Monday, December 25, 2006

LUKE 2:8-14

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

HAVE A NEATO COOL CHRISTMAS!!!


THE DEATH STAR SPACE STATION CHRISTMAS ‘78

It was a mix of snow and rain at the Wal-Mart store number 18 in the small town of Eldon, Missouri. As Mom was doing her shopping I was checking out the toy aisle making a mental list of toys that I wanted for Christmas.

WAL-MART #18 2006
As I walked down the aisle I slammed on the breaks of my Chuck Taylor’s as I saw what would be the perfect gift for this 8 year old kid. I stood there in awe looking up at a large cardboard box that contained the most “ultimate power in the universe”, the Death Star!

One problem I noticed on that white shelf in Wal-Mart was that there was only one Death Star playset. IT WAS THE LAST ONE! Oh man, I had to find Mom and I had to find her fast. I literally ran thru the aisles looking for her. Cereal aisle, nope. Electronics aisle, nope. Magazine aisle, nope. Christmas aisle, nope. “Where in the heck could she be?”, I wondered. Like a light bulb breaking above my head I realized that she was probably in the one dreaded aisle that I hated going in, the Women’s Undergarment aisle.

Ok, fine, I would just have to be brave, ‘cause this was a matter of life and death. (Death Star that is) I ran thru that disgusting frilly aisle with hopes of finding her fast and there she was, with a handful of Legg’s eggs. Talking as fast as I could I told her about the Death Star and that it was the only one on the self and that I just had to have it for Christmas. To my dismay she acted like it was no big deal. NO BIG DEAL! Then she told me to go wait in the car, so she could finish her shopping.

With my head down, I was a dejected little boy as I shuffled to the car. I waited for an eternity for Mom to get done. I happened to look back and saw Mom pushing the shopping cart and sure enough I thought I saw what might be the box of the Death Star! She opened the back of the station wagon and told me to keep my head face front and no peaking. Right then I had an idea that I wasn’t going to be disappointed on Christmas.

Let’s fast forward to Christmas eve where our family was sitting around a new plastic tree and I was eyeing a big wrapped up box with my name on it. Even though we were spending our first Christmas in a new house we still stuck to tradition and opened one present on Christmas eve. Since I’m the youngest I got to open mine first. (If you look in the Guinness World Records, I’m probably listed in there as the fastest kid ever to rip off wrapping paper!) Sure enough it was the Death Star playset, and even at age 8, I thought my life was already complete!
Instead of boring you with more memory stuff about all the exciting adventures I had with my new Death Star, I'll just show you some photos I took of my Death Star playset. These are from the other day at my parents house, the same house that was once new in 1978. Parts of this Death Star are from my original playset and thru the years I was able to pick up a box and some of the missing pieces that I had lost.



1978 MONTGOMERY WARD CHRISTMAS CATALOG

Almost 20 years later I would find another Death Star under the tree! This photo from the mid-90's, is just a tease for an upcoming post sometime in the near future. Now I have you wondering!!!

1984 MARVEL SUPER HEROES' CHRISTMAS COLORING BOOK

What would Christmas be without Marvel Super Heroes? Check out the Green Goblin page! That one is a hoot!









1960'S SANTA PIRATE CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT

Yo ho ho ho!!! Watch out for this Santa 'cause he's lookin' to steal all your goodies from under the tree! Arrgghh!!!

OLD CHRISTMAS ALBUM COVERS




VINTAGE CHIRSTMAS CANDLES

Oh, Boy!!! Its Christmas eve!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

GUY IN SANTA SUIT 1959 BLUE RAPIDS, KANSAS

I like this old snapshot photo of just a regular guy dressed like Santa. My guess that he just got back from the local Safeway with a bag full of goodies!

OLD POSTCARDS OF CHIRSTMAS THEME PARKS & TOWNS

WORLD'S LARGEST SANTA CHRISTMAS, MICHIGAN

SANTA & DEER CHRISTMAS, MICHIGAN

SANTA'S LAND U.S.A. PUTNEY, VERMONT

SANTA CLAUS HOUSE NORTH POLE, ALASKA

SANTA CLAUS LAND SANTA CLAUS, INDIANA

SANTA'S VILLAGE SANTA CRUZ CALIFORNIA

SANTA'S VILLAGE SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

STRETCH MONSTER CHRISTMAS 1977

One of the best toys I ever found under the Christmas tree was my Stretch Monster!

