This Month in YesterYear History - December

Monday, November 28, 2022

I can't believe it's time for December already!  Let's get on with another edition of  "This Month in YesterYear History!" 
In this series, we take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of popular culture from the past 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives during those days.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from that time.  

That's why I post to this site, after all!

So, let's get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back to Twenty, Twenty Five, and Thirty years ago!

Classic Christmas TV Guide For 2022

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Thanksgiving is arriving soon, and as we prepare the turkey, we turn our attention toward our annual Christmas and holiday television specials!  

You've had the nonstop Hallmark movies for what seems like forever already, but it's time for the yearly classics that get us all in that festive Christmas spirit!  

I wanted to get this posted before Thanksgiving to give you a heads up for some of those classics like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for turkey day... or the annual showing of The Wizard of Oz or March of the Wooden Soldiers on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a list of what I consider the best of the holiday season.  I'm adding the list here as a regular post, but from now on you'll find it on the right side of the page as well (or below the weekly articles if your using a mobile browser!) Or feel free to bookmark this page and keep checking back!   

Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing...

Here is The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Guide for 2022!

Items Of Note:
Charlie Brown's Christmas will not air on network TV again this year.  It will only be available on Apple TV+ but will be made available free to non-subscribers from Dec 22 to December 25.

FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!  Between Halloween and Christmas, Freeform easily has some of my favorite marathons!

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 24 at 6:00PM and Nov 25 at 5:45PM.

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs as a marathon on E! on Friday, Nov 25th and on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8PM.

"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

I've highlighted the first showings of movies in RED that are what I consider "must-watch at least once" films this season.  Some are repeated so much that the whole list would be red, so I highlighted them only on their first showing, but of course watch when you can!  If you feel something should be red that I didn't consider, please leave a comment below!  I'd love to hear about your annual required viewing.  

I also BOLDED some of the more "can't miss" items, such as the once-a-year airings of Wizard of Oz or It's a Wonderful Life. 

All times listed are Eastern. 

Thanksgiving on Frasier

Monday, November 21, 2022

As we discovered in the "Halloween on Frasier" feature, the series didn't focus much on holidays.  That should come as no surprise, as Frasier wasn't your everyday sitcom that featured an "average working-class American family" like Full House or Home Improvement.  

Thanksgiving is a time when most sitcoms highlight family and togetherness.  Where most families celebrate with a large family dinner complete with all of the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and family squabbles, the idea of that is almost the antithesis of Frasier.  As a series, Frasier focused more on the absurdity of life's finer things while still portraying the differences among family members.  While Frasier (the character), living with his father and being best friends with his brother, certainly loved his family, the show Frasier often focused on the affluent urban life of parties, dinners, and private clubs.  Compared to shows like Roseanne that featured the "everyday" aspects of a typical suburban middle-America family, a sitcom show like Frasier is often not considered in the same category.  

This was always sort of funny to me.  While Frasier may have been a bit "elitist," at its heart, the entire family was, deep down, all blue-collar folk attempting to fit in as best they could with the upper class of Seattle.  Martin was as down to earth as you can get, being a retired policeman who would rather spend his time at Duke's, his favorite dive bar.  Pair that with Frasier and Niles trying to weasel their way into elite social circles while still acting like buffoons puts them in everyday familiar sitcom family territory, in my opinion.  

Frasier may not have gone all out for Thanksgiving like Roseanne did every season, but they touched on the holiday twice during eleven seasons.  Like Halloween, Thanksgiving served as more of a backdrop for each episode than the central focus.  It also took the series four years to mention the holiday and another three before mentioning it again. 

Continuing the "Holidays on Frasier" series, we'll look back and see how they briefly touched on the Thanksgiving season.  I must admit that, much like Halloween, one episode stood out to me even before considering Frasier for this year's series.  I strongly remember watching one of the two Thanksgiving episodes with my parents when it first aired.  I'm not exactly sure why; perhaps it was one of the first times I remember seeing Lilith, Frasier's ex-wife, or maybe it was another "travel" episode as the cast left Seattle and headed east for Boston.  I also can remember the roaring laughter from my entire family as Niles attempts to prepare the Thanksgiving meal.  For whatever reason, this episode is so memorable that I can still picture where I was seated in my parent's living room as we watched this episode, and I'm happy to cover it here.  

