Holiday · Music · Nostalgia

Nostalgic Christmas Specials You Can’t Miss

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Growing up, TV Christmas specials were a highlight of the season. They were innocent, cheesy, and oh-so-spectacular. Honestly, who could resist the holiday stylings of the Osmonds or the Carpenters?

Whether it was Donnie & Marie or Karen & Richard, or whether it was Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, or Andy Williams, watching those variety shows always helped make the Christmas season merry and bright.

And how awesome is it that they can be found on YouTube?

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Childhood · Nostalgia · Parenting · Stories

Week 48: Be Brave, Little One—And I’ll Promise To Do the Same | Everyday Nostalgia

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Dear sweet girl —

There we were, walking down the hall to our apartment, your feet moving slower than usual, your hand tightly gripping my own.

Normally the journey to our front door after school involves you dancing and twirling so that your hands are in the air instead of wrapped up in mine. Normally you are chattering away, singing a silly song, happily laughing as your smile casts extra light into the fading day.

Yet there you were, quiet and close beside me, doing none of these things.

I tell myself you are tired, but I know better: because I can read between your lines—the ones that I’ve grown to know over the past six years—I know something else is going on.

I stop walking, and your stride stops, too. I kneel down in front of you, and when we’re face to face, our eyes meet, and I look at you, open and waiting.

Because I know that’s all it ever takes, that simple acknowledgement that I’m here, ready to listen, and, just like I expected, you finally speak. Continue reading “Week 48: Be Brave, Little One—And I’ll Promise To Do the Same | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Media · Nostalgia

The Nostalgic ’80s Just Got A Little Bit More Awesome

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Oh, the nostalgia for our younger years…

Today I’m taking you back to the decade of excess and decadence.

The 1980’s.

I was a teen in the ‘80s and soaked up the gaudy, gorgeous culture of that decade. Let’s take a quick look:


Music

Did you listen to arena rock? Journey? REO Speedwagon? Night Ranger? Or maybe you loved the Hair Bands. Def Leppard? Poison? Motley Crue? Bon Jovi? Or perhaps your tastes were more along the lines of The Thompson Twins, or Duran Duran, Howard Jones, or the dozens of other New Wave groups. Or maybe you liked Heartland Rock: Seger, Mellencamp, Springsteen, or Petty. Or did you prefer The Cure (Post Punk or R.E.M (College Rock)? Maybe it was Madonna? Michael Jackson? The Bangles?


Fashion

Then, of course, was the ‘80s fashion… The girls wore mini skirts, leg warmers, and stirrup pants, while the guys pulled on their parachute pants and Members Only jackets. The ‘80s found willing consumers of brands like Benetton, Coca-Cola clothing, Esprit, Ocean Pacific, Jordache, and Swatch. There were big everything: big earrings, big glasses, big sweaters, big shoulder pads, and big hair.


Movies

Hollywood entertained us with oodles of movies we still love: Ghostbusters, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Indiana Jones, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles, St. Elmo’s Fire, Top Gun, The Little Mermaid, Willow, The Karate Kid, Footloose, E.T., Weird Science, The Goonies, Back to the Future, and The Breakfast Club are only a few.


TV

Then there was television. Ahh, the wonderful world of ‘80s television… Cheers and The Cosby Show. Alf and The Golden Girls. The A-Team and Growing Pains. The Wonder Years and Who’s the Boss. Family Ties and Knight Rider. Miami Vice and Perfect Strangers. Moonlighting and Silver Spoons. Quantum Leap and St. ElsewhereDynasty and Designing Women. The Fall Guy and Fraggle Rock.

And, oh yes… Everybody wanted their MTV.


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Childhood · family · Holiday · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 47: Finding Holidays in the Everyday | Everyday Nostalgia

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It is Thanksgiving, and I’m sitting in my living room, watching the afternoon light as it starts to fade away from the day.

My apartment is dark and quiet. In my kitchen, there is no turkey waiting to be carved. In the oven, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole are nowhere to be found. There are no rolls, mashed potatoes, or canned cranberries set out in serving bowls. The seats at my kitchen table are empty, leaving the surrounding space devoid of the low din of happy conversation that normally comes with the holidays. There is nothing happening here that even remotely resembles the nostalgic way Thanksgiving always used to feel to me as I was growing up: rich, full, and abundant.

The only thing here is me, curled up underneath a blanket in the corner of my couch, drinking a cup of tea, staring up at the twinkling lights of my Christmas tree, thinking about how it’s Thanksgiving afternoon, I’m alone, and there is no pie.

It is a combination that has the potential to end poorly.

Very poorly.

But as I look up at those tiny, white lights, my thoughts thankfully drift to something else.

Continue reading “Week 47: Finding Holidays in the Everyday | Everyday Nostalgia”

Childhood · Nostalgia · Stories

Week 46: The Memory-Making Magic of Music | Everyday Nostalgia

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I’m stage right, peeking out from behind a heavy curtain, waiting patiently for the audience members to take their seats. I do a little twirl and watch my glittery, sequined gown glisten, and when I’m finished, I reach up and smooth down my hair, preparing it for the crown that will surely be placed upon it within a matter of minutes.

Suddenly, I hear the first few notes of my entrance music: The pageant is about to begin.

* * *

Well, at least in my imagination, it is.

In reality, I’m 5 years old, it’s the mid-1980s, and I’m standing in the doorway of my wood-paneled living room, wearing OshKosh B’Gosh overalls and purple Velcro tennis shoes. My audience members are my mom and my 9-year-old brother, Kurt. While my father is there to enjoy the show as well, he’s also in charge of the audio/visual components. In front of me is my plastic orange and yellow Fisher Price shopping cart, and inside it, a wide variety of my toys. Continue reading “Week 46: The Memory-Making Magic of Music | Everyday Nostalgia”