That's me at age 7 in 1977.

In our family we have a Christmas Eve tradition of opening one present and it can be any present that you want. Of course I usually picked the one that might be the main gift and most of the time I was right. At least I was right in 1977 when I unwrapped my old buddy Stretch Monster.

A few of the kids at school had a Stretch Armstrong, who was kind of fun, but still looked like a plain boring wrestler guy. When I discovered that Mr. Armstrong had a nemesis in the form of a fang faced green-scaled monster, I just had to have one. I’m sure I bugged my Mom silly, wishing for one on Christmas or Christmas Eve as it turned out.

This monster was amazing! His skin had a scaly texture and he was cold to the touch. His body was kind of soft when you pressed your finger into him and if you smacked him, ouch, he was hard as a brick! After hours of stretching I wondered what made him work, how did he have these amazing stretching powers? I would unfortunately find out a few years later.

Some kids get attached to stuffed animals and teddy bears and some kids like me get attached to green rubber monsters. For the next couple of years he was my pal even after the wave of Star Wars toys invaded my house. Luckily I never took him outside or heaven forbid, school, the place all toys became lost or broken. I was very protective of Stretch and he actually survived until the early 1980's.

Only thing left of my poor old Stretch Monster.

One day I looked inside my toy box and saw Stretch slumped over and looking thinner that usual. To my horror I finally found out what made him work, red bloody Karo Syrup! This syrupy substance was all over the bottom of the toy box. Stretch Monster was dead and he took with him all of my cereal prizes that I had been saving. Just like the Blob from that infamous movie, Stretch Monsters blood absorbed and ruined all of my Freakies, Cap’n Crunch and Flintstones cereal premiums. Needless to say, that day was a very black day indeed.

Now, the only thing that has survived as a memento from more simpler days is the head of Stretch Monster, my favorite toy.

Stop by some time in January for Stretch Monster week, where I’ll post some scans of the rare Stretch Armstrong and Stretch Monster coloring book and photos of a deflated Stretch with his original box!

Now you know why I use Stretch Monster as my icon!

CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE POSTCARD

Since this is an old postcard from the 1960's and I'm guessing that this group of fruit cakes still exist.

(BACK CAPTION)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NORTH POLE COLORADO 1969 BROCHURE & POSTCARD

This is a perfect time to post scans of this old brochure and postcard from the home of Santa's Workshop.

...and you thought Santa lived at the other North Pole!

Don't forget to click on the photos for a closer look.






Monday, December 18, 2006

1978 CHRISTMAS FUN PAD

Remeber Fun Pads? I used to get them all the time for Birthdays and Christmas.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

CHRISTMAS ‘79 MERLIN & BATTLESTAR GALACTICA SPACE ALERT

Red blips! If you were a kid during the late 70's, more than likely you were entertained by little red blips of light.

My first red blip machine was none other than that electric wizard, Merlin made by Parker Brothers. I was really hoping to find this thing that looked like a futuristic telephone under our Christmas tree back in ‘79 and sure enough it was there! This hi-tech piece of equipment entertained me for hours as I had a choice of six exciting games to play. I could choose from Blackjack, Tic-Tac-Toe, Echo, Magic Square, Mindbender, and Music Machine. My favorite was the Music Machine and I’m sure as I created many electronic masterpieces I also annoyed the heck out my family. Besides being just a hand held “electronic game”, Merlin was also a prop for my imaginary adventures as it was a laser gun, a space communicator, and a red alert alarm.

1978 Montgomery Ward Catalog Page

When I was bored playing my Merlin I just traded with my brother and played his sleek Battlestar Galactica Space Alert made by Mattel. He also found this game under the tree that Christmas and was also lost for hours trying to protect his Battlestar from the Cylon armada. It was fast red blip action as you tried to shoot down the Cylon missiles and hopefully survive until the end of the game.


1979 JCPenney Christmas Catalog Page

The view screen has numbers on the side indicating how many points you would get for shooting down one of the enemy missiles. So many times you would try to anticipate where and when the missiles would be launched, trying for those 6 maximum points. Of course consequences were deadly if you anticipated wrong.

As all brothers do, we competed heavily for the high score.
This one is still fun to play, as I have one next to my computer so that I’m always ready to battle those pesky Cylons.