Showing posts with label Holiday Memories. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday Memories. Show all posts

My ABCs of Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Well, everyone, we made it to Christmas!  What a fun month it's been building the excitement up for the big day!  Much like Halloween, I've decided to do a fun little ABC's of Christmas, with the help of my lovely wife, Lauren!  You can read that Halloween feature HERE, by the way.


Without further ado, our Christmas ABC list for 2020:

A Brief History of the "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" Marathon on TBS and TNT

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

This is sort of a "Retro RePost" from last year but has been modified and edited for 2020.  

Growing up, there was not a Christmas movie I enjoyed more than "A Christmas Story."  I'll admit, I had never even heard of the film before TBS began its annual 24-hour marathon in 1997.  It just wasn't something on my radar.  Having accidentally come across the film that first 24-hour marathon, I was sucked in by the excitement of the marathon itself and the quest to watch the movie as much as I could in an entire 24-hour period.  Then something amazing happened.  It turned out the movie was really good, too!


"A Christmas Story" was originally a small independent film made in 1983 that had very little fanfare for several years until it earned a "cult-classic" status and rabid fan following in the early 1990s.  Turner Broadcasting had maintained ownership of the film's broadcasting rights and, starting in 1991, began airing the film increasingly on its networks TBS, TNT, and TCM.  In 1995, it was aired over the 3 different channels a combined 6 times from December 24th to 26th.

Those 6 viewings were so successful that in 1996 Turner increased it to 8 separate broadcasts.

However, in 1997, due to the movie's ever-increasing popularity (and rising merchandise sales), TNT began airing a 24-hour marathon, officially titled "24 Hours of A Christmas Story."  The marathon would begin either at 8pm Eastern on Christmas Eve and run for a total of 12 airings.  

In 2004, when TNT switch to a predominantly drama television format, TBS took over the marathon.  

It was estimated that in 2002 that 38.4 million people tuned in at one point or another.    In 2008 that estimate increased to 54.4 million.

The film was so popular that in 2014 and 2015, Turner decided to broadcast the marathons on BOTH TBS and TNT!  They staggered the showings one hour apart so that you wouldn't have the same exact scene on both channels and could pick up at any point on either network.  This was also done so that both channels were not in the commercial break at the same time.  

For whatever reason, the dual marathon was not run on both channels in 2016 and only aired on TBS.  It returned to TNT in 2017 and has been on both channels since.


After widespread internet rumors in 2018 claiming TBS canceled the marathon, Turner (and TBS/TNT) issued statements assuring fans that the marathon indeed lived on.  You could understand, then, when TBS was very slow to publish the schedule for 2019, "A Christmas Story" fans were worried once again.  This year, for 2020, the two networks published the marathon schedule in early November, assuring fans that the annual tradition would live on once again.

One of my favorite activities around Christmas growing up was this marathon.  After the first few years of trying to watch EVERY SINGLE showing, I was older, and life had gotten quite a bit busier for all of us.  My family adapted, and our goal switched from watching the full marathon to catching the entire movie once... but not in a full sitting.  It's a fun little game we still play, where we piece together a complete movie over the 24 hours by tuning in at different times.  It doesn't even need to be in order, as long as we don't miss anything.

You can catch 24 straight hours of this beloved Christmas movie starting 8:00 PM Eastern on December 24th on TBS.  The marathon runs through Christmas Day, and the final airing of "A Christmas Story" is 6:00PM Eastern on the 25th.  The marathon will start on TNT at 9:00 PM on December 24th, running through the final showing at 7pm on Christmas Day.


Be careful, or you'll shoot your eye out!

My ABC's of Halloween

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Well, folks... we finally made it.  Halloween!  It's been a long month, and for whatever reason, it feels like Halloween was LAST weekend.  It has to be the Hallmark Christmas movies starting last week that push us forward, never letting us live in the moment...  Or maybe the election is heating up... who knows.  