Get ready for some eloquent, upper-crust, loving family dysfunction as we look back at "Thanksgiving on Frasier!"

Retro RePost: John Madden and Turducken

Friday, November 18, 2022

Piggybacking on my last post on the NFL on Thanksgiving Day, I figured another football-related post was in order.  I spent a lot of time trying to tie piggybacking to pig skin, but I couldn't come up with one, so if you think of one, leave it in the comments below.

One of the things I frequently remember from turkey-day games of the past was big John Madden and his favorite dish, the "Turducken."  

I've always wanted to try one, and I promise someday I will.  

No idea what Turducken is?  Well, you're not alone.  I wrote a short piece about the fried fowl a few years back, so click below to read all about it!

Retro RePost: How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Monday, November 14, 2022

Growing up, I was always playing sports.  My Brother and I were frequently outside playing street hockey with the neighbor, Wiffle ball, or other made-up games we used to create to entertain ourselves with a tennis ball.  Ice hockey was always my favorite, though.  

I was never an avid football fan, but I always liked turning it on on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  I remember Dad would usually turn on the New York Giants game in the afternoon after Church with his feet up in the easy chair.  

As a kid in the second grade, I remember having to pretend that I was a big football fan to fit in with my friends as they excitedly talked about "the big game" on Thanksgiving Day.  Honestly, I doubt we even had it on in our house that year, but I played along as best I could when we returned to school after the holiday break.  

I'm sure they knew I didn't watch any of it, but they were nice enough not to call me out on pretending to be a football fan... like they did when Starter jackets were trendy; my Mom bought me a Cincinnati Bengals jacket.  Everyone else had the Rangers, Giants, or Yankees (the local teams), and I didn't even know they were a team or even what sport they played, but I loved the bright orange and black colors.

I didn't even know what a Bengal was until much later in life.  Oh well.  It was a cool-looking coat, and eventually, I got my Rangers Starter Jacket years later.

While I've never been that big of a football fan, my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were good for New York.  I didn't play, of course, but during my Senior Year, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play most of the season.  It made me get into football for a few months, along with the "Raider Pride" school spirit.

One of the most memorable times that year was when my Dad and I drove upstate a few hours to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended, but I'm pretty sure it was a losing effort that finished the season on a low point.  

But, the memory of my Dad and I driving home together down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I think about while I look up at the stars at night when I'm driving or flying. 

I don't follow pro football very closely, but many people I work with do.  So, I follow along by reading headlines and final scores to know enough to keep the conversations going.  

A few years ago, I wondered why football is even played on Thanksgiving anyway?  And why does it always seem like the same handful of teams play every year?

By the way, this year (2022), you can watch the Buffalo Bills take on the Detroit Lions on CBS at 12:30PM Eastern.  The New York Giants play rival Dallas Cowboys on FOX at 4:30PM, and at 8:20PM, the New England Patriots will face off with the Minnesota Vikings on NBC. 

Retro RePost: When Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Doesn't Go As Planned

Friday, November 11, 2022

As a kid, I loved the Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Every Thanksgiving morning would start with the excitement a holiday typically does.  I'd entertain myself by playing with my action figures and then sit down to watch the parade while the house started to fill with the smells of Thanksgiving dinner.  Or, more likely, I would wander back and forth from our house to Granny and Gramp's and watch the parade from both homes because it was surely on television in both places, and, as a curious (nosey) kid, I wanted to see what everyone was up to.  

Then, it'd be time for Laurel and Hardy's March of the Wooden Soldiers right before the meal.  Occasionally my Dad would put on football after, but I honestly don't remember much turkey-day football in our house. 

Every year, I tell my wife that I will get back into watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  It never happens, though.  Inevitably, something comes along, and I get sidetracked.  Before I can get back to it, the parade is over, and we're all on to the next thing. 

I have never enjoyed the big song and dance numbers that they intersperse between watching the giant balloons, so I also tend to lose interest quickly, especially now that I'm old enough to not have a clue who 90% of the musical acts are.  

Last year, however, I successfully sat and watched at least an hour of the parade, and maybe this year, I'll get to watch more than an hour!  I look forward to sharing some of the excitement of the balloons and other holiday festivities with our daughter as she grows.  Hopefully, she gets as big of a kick out of the balloons as I did as a kid.

