• 50°

Christmastime brings memories

On most Saturdays, The Tribune offices stay pretty quiet. The newsroom runs on a barebones staff of one reporter, one photographer, one graphic designer and, as always, our one-man sports department, Jim Walker.

Usually, the office TV is tuned to a sporting event, but this past Saturday, Jimmy had flipped through the stations to something that caught my attention.

There was Scrooge McDuck, being visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol” was probably one of my favorite Christmas cartoons when I was a kid. The 1983 classic, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol,” features Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit and McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge.

I hadn’t seen it in 15 years or more, but when I caught the tail end of it last weekend, a wave of nostalgia hit me like a ton of bricks. As if Christmastime in general didn’t already have that affect on me.

If you’ve been following along with my columns, you know that I am a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to all the commercialism of this time of year, but I’m a sucker for nostalgia, plain and simple.

When I was a kid, my mother always watched the classic Christmas claymation cartoons with me — “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “The Little Drummer Boy.”

I’m 30 years old and I still have a soft spot for those short films. But who among us doesn’t get a little emotional when Rudolph and Santa save the Misfit Toys from their island.

But seeing “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” last week got me really thinking about why I still like watching those old cartoons. What is it about those short films that makes me treasure them so?

Maybe looking back on that special Christmas “Tom and Jerry” cartoon where Tom shows sympathy for his tiny rodent nemesis just makes me feel a little warmer on those frigid winter days.

Also, those nostalgic feelings are just comforting, aren’t they?

I remember by mother and I used to prep for our cartoon marathons by making special snacks that we didn’t have during any other time of the year. We got in our pajamas and fluffy socks and cuddled up under a warm blanket and popped in the old VHS tapes.

I find myself doing those same things as an adult, even if I’m watching a Christmas special alone.

Maybe I’m more nostalgic now that I’ve moved away from home.

Next week I’ll take a few days a travel south to be with my dad and grandmother for Christmas. We aren’t extremely traditional people. There aren’t very many things I would say we do each and every year as a tradition.

The one thing I have made sure to do each year is watch the first showing of “A Christmas Story” (and bits of pieces of many subsequent showings).

Although I must say, that is my favorite full-length Christmas movie, what’s become my favorite thing about watching it with my family is my grandmother’s reaction to Ralphie finally standing up for himself against the neighborhood bully with yellow eyes.

She just gets so tickled when Ralphie is on top of Scut Farkus, throwing punches and muttering unintelligible curses.

My dad says he can’t stand the movie — he’s more of a Clark Griswold fan — but he always watches it with us and I catch him chuckling every now and then.

I’m really looking forward to being home, but I’ll also miss spending time with the people who have become my second family here in the Tri-State. We did have a Christmas party and a Dirty Santa gift exchange, which I hope becomes a tradition for us. Even though I have a jam-packed memory bank of Christmas memories from my childhood, I have high hopes that we all created some “nostalgic-to-be memories.”

I’d love to know what some of you, the readers, look back on from your childhoods during the Christmas season. Feel free to email me or respond in the comments section on our website.

 

Michelle Goodman is the news editor at The Tribune. To reach her, call 740-532-1441 ext. 12 or by email at michelle.goodman@irontontribune.com.