Regardless of my age, the holidays always make me think about my childhood, and all the things we loved about Christmas in the '90s. Every individual celebrates in their own special way, and many of us participate in another holiday all together. But there's at least one thing we all have in common: We love the winter holidays. Building snowpeople and going sledding, snuggling under blankets in front of the fireplace (we don't have a fireplace, so I use our gas stove instead), and holiday cheer make the end of every year unforgettable. The holiday spirit can warm even the coldest of hearts. Honestly — when was the last time you heard someone say they hate Christmas? And