Sometimes, just like my hope of watching the big event, the parade doesn't always go as planned.  One of the last times I remember watching the parade in full was that fateful year, 1997, when there were enough disasters (and injuries!) that the whole shebang changed.  

In today's Retro RePost, I'd like to provide the opportunity to go back and read my 2019 feature titled When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Doesn't Go As Planned by clicking HERE!

You may even learn some history of the parade that began in 1924, like when a balloon almost took down a small plane.  Go ahead and read it for more!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Month in YesterYear History - November

Monday, November 7, 2022

Halloween quickly came and went, and as we enter the post-holiday doldrums, I'll be taking most of the month off.  We have a big family vacation coming up to see Uncle Mickey and Aunt Minnie, so most of the month will be Retro RePosts of some fun Thanksgiving content.  I promise a new "Thanksgiving On..." classic sitcom article this year, though.  Be on the lookout for that, and if you would, please come back and check out the RePosts, too!

Let's review the Novembers of our past with another edition of "This Month in YesterYear History!"  

Please CLICK HERE to read last month's feature if you missed it!

In this series, we take a brief look back at the "best" or "top" of popular culture from the past 20 (2002), 25 (1997), and 30 (1992) years ago!   

Below, you'll find a little time capsule of what was significant in our lives during those days.  Hopefully, as you read these brief synopses of the past, you'll begin to remember the who, when, and where of your memories from that time period.  

That's why I post to this site, after all!

So, let's get into those time machines, my friends!  We're headed back to Twenty, Twenty Five, and Thirty years ago!

Halloween is Over, Thanksgiving Is Coming, and Christmas Will Soon Be Here!

Friday, November 4, 2022

Halloween 2022 has come and gone.  

In some ways, it seemed like we blinked, and the season was quickly over.  In other ways, I felt most of America had turned to Christmas by the 15th.  Here at the homestead, we enjoyed our first time trick-or-treating in our new home.  We even participated in the town's "trunk-or-treat," and it was a lot more fun than we expected!  

Halloween items appear in stores in early August while we're all still in summer mode, and the television networks begin airing Halloween specials in September when we're just settling into Fall.  Even Home Depot had tossed the Halloween decorations into the "Clearance" section by early October and replaced them with Christmas trees.  

Now that The Hallmark Channel and Great American Family have begun airing their Christmas Movie Marathons (all before Halloween, by the way), it'll be a struggle to not watch our Christmas favorites until after Thanksgiving.  We purposely do that in my household, so it doesn't feel like we rush through the next season and burn out before Christmas arrives.

Honestly, it's why I spend so much time concentrating on Halloween on this site.  To me, October is for Halloween.  November is for Thanksgiving.  December is for Christmas. 

While I know some of us nostalgia nerds may be sad that Halloween is over, I think we can say 2022 was a pretty darn good one.  We had some great new stuff, ranging from a vast array of limited edition cereals and candies to the return of the Mcdonald's Halloween pails!  We enjoyed searching the stores for those special items, and while it may seem that we have to wait a whole year for that sort of fun again, in actuality, we're just kicking off the 2022 holiday season! 

I know that I'll be on the lookout for the special turkey plates, napkins, and other special Thanksgiving items I like to hunt for.  I eagerly await Thanksgiving night when my wife and I will pop in the DVD for our first of many viewings of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation!

I also wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you.  I attribute an influx of new readers, comments, and emails to the Halloween season content.  For the new readers, I hope you like what you read and stick around.  For the long-time readers, I appreciate and thank you for continuing to return to see what's next.  

I genuinely enjoy the research I do for my articles, and I most definitely enjoy reflecting on the past while writing.  I hope you get as much enjoyment as I do from everything here at YesterYear and hopefully learn something new or remember something you once knew but long forgot! 

If you haven't already, please sign up for the newsletter.  You can find that link on the right sidebar for desktops or below the articles on mobile devices.  Don't hesitate to leave a comment or share a post you like, too!

So, what's coming up at YesterYear now that Halloween is over?  

We're taking a little trip down to see Uncle Mickey and Aunt Minnie in Orlando, so I'll be away from the site for a while, taking a much-needed break.  

I'll have a batch of Retro RePosts to fill any downtime you might have and help build the Thanksgiving mood during November, so please stick around for those.  Other things are also on the schedule, like a Month in History and Thanksgiving on Frasier!  

Stay tuned because here comes the Holiday Season for 2022!