14 Days to New HOLE!

When I was a young teen, the personal computer craze was just ginning up. One of the earliest entries in the home market was the Adam computer, by Coleco. It had a “printer”, which was a flywheel typewriter that typed the pages you wrote into your computer. I pined for this thing for six months leading up to Christmas, while my parents coyly dropped hints that “maybe” Santa would get me one.

On Christmas morning we all headed down the stairs together and I immediately headed for the (very) large box in the middle of the floor with my name on it. With my mom saying “Maybe it’s a computer!” from across the room, I tore open the wrapping to reveal a brand new color TV. (As an aside I should point out that my granddad and I frequently did projects together where we salvaged abandoned items and fixed them up together. Like we had done with the three color TVs that were currently in my bedroom.) I tried my best to act excited and happy, but Brent (the ex-dad) immediately flew into a rage at my mom and me, shouting that “he knew” I’d never appreciate it.

So my question is this: what is your most indelible childhood holiday memory? All of mine are about Brent ranting and my parents fighting, but yours don’t have to be negative. It just has to be something that leaves an impact of how you view the holidays today.

38 Responses to 14 Days to New HOLE!

  1. back when i was a kid in the 70s there used to be an old man that owned an electronics store. every year he would decorate his house to the nines guy musta had one hell of an electric bill. but i remember traffic backing up for miles and it taking forever to get to his house just to see it.but when we finally got there it was all worth the wait and that inspired me to go all out on my own christmas lights. i have a hell of an electric bill too. merry christmas yall

  2. My personnal worst memories are rooted in my young adulthood, when you have to balance sacrifiying all your meager savings on commercial junk and avoiding social humiliation, facing unfair competition… Of course, learning the hard way how to do it.

    From my childhood, I might have a .. funnyish one…

    When I was a kid, it was … quite mandatory for us (any children present at the celebration) to do a little exhibition on the evening of the 24th, poem, song, anything in this category… in front of the assembled family

    At around 6 year old, our music classes had us practice playing the flute. I never had a musical interest and did not care for it one bit but since one of my older sisters was learning the piano, our mother declared we would do a duo of “Jingle Bells” (or “Vive le vent” for french speakers).

    The 24th comes and, of course, I had not prepared at all (seriously who expect 6 years old to do something they don’t want to do, over several days/weeks, completely unsupervised ?)…

    Here I find myself in my nice clothes, my sister readying herself at the piano, my little plastic flute in my hands and the assembled gargoyles in front of me, ready to feast on the weaker of the herd… Behind me, my sister begin the first notes, I am trapped, Mom will be unhappy and at this point of my life, death is preferrable. I put the flute’s beak to my lips …

    … or rather just a little above them. Indeed instead of blowing into the flute, I start making “fu fu fu” sounds imitating as best as I can the plastic flute’s sound with my mouth while moving my fingers in a credible pattern. I go through “Jingle Bells” that way, praying to the god of flutes to spare me the wrath of my mother.

    After an eternity (less that a minute), my sisters hit the last note and I am freed. I admit I do not remember the exact reaction of my audience but I do remember nobody calling me on my pitiful stratagem or looking overly disappointed, angry, etc.

    Mission Accomplished !

    • I never really got that whole “spend money so you’ll be socially accepted” thing, even when I was still somewhat interested in being so.

      In a somewhat related note, some people also can’t simply refuse beggars and have to wriggle their way out of it. My next door neighbor seems to be one.
      Yesterday I heard some voices in the stair-room, followed by knocking on my door a few seconds later. So I go peep out the peephole and see some religious guys. I figured they were looking for donations(probably another of those small charity organizations that seem to sprout like weeds around here) and indeed they were. All I ever did was open my door a tiny crack, hear one start asking me for money and give him a short “no” mid-sentence before closing my door again.
      But the neighbor, oh, she kept on talking, and it seemed like she was apologetic that she wasn’t giving anything(BTW, she’s not even remotely religious, to my knowledge, but hey, what would I know, I don’t speak to any of them πŸ˜› ).
      The day before that(must be the donation season or something) a couple of kids were also collecting donations, same quick treatment.

    • Wait, a flute made from plastic?? Cheap whistles, yes ok, but I thought flutes had to be made from wood or metal?

    • You ask “who expect 6 years old to do something they don’t want to do, over several days/weeks, completely unsupervised ?” The answer of course is “parents”.

  3. Lets see…Most of the time I was suffering through this or that holiday because the major holidays in Judaism, especially for an orthodox Jew who actually practices them are just crammed with annoying, boring, tedious prayer. On the Jewish new-year and Yom Kippur this shit goes up to 11, and did I mention you also have to fast during Yom Kippur? And that’s both foods and drinks, mind you. Yom Kippur also happens to fall around October , which here means you won’t notice it’s not summer unless you’re counting hours and see the days are getting shorter.
    So being stuck for several hours a day(new year=2 days+evening, Yom Kippur=1 day+evening) in a stuffy little synagogue while pondering the possibility that you don’t really need your left arm and it would be much better at home inside your stomach, no, those don’t really bring many joyful memories to my mind.

