Anyone who knows me knows that the holidays are my favorite time of year. In addition to being known as Admiral 80’s, there are those who refer to me as Captain Christmas because of my love for the season. When I was in college, I had a bright red blazer that I wore every day from the day after Thanksgiving til Dec. 26th, and when I could find mistletoe, I would fasten a rig inside my “Ho Ho Ho” cap and have a sprig of the green hanging in front of me, so that anyone who stood in front of me was under the mistletoe. The look of concern on people’s faces when I informed them of this was quickly supplanted by a smile when I would present them with a Hershey’s Kiss from my jacket pocket. Several people told me I had made their day on those occasions, and THAT made MY day.
So, when I tell you that I love Christmas, you can trust that I LOVE Christmas. I love Christmas movies, Christmas music, Christmas TV Specials, Christmas candy, ugly Christmas sweaters, the whole bit. When people ask me “If you could do anything at all with your life, what would it be?” my answer is always “I want to be an entertainer”…but if that isn’t an option, truth is, I’d want to be Santa Claus. I’m not even kidding. If I could, I would be freakin’ Santa. For me, the Tim Allen movies are wish-fulfillment fantasies. Well, the first 2, at least. The 3rd one is really, really awful, and that’s a shame.
I love Christmas so much that I have actually volunteered to decorate trees and hang lights on houses for other people, just because I enjoy both so much. I’m kind of a dork, huh? Oh well, that’s me.
My point (and I DO have one) is this: Christmas and Star Wars have always been connected for me. When I was a kid, Christmas was when I made a veritable haul of Star Wars toys. The Sears Wish Book got well-used in my house, because I would sit and stare at the toy pages, taking in every single element. I still do that, there are a few websites where you can look at scans of old Wish Books, and I do it more often than I’m comfortable admitting. Don’t judge me. ANYWAY, some of my fondest Christmas memories have to do with Star Wars merch, from the time when I was a kid and I would wake up to find what looked like a miniature version of Echo base in my living room floor because of all the Empire toys, to this year, when I made my annual trip to Hallmark to spend WAY too much money on Star Wars ornaments (I love the Sandcrawler and the Cantina Band), Christmas has almost always meant something Star Wars-related.
My clearest memory is the year I got the Rebel Armored Snowspeeder. I was so excited! It made noise! It lit up! The guns pulsated!!! This is how much of a true fat-kid I was: The way the guns lit up reminded me of a Cola-flavored Slurpee. Still do, to this day. Now I want a Slurpee. Sigh. Anyway, I flew the Speeder back to my parents’ bedroom, where they were in the midst of their long winter’s nap, and woke my mom to show her this awesome toy that Santa had brought me. She politely said something about it being neat, and that she would look at it more later on. So I ran to the other side of the bed. At this point, I hadn’t quite figured out that my dad was not the jolly soul that I was. I woke him up, said “Look!” and hit the button for the guns. For about a second. He “politely” (quote marks indicate sarcasm) suggested that I take it back to the living room and stay quiet or else Santa might come back and take it away. My dad wasn’t as big on Christmas as I was. Clearly. But, unlike so many other times in my life, I took the hint, and took it back to the living room. Even though I had basically been yelled at, I was still high on the holiday. Not even the Grinch in the back room could quell my spirit.
I’ve been thinking about that encounter a lot this year. Last year, Christmas was pretty lame. I was living with my brother, who didn’t allow a tree to be put up, and I didn’t have a whole lot of people in my life to buy gifts for. I had just been through a divorce, and I just wasn’t feeling very Christmasy. It was disturbing to me. Had I finally outgrown it? Had the world finally beaten my Christmas Cheer out of me?
GOOD NEWS EVERYONE! (That’s the 2nd Futurama reference in this blog, the first person who identifies the other gets a shout-out next month as the coolest person on Earth)
This year has been different. I’m in my own space, I got my apartment decorated a few days after Thanksgiving (my mom always insisted the tree go up the day after, but I had to work so it happened on Saturday), I’ve been watching my Christmas shows, and best of all, my tree is overflowing with packages underneath.
See, I hadn’t realized just HOW much my world had changed in a year. I’ve made so many new friends, both online and IRL, and I’ve reconnected with old friends, and deepened connections with friends that were already in my life. I keep taking pictures of the bottom of the tree, because it serves as a reminder to me of how fortunate I am. I’m so immensely thankful that I have so many people in my life to buy presents for, AND I have the resources to get them exactly what I wanted to this year. That’s how I want EVERY Christmas to be. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced the true joy of giving, because I feel like I have something to give, and several someones to give it to. I finally feel like the give-and-take in my life is balanced. THIS is what MY Christmas should be.
I hope you all know how much you mean to me, and I hope you are feeling as grateful as I am at this time. I have a feeling that 2015 is going to make 2014 look like 2013, and that’s EXTREMELY exciting to me. Here’s to a wonderful 2014, a promising 2015, great new friends, new opportunities, and even better, MORE STAR WARS!!!!!!!
Happy Holidays to everyone reading, I hope you will continue to allow me to invade your space in 2015, I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride thus far. Thank you Dan and Cory for making me part of the CWK family.
May The Force Be With Us, Everyone. (see what I did there?)
Marvin Says Hi.
Jeff can be heard weekly on Assembly of Geeks (www.assemblyofgeeks.com) and on his own podcast network, MarvinDog Media (www.MarvinDogMedia.com) where he hosts The Pilot Episode, Talking Toys with Taylor and Jeff, and Bantha Banter: A Star Wars Chat Show.
Email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.orgPowered by Sidelines