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It was orange and it had The Chipmunk Song and Goofy sang the 12 Days of Christmas. It wasn’t Christmas without it. I don’t know where the tape came from but, I remember it being in our car every December . I remember when one side ended having to eject it and flip it over if I was riding up front or shouting for my Mom to turn it over when I was sitting in the back.
My mom never complained about the tape. When it was just her, my brother and I in the car we listened without complaint.
But on the rare occasion my Dad was with us he complained. “The dreaded Christmas tape“, he would say when he was with us. And when he was with us, it usually meant we were making the hour plus drive to my Aunt’s or my Grandmother’s for the holiday.
I remember those drives. The smell of my Dad’s Honda. In the days before the van and Walkman and third row seating. When we road as a family of four with the dreaded Christmas tape on. My Dad complaining about his seat belt and not being able to get toll money from his pants pocket and trying to get his jacket off because he was too hot, even though I always thought it was too cold in the car and his driving made me ill.
My brother and I exchanged gifts in the car, and I remember his excitement wanting to exchange before we pulled out of the driveway and me wanting to wait. To hold off on the surprise. I never wanted to rush the holiday, I still don’t.
I remember watching the trees fly by and wondering what gifts would await at our relatives. I remember being excited to go to my Aunt A’s even if we were the youngest by decades and there were no kids to play with.
I remember dreading Aunt M’s with the long Italian meals and the kiddie table and the cousins who we never seemed to know what to do with. And I remember worrying that we would get home too late, that Santa would miss us if we weren’t home. I remember long good byes and my Dad saying, ” I didn’t get to talk to so and so”, even though we were there for 6 hours. My brother fell asleep on the way home and we were rushed off to bed the moment we walked in the door.
I would lay awake in my twin bed with the brass headboard waiting and listening for Santa.
Those are the Christmases I remember, the ones that are classic in my mind. My brother waking me at dawn ready to scout out what Santa brought us. The piles of presents, the lights on the tree. My brother shouting “I got a bike!”
And for me, that dreaded Christmas tape was the soundtrack to those years when we believed. When everything was magic and just a bit more wonderful. Those were good years.
So the other day when I was at the register at Kohls I saw a CD, with Mickey and Friends singing Christmas Songs. And there in line at Kohls I was taken back 25 years to those Christmases. I quickly added it to my order.
After I picked Jack up from school I put it in the CD player . No tape to flip over. And he smiled and said, “Mommy I love this CD” and I smiled and nodded cause I remember the joy of the dreaded Christmas tape.What reminds you of your childhood holidays?
Also if you are curious here is the link to the dreaded Christmas tape, otherwise known as DISNEY’S MERRY CHRISTMAS CAROLS .