    Not that I can remember a single happy memory from any of the more enjoyable(=less prayer!) holidays. Maybe the Passover when I was about 7-8 when I had a terrible toothache just in time for the festive dinner?
    Truly, it seems like my memories only got more positive as I grew up and made it clear I wasn’t even gonna join the dinner table, TYVM, I’ll be in my room. And I’m not going to no synagogue. Or fasting. Or caring and noticing there’s a fucking holiday around this time. The week before last were the whole whopping 8 days of Hanukkah, but I didn’t notice and I didn’t care.
    Frankly, I see no reason for holidays if you’re not even religious, as there’s nothing “holy” about them. I guess you can celebrate your birthday etc, but should I celebrate today because, say, some silly little tribe in the Amazon rain-forest thinks many years ago this day their god took a major dump and felt really good afterward so he created them(hopefully not from the same “pile”)? This made up religious excuse for a party is no different than Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, “killy goats fer fun day”(or whatever the Muslims celebrate 😈 ) and the rest.

      • Funny, I thought the same thing only with Christianity. It seems to me that Christianity is basically Judaism with all the nasty “can’t eat this, must fast on this day, can’t light a fire on Saturday, must hack off your foreskin” etc bits thrown away. But I guess they felt it wasn’t “holy”(i.e depressing) enough so they added the lent and some somber chanting.

  4. I recall the year a game called Crossbows & Catapults was released (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_8NLTTuJ2pOI/SlXtsjKRkWI/AAAAAAAACgY/Ttkoz3NB5KU/s400/Crossbows_Catapults4.jpg). I told my mom and my grandmother that it was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. I even went so far as to say that if it was the only thing under the tree for me that I would be very happy.

    What stands out about this memory was the cynicism my declaration was met with. The adults were absolutely incredulous that I would indeed be happy with a single gift.

    For the record, I did get the game (along with a bunch of other stuff I don’t even remember now), and I was quite happy with it for years afterward.

  5. Look on the bright side, Kevin.

    Your parents saved you from the humiliation of ever having to admit you owned an Adam computer.

    Call your Mom today with a heartfelt “Thank you!”

  6. I was hoping to get a 10-speed bicycle for Christmas one year. When we finally were allowed to come I saw a bike and immediately ran to it thinking how great this was… and then I noticed it was a girl’s bike. My baby sister had gotten one. My heart went from the moon to somewhere far, far below. Mom then realized their little prank had backfired and she went to the garage and brought in my bike. What I do not understand is this: I am #3 of 4 children and my baby sister is 3 years younger than me yet they treated us like twins. She was too small for the bike but they were afraid to hurt her feelings. Instead she wound up riding into a tree, knocking herself out and we all had to keep waking her up all night long to make sure she was OK.

    • LOL. No, wait, what was that other phrase? πŸ˜‰

      You know, I never did learn to ride the bicycle, even though my older sister had one when I was a kid, and my so did my younger sister when I was a teen. I’m the only one who didn’t have a bicycle and never got to learn to ride it.
      Thanks very much, parents, hope you’re happy(well, mother, father’s blissfully dead now).
      And a shame, too, cycling looks like an outdoor activity I’d actually enjoy, not to mention a possible means of an inter-city transportation.

    • Believe it or not, parents really do the best they can at the time with what they’ve got. But all of our parents were people just like us, with lapses in judgement and character and huge holes in their experience. They quite likely simply did not know any better.

  7. First off thanks for the new word “indelible”.

    We went christmas tree hunting as normal when I was five. Every year we cut down our own tree, and for a five year old this was awesome! My younger brother and sister always were able to find better trees than me, so the first year that I found the perfect tree I was beyond ecstatic.

    Half way through the base of the tree the first half of the tree fell to the ground, to find out that in fact TWO trees had grown in the same spot to make my perfect tree. I was heart broken. My brother took home his tree.

