that much more careful to make sure that we were in front of that TV when Snoopy started popping popcorn and flinging pretzels around that ping pong table at Thanksgiving.
It. Was. Special. If you missed it, it was gone for a year.
Now it’s meh. Because chances are mom can find it on her phone if you are getting rambunctious in the car or something.
Now your biggest fear isn’t that the old black and white console set will finally blow a tube and not warm up – it is the horror of the Grandparents’ inferior WiFi that might force you onto your mom’s work hotspot.
But I am NOT sinking into modern-day holiday special ennui without a fight, people. Oh no no NO.
I am going to throw the picnic blanket on the floor, lay out a spread of kid friendly food that would make any tiny tummy growl in anticipation, and fire up all the specials in the coming months.
ALL. THE. SPECIALS.
And this season, when the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes, I am going to do my level best to make sure that Jr’s does too.
I may even get myself a TV Dinner.
(yes I know they don’t call them that anymore, shut up you are ruining it.)
Happy viewing, everyone.