Tell a complete stranger about a beloved family tradition.

When we were growing up we weren’t like those rich families who bathed in liquid gold or had cable tv. We had VHS tapes and dirt to entertain ourselves with. If not for grandparents, we would have missed out on cable; one of the largest contributions to society from the 1990’s. Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network… I mean for gosh sakes, how would I know anything about anything if Clarissa had not Explained it All? Just a sad sack of homeschooler level social references and tips for how to not land a boyfriend would have become me.

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The dirt in reference. Me, front & center & zero time for pants.

Grandma and Grandpa Mayne’s house was always a sanctuary to our ever hungry eyes with their cable channels and also unlimited supplies of junk food. One year, around Christmas time, Grandpa Mayne thought it would be a good idea to record all the Christmas specials onto a VHS for us sad saps, so we could take a little slice of it back to our dismal thatched hut/home. This tape had it all: Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch, Garfield Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, Rudolph, Looney Tunes Christmas and much more. Part of this “much more” included a vast array of commercials that I’m sure Grandpa tried to skip over, but thank God he didn’t because now they are one of our favorite parts of The Christmas Tape.

Michael Jordan doing adds for McDonalds, N-E-S-T-L-E-S Nestles makes the very best…choooocolate, Stretch Arm Strong, Bounce, Polly Pocket, Supersoakers, Nerf, Power Wheels, Mervyns, I could go on forever. I’m not sure what we loved best… the overly eager jingles, the amounts of hairspray in feathered bangs, or the abundance of products being marketed as “cool”. (Because “cool” was like, the thing to be in the 90’s.) Now when we watch it every year, instead of fast forwarding through the commercials, we cherish them in all their cheese. Every person in my family knows the Nestle jingle by heart and could probably tell you what color scrunchie the girl in the Lil Miss Magic Hair doll commercial is wearing.

Its the random or weird things that make a family tradition special. Some people have a story that they read every Christmas, something they bake, special stockings, or even a way that they open their presents. The most beloved however to the Mayne family, is worshiping at the throne of almighty 90’s cable specials and terrible commercials for fabric softeners. Here for your viewing pleasure and delight, are a few of the favorites…also I have the sudden urge now to go eat a big mac.

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