Childhood Memories: Those Once A Year Movies

Remember all those movies that only came on once a year when we were kids? The first one that always pops into my head is The Wizard of Oz. We would wait in anticipation for weeks when we knew it was going to come on on a random Friday night. My mom made popcorn, let us pull out our sleeping bags in front of the TV, and I was usually asleep before the movie was even over since for some reason I remember it started at 9 PM and went until 11 PM. But that could just be me making a good story better.

If you wanted to see Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West and Toto or the Wizard, you had to wait for that once-a-year showing. There was no taping or DVRing back then…and by the time that VCRs came around, I wasn’t interested in The Wizard of Oz anymore because I was too old and too cool to watch it.

But now? That movie is childhood. That movie, along with others, shaped my childhood and created lasting memories.

Because not only did we wait to watch The Wizard of Oz every year, we also waited to watch Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and How The Grinch Stole Christmas every single holiday season. And if we missed it? It was like missing Christmas all together.

So most of you can probably relate to this. Which is why I was expecting so much more from the Grinch this year.

Tonight, I had scheduled How The Grinch Stole Christmas to tape on the DVR. Jason was working, so I told Ethan and the girls that we’d pop popcorn, make chocolate milk, and snuggle under a bunch of blankies and watch it. Things went just as planned…kind of.

Because let’s face it: the girls are two and have no idea who the Grinch is, what Christmas is, or why they should be excited about it. Tater went to sleep before it even started. There was popcorn…being thrown all over and the popcorn bowl fought over. The girls wouldn’t sit still and JUST ENJOY THE MOVIE DAMMIT. The dogs were running around on the floor beneath us begging for stray pieces of flying popcorn the girls were sure to send their way. It was chaos, not fun. Or was it?

As I thought about what was going on, I’m pretty sure it was probably exactly how movie time went at our house when we were kids. I can’t imagine me and my two sisters and two brothers all sitting quietly just watching a movie for an entire half hour. I’m sure there was fighting. I’m sure there was talking. I’m sure there was chaos, and all I remember is that we enjoyed it.

Ethan, Lila and Mia…you guys will someday look back at the traditions I’m trying to create for you all, traditions that me and your dad and your aunts and uncles had when we were kids, and you will embrace them. You will remember the anticipation, the fun, the snuggling, the family time. Because I guarantee you that after this holiday season? I’ll be deleting Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch from the DVR, and you’ll have to wait until next Christmas to see them again.

And as a side note, I can’t wait for Ethan to be old enough to enjoy A Christmas Story. Because really, who wouldn’t want to have that leg lamp in their living room, eat duck at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas night, and get a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas? This is quite possibly the best Christmas movie. EVER.

And remember, I wrote a post about all the ways kids can contact Santa (via video, letters, and more!), so check it out if you haven’t already!