  8. One year my evil ex-step dad decided that me and my brothers, who were 9, 8, and 12 at the time, were “too old” for video games. Even foor my older brother that would be a stretch. So anyways he adamantly refused to buy us video games. Or anything “childish” which by his definition basically meant we could ask for a calculator. I knew the average budget for each kid was about $100 and since I wasn’t getting anything fun I asked for a graphing calculator because I was going into middle school next year. It was practical gift and wouldn’t exceed the price. And do you know what I got? This dinky little kid version of a PDA that was “hot”, and I use that term lightly, at the time. I was 9. What the hell does a 9 year old have going on that he would need a PDA to organize my time. Thats what Mom is for. I tried my best to feigned excitment and interest but inside I was like “this is the stupidest fucking gift ever!” (I did think fucking as my ex-step dad had anger issues and taught us many bad words during his rage attacks) Not only that, but my ex-step dad continued on to say that this Kid PDA was also a tool to help with school and studying, but only if I bought the catridges for the classes I’m taking so he expected my grades to improve. (They didn’t need improving because my lowest grade for the semester was an 88%) But he didn’t give me any more cartidges besides what it camd with, which was an ACT and SAT prep thing. I’m 9, I wouldn’t take either of those for another 7 years and thus said cartidges are horribly out of date. Not only that, I have no source of income and thus no way to purchase new cartidges and thus no way to use the PDA for studying and thus no way it can help improve my already great grades. The next month or so I feigned that I liked it and used it regularly until my ex-step dad forgot that he even got it for me. This entire time I had to constantly state how much I loved my gift and that it was the best gift ever which my ex-step dad would then not believe and insist that I didn’t like it. Granted he was right, but I was a good liar about those things and everyone else was convinced. I am thourghly convinced that he got it for me (my mom told me later she was going to get my a video game but my ex-step dad wouldn’t budge and then a graphing calculator but agian he said “no” and stated I was getting the kiddy PDA) just so he could make a fuss over how me, and to a lesser extent my brothers and my sister, didn’t appreciate him and what he did for us. Although this was completely true in my case, you don’t do that. Besides, I was 9. I took everything for granted.
    (For those of you keeping track of how fucked up in the head my ex-step dad is, you will realize fairly quickly why I constantly refer to him as my EX-step dad)

        • Yeah, I didn’t expect the universe to act responsibly and own up to its mistakes by itself.

          Well, what are you waiting for? I got rid* of both my alcoholic uncle AND my loathsome pig of a father by now. You’re way behind and I can’t see you gaining up on me before my bitch of a mother dies as well.

          Then again, I can’t say my uncle was all bad. I can barely remember him from when he was still sound of mind (because I didn’t visit my cousins much even then) and he was fine, I guess, just a normal uncle. And after he had a stroke(AFAIK, I was still a kid then and nobody told me much, and I didn’t care to ask) I only saw him an even fewer, blissfully short times, but those are where the bad memories come from.
          I’m not entirely sure what exactly happened, but it seems like his alcoholism(which I myself never noticed, being a kid and barely seeing him a few times a year at best) caused some other medical problems, I think high blood pressure among them, and this later one caused his stroke.
          Anyway, he’s a big part of the reason why I don’t touch alcohol at all anymore.

          *Technically they died from natural causes with the first when I was still around 8-10 y-o, and the later dying in hospital this February(just a day before my birthday actually, it’s his best, final present to me :mrgreen: ). In both cases I was nowhere near them for a long period before they died, but I’d like to think Joe Pesci, to whom I pray, heard my prayers and on those two occasions carried out my requests. OK, so maybe not the uncle, I didn’t even know who Joe Pesci was at the time.

  9. It was christmas eve and I was 9 or so, my mom and I were decorating the tree, waiting for dad to come home. Several hours went by and dad wasn’t home. Mom called his office but… christmas day came and went, and still nothing. The police began to search; four or five days went by and neither mom or I could eat or sleep. It was snowing outside and the house was freezing, so I went to try and light up a fire and that’s when I noticed the smell…..

  10. I do recall one christmas when my dad came over drunk and in a rage broke the back door down then knocked over the tree then started in on my mom about how he never got to see us and she was a whore etc. the cops came and took him away a short while later. im not sure if he hit her that time but it wouldn’t surprise me. ah. christmas memories.

    • πŸ˜†

      Sounds like most the Sabbath/holiday dinners I’ve had with the folks (and that means just about every 7th day!), except I can’t recall my father ever needing to drink to have a fight with my mother, and she seemed to relish it as well. Always had to fight about something not cooked right, some dish not served in a particular order, or just something else entirely they really thought would be great to discuss (read: scream at each-other) right in the middle of dinner.
      I think they both honestly just loved screaming and slapping each other all the time.
      That’s the real reason I started saying “screw this, I’ll eat alone in my room”.

  11. πŸ˜† Sounds like most the Sabbath/holiday dinners I’ve had with the folks (and that means just about every 7th day!), except I can’t recall my father ever needing to drink to have a fight with my mother, and she seemed to relish it as well. Always had to fight about something not cooked right, some dish not served in a particular order, or just something else entirely they really thought would be great to discuss (read: scream at each-other) right in the middle of dinner. I think they both honestly just loved screaming and slapping each other all the time. That’s the real reason I started saying “screw this, I’ll eat alone in my room”.