America! We take for granted the fact that many of the holiday traditions we celebrate are relatively new. As a kid in 2013, there are so many magical things you can enjoy. Let’s take a look at how much it would have sucked to be a kid in the past.
2004: Elf On A Shelf
This creepy dude didn’t make into our lives until 2005. He’s basically the child’s version of the NSA. Pretty awful. Actually, I think Christmas was better without him. However, here are some funny pictures of him doing awful things to make up for his creepiness.
Though Rudolph was invented in 1937, it wasn’t until 1964 that the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer stop motion film arrived. Terribly executed as a movie, it is still the reason why every boy and girl believes in Rudolph. The song didn’t exist. The worldwide craze of a disfigured weirdo reindeer didn’t exist until 1964. That must have sucked to be a kid in 1963.
1959: Christmas Lights on Homes
If you were a child in 1959, you didn’t see any awesome displays like you saw in Christmas Vacation. The tradition of putting lights on your house didn’t start until the 1960’s. I mean, electricity was barely invented at this point so it’s not surprising. Make no mistake, people still electrocuted themselves on trees inside their home, but the idea of seeing the gorgeous sight of trees and homes lit up in December is only a tradition 60 or so years old.
1953: Televised Macy’s Day Parade
I can’t imagine life without those kick ass balloons and terrible pop culture one hit wonders streaming across my TV on Thanksgiving morning. You may say this isn’t a Christmas tradition, but you’re wrong. This parade kicks off the entire holiday season. As a consolation, life wasn’t as terrible if you lived in New York as you could attend the parade in 1924… so 1923 was awful for all involved.
1822: Flying Reindeer and Sleigh
There are a ton of reasons why it must have been awful to be a child in 1822, but one of the major reasons is that the story “A Visit From St. Nickolas” had not been written yet. This story included the idea that St. Nick traveled by sleigh powered by those trusty Reindeer. How did Santa deliver all of those gifts prior to 1823? Certainly, Christmas must have been a royal bust.
1822: Santa Claus
Okay, Okay… I could have put this above…. but seriously guys. To live anytime before 1821 was pure awful. “A Visit from St. Nickolas” also introduced a modern version of Santa. However, chances are childhood was still awful until 1937 when the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was released. In there, we have the introduction of the idea that Santa is basically big brother and has lists and whatnot. There were some pagan versions of St. Nick or similar characters but the idea of a man sneaking into your home while you sleep to eat your food was totally unwelcome until 1822.
1520: Christmas Trees
1521 is the first record of a Christmas tree. I mean, there’s no Santa, so I’m still pretty upset about that, but at least people had Christmas Trees for 300 years prior. Honestly, Christmas Trees really weren’t popular until after the 1965 “Charlie Brown Christmas” special. Fascinating to believe that Christmas trees really weren’t a staple to Christmas up to that point. Fascinating.
Crappy 1822 AGAIN: Christmas Gifts
Guys, I just couldn’t bring myself to announcing this earlier. The tradition of gift giving and really the commercialization of Christmas wasn’t a thing until 1823. That’s right. People didn’t give each other gifts as a real tradition until that St. Nick story was written. I just don’t understand how children behaved prior to 1823. No wonder nobody is smiling in pictures back in history.
Yeah, that’s right. People waited 354 years after the birth of Jesus to actually celebrate his birthday. Even if you lived during the time of Jesus, you still lived an awful childhood. Imagine that… 354 years after his birth someone finally says “Guys, we should probably remember the guy responsible for all that cool stuff.”
I like to believe that the Holiday season has evolved into a time of year where everyone agrees to be just a little nicer, a little more generous and little closer to the ones they love. Christmas is awesome because you choose for it to be. Many people choose to cling to the idea of “Jesus is the reason for the season” and that’s fine… just keep in mind nobody really celebrated Christmas the way we do until 1800 years after his passing. If you really want to celebrate it the way it was, you have to leave out the gifts, wreathes, trees, lights, carols, movies and meals. None of it existed. It was like celebrating Columbus day.
Make your holiday whatever you want it to be. Tell your loved ones that you love them, hug your pets and do something sweet for a random human. Everyone deserves love.
All facts found on Wikipedia… a moderately accurate account of things. I make no promises anything I say is accurate.