“Christmas Is the Time to Say I Love You”

“Share the joys of laughter and good cheer.” – Billy Squier

Christmas is the time when we do things or say things we may only do once a year or maybe once in a lifetime. It’s a season that brings out the best and the crazy in people. My wife and I watched a documentary on Apple TV+ a few nights ago called “Twas the Fight Before Christmas.” If you want to watch a documentary about a fight over a Christmas display that is still in dispute to this day and will make you shake your head in disbelief and occasionally go “whaaaaatttt?”, then you could do worse than this selection. I won’t give you any spoilers but the main character in question is an attorney and it’s about his right to put on a Christmas display at his house in a neighborhood where the H.O.A. is opposed. There’s more layers to it than just that, but it’s a funny, fascinating, contentious, and at times cringe-worthy documentary.

“Memories of the year that lays behind us
Wishes for the year that’s yet to come
And it stands to reason that good friends in season
Make you feel that life has just begun.”

Speaking of crazy people… Not really, but I was a senior at Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma during Christmas break of 1988-89. My best friend Barry and I had time on our hands and a video camera so we set out to entertain ourselves. We drove by houses decorated in Christmas lights and proceeded to review or “grade” these houses based solely on our own juvenile standards. We thought we were hilarious… and we were! Ok, comedy is highly subjective, but man we did think we were pretty funny at the time degrading the light colors and/or displays at houses throughout Norman. Houses with all red lights were of the devil and representative of hell! See? That’s just an example of how funny we were.

We also made a stop at a local 7-Eleven convenience store, and (in my opinion) it was probably the highlight of the video. I’m glad 7-Eleven is still around. Founded in Dallas in 1927 and originally called “Tote’m Stores,” they changed their name to 7-Eleven in 1946 to match their store hours seven days a week. They were the first convenience store to stay open 24 hours and also first to offer ATM services. I also didn’t have any clue, but there are apparently over 71,000 7-Elevens in 17 countries currently. Kudos to you 7-Eleven! You’ll always have a special place in my youthful heart for your delicious Cherry-flavored Slurpee.

Maybe next year I will post a few of our Christmas light reviews from the same night, but for your immediate Christmastime enjoyment, here is my buddy Barry in his Santa hat taking us all on a little 90 second tour of what a 7-Eleven was like during Christmastime in 1988…

Ninety-nine cent video rentals! Video games! And tell me that’s not Brad Hamilton from Fast Times at Ridgemont High working the register!

“So when spirits grow lighter
And hopes are shinin’ brighter
Then you know that Christmas time is here”

I feel like this song deserved at least 30 more seconds to it, and I feel like it deserves a 2021 remake with as much of the original cast as possible. Why has no one pulled this off? Nonetheless, let us travel back to 1981 just months after the launch of the little cable channel known as MTV on August 1, 1981.

This is truly an 80’s Christmas classic. Written by Billy, it was the B-side to his hit “My Kinda Lover,” here is Squier, the MTV VJ’s (RIP J.J.), and the rest of the MTV crew with “Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You”…

Thanks for reading, and oh how I love you, dear reader.

Feel the love and Merry Christmas!

sincerely,

the 80’s

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