But we'll dive back to the Halloween season for one more day!  One last post for the 2020 Halloween season, I thought, what better way to wrap up the holiday with my ABC's of Halloween.  Leave a comment below with what you think or if you have ones you think are better!  

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Click on for the list!

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: New Year's Eve

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Welcome back to the final Holiday Memories of Yesteryear for 2019!  As a reminder this is just a rambling stream of consciousness as I remember events and moments from holidays gone by.

New Years Eve was never a big event in my family growing up.  My parents often went to bed around 9pm on a regular night and maybe stayed up to 10pm on New Years Eve.  A few times we would go to my Dad's cousin house in New Jersey for dinner and then drive home about 8pm.  I remember being sleepy in the backseat as my Dad listened to the New York Ranger's game on WFAN the AM radio sports station in New York.

When I was in high school one of my best friends, and fellow goalie on the hockey team, invited the family over for a party.  We'd often stay till about 12:15 and then head home.  We went for a few years but stopped once we were in college.  I made a fool of myself singing karaoke a few times (the only and last time I've done that) and one year my brother had a little too much to drink and backed over their mailbox.

Of course, my senior year I had some of their finger foods... pigs in a blanket... and found myself throwing up all night long to the point that I slept until 8pm the next day.  I'm sure my parents thought I was drunk but I didn't even have anything to drink and it was really just the food.

Once I met my wife in college we spent every New Years Eve together.  We never went to a big party, just sat on the sofa, had some drinks and good food, and enjoyed each others company.  After I was furloughed from my first airline I was upset that I had to work my first New Years Eve at my new airline.  I was in Manchester, New Hampshire and I stayed up on the phone with her past midnight even though I had a 4am van to the airport for work the next morning.  I think I was more upset than she was.

One year while I was basically living in her parents basement between days away at work we joined her parents at the bowling alley where her Dad bowls in a league.  They had a big party with food and drinks, music, flashing party lights... the works.  It was a bit empty and we really enjoyed ourselves.  The following year the place was packed and had about half the food they provided the year earlier.  On top of that it was icy and freezing rain on the way home after midnight with all of the drunks on the road and we decided that even though we had a pretty good time together that was the end of that.

Since 2012 we've owned our own home and have spent every New Years Eve together on our own sofa.  We get Chinese food and watch TV... usually one of the many marathons on.  The past few years we've watched The Walking Dead (before it sucked) or the Breaking Bad marathons on AMC.  Around here in New York, WPIX always has the Honeymooners on after the ball drops.  We used to watch a few episodes before heading to bed but lately it's all we can do to stay awake!  You can read all about my favorite Honeymooners episodes on the blog here.   Of course the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy is another required viewing, for a few episodes at least.  There will be a post about that soon, too!  Keep an eye out.

Like most of the holidays around the end of the year it's about the time spent with loved ones.  I honestly think New Year's Eve is my 2nd favorite holiday because my wife and I just hunker down in our warm house and spend the time together with our little tradition of Chinese food and TV.

With a little one on the way, what will next year bring? 


Holiday Memories of YesterYear: Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2019

Welcome to the third post in a series of rambling stream-of-conscious articles related to holiday memories of the past.  With Christmas just days away, I sat down to reflect upon the Christmases of yesteryear.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.... It's cathartic in some way to go back and put this down in writing and hopefully it jogs a memory of some fun or heartfelt moments of your own.

24 Hours of A Christmas Story

Friday, December 20, 2019

Growing up there was not a Christmas movie I enjoyed more than "A Christmas Story."  I'll admit, I hadn't even heard of the film before TBS began it's annual marathon.  There was just something about the excitement of the marathon and the quest to watch the movie as often as I could in an entire day.


After widespread internet rumors in 2018 that TBS had cancelled the marathon, Turner Broadcasting, TNT, and TBS all had to issue statements stating that in fact, the marathon lives on.  You could understand, then, when TBS was very slow to publish the schedule for 2019, A Christmas Story fans were worried.

Fear not for TBS has confirmed that "24 hours of A Christmas Story" will continue in 2019!

Santa Claus, Christmas, and I Love Lucy

Monday, December 16, 2019

This blog may often be about 80's and 90's nostalgia... But for this one we're going WAY back.  Way back into YesterYear to 1956!


I grew up watching I Love Lucy reruns on Nick-at-Nite with my Dad.  We'd sit and laugh together late into the night during summers when I was a kid.  When the Season 4 episodes centering around their road trip to California for and Hollywood came on, something struck a chord with my wanderlust bone and my love for old Hollywood that made me fall in love with that redhead and her hijinks.  I love 'Lucy' so much so that my wife and I have made 2 trips to Lucille Ball's hometown of Jamestown, New York to visit the Lucy-Desi Museum.  There they have props and wardrobe from the show along with restorations of not just the set for their home in the Mertzes New York apartment building but the California hotel room set from the fictional Beverly Palms Hotel that I loved so much as a child.

McDonalds Bucks in My Christmas Stocking

Friday, December 13, 2019

My family was never really that big on Christmas stockings.  We didn't have a fireplace or a chimney so they just kind of rested on the back of the living room sofa.  I remember bugging my Dad one year when it dawned on me that while the house had a chimney outside... we didn't have a fireplace inside.  He tried to explain to my 6 year old brain that the chimney was attached to the furnace down in the basement but this really upset me because how would Santa get into the house and not get hurt?  He told me he'd enter through the window in my Parent's bedroom since it was next to the chimney.  I found that acceptable I guess.

Anyway, back to stockings... we had a basic red ones with white trim and our names were sewn on with green yarn.  My Mom would always make sure to buy some goodies and trinkets at the CVS or the Dollar Store and toss them in.  Chocolate gold coins, funny pencil erasers, gum, candy, maybe a koosh ball... but the ULTIMATE stocking stuffer gift back then was the McDonald's Gift Certificate coupon booklets! 


Today they come in credit card style gift cards or even online electronic gift certificates, but back then they were shaped like little dollar bills and so my Brother Matt and I called them "McDonald's Bucks!"

10 Times Christmas Collides with Pro Wrestling!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Much like Thanksgiving... Pro Wrestling and Christmas go hand in hand.  Over the years, wrestling promotions and wrestlers have celebrated (and exploited) the holiday season in many ways.  From holding events on Christmas day to wrestlers dressed up as Santa Claus, Christmas themed gimmick matches, or even a handful of wrestlers appearing in Christmas movies, these festive events celebrate the holiday season for children and adults alike.


I've looked around the internet and compiled a list in no particular order of some examples of when Christmas and Pro Wrestling COLLIDE!

The 1992 Sears Wish Book

Friday, December 6, 2019

One of the most exciting things during my otherwise normal day during my childhood was seeing the mailman walk up to the house.  Occasionally my Uncle would send a note packed with a few goodies.  Or maybe a NHL team would finally return an autograph that I had requested in spam-like fashion through multiple letters because of a book I had picked up at a school book fair (remember those?) that told you how to send away for autographs from sports teams or actors.  Other than that, I didn't get much mail but it was still exciting to see what would show up that day for Mom or Dad.  Junk mail.  Bills.  Letters.  Catalogs!

I'd often grab the catalogs and pour over them before turning them over to my folks.  It didn't matter the store.  It didn't matter what they sold... more often than not they had a toy section!  Most everyone back in the 80's and 90's, myself included, lived for the moment the Sears Wish Book arrived in late Summer or early Fall.  I remember as a kid these things were the size of small phone books and the smell of the ink and paper can take me back if I catch a whiff in a new circular today.


In an effort to do something special for this site and a chance to take another road trip into yesteryear... I picked up an edition of the 1992 annual Sears Wish Book for cheap on eBay and scanned in some pages for you to enjoy!

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Welcome to the second post in a series of rambling stream-of-conscious articles related to holiday memories of the past.  With Thanksgiving just days away, I sat down to reflect upon Thanksgivings of yesteryear.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  It's cathartic in a way to go back and put this down in writing and hopefully it jogs your memory of some fun or heartfelt moments of your own.

When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Doesn't Go As Planned

Monday, November 25, 2019

Very few things can get millions of Americans to tune in to the same television channel at the same time anymore.  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is still one of those things.  In my household, it's always playing in the background on Thanksgiving morning but the marching bands, lip synching, and Broadway dancing just aren't something we have interest in watching.  The larger than life balloons, however, are a favorite and still draw everyone's attention at my house.



Since 1924, the Thanksgiving Day Parade (originally the Macy's Christmas Parade) has entertained hundreds of millions.  Originally the parade featured employees in costumes and animals from the Central Park Zoo, including tigers and elephants.  In 1927, the game changed when Felix the Cat became the first iconic giant balloon.

5 Things I miss about Thanksgiving in the 90s

Friday, November 22, 2019

I've been reflecting a lot lately on my own childhood; both for this blog and the impending arrival of my own first child wondering what memories she'll have.  At the risk of sounding like a Buzzfeed clickbait listicle, I've decided to do a Top 5 list of things I miss about Thanksgiving from the 1990's.  I was born in 1984, a bit too late to have clear memories of the 80's but I definitely remember the holidays of the 1990's.


So, without further ado, here are my Top 5 Things I Miss About Thanksgiving's of the 90's:

Garfield's Thanksgiving

Monday, November 18, 2019

As a young child my family would make the annual trek from our home just north of New York City to Syracuse to visit my Aunt and Uncle and their large family of 7 children.  I remember not really enjoying the long drive, the cold weather, and the loud crowd of nearly 50 people (most of whom I didn't even know) at Thanksgiving Dinner.  We stopped making the trip when I was 7 or 8 and to be honest I was so young I don't remember much about the trips we did make... but I do remember one important event.  On our last trip one of my many cousins allowed me to take home a book I had picked up from his bedroom to read while the adults talked.


It was Garfield's Thanksgiving.

SBTB: The College Years Thanksgiving Special

Friday, November 8, 2019

When I think back to my childhood, holidays are often the fondest of my memories of yesteryear.  Nothing beats Christmas as a child but a close second was when the whole family got together at Thanksgiving and enjoyed good food and fellowship.  Before and after the meal we'd all gather around the TV watching many memorable events like the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Parade and the often forgettable football games.  The Laurel and Hardy classic March of the Wooden Soldiers was (and still is) a holiday staple in my house.

Forgotten to many, though, is the Thanksgiving episode of Saved by the Bell: The College Years.  Many shows of yesteryear would celebrate the holidays with special episodes and it's something I feel is missing today.  However, this College Years episode is something that always sticks out in my mind when I think of Thanksgiving programming.

It's Christmas Time At YRM!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Celebrate the Season at YRM!
The Hallmark Channel started their non-stop Christmas movies during the last week of October.  Here in New York, several radio stations have started their non-stop Christmas songs.  Heck, stores dumped Halloween for Christmas before Halloween even happened... some as early as October 10th.

In my house, Christmas starts the minute Thanksgiving ends!  It's become a bit of a tradition for me to use my time off work around Thanksgiving to hang the exterior Christmas lights (everything my Dad taught me about exterior illumination.)  After we do our online shopping, my wife and I will usually put the tree up and decorate the house on Black Friday.

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: Halloween

Monday, October 28, 2019




This is the first edition in a series in which I intend to relive and document holiday memories from my past in hopes they trigger a fond memory of your own.  What better way to start this off than with Halloween?  In this "Holiday Memories of YesterYear" series, I'll be posting a more stream-of-consciousness and haphazard style than my usual report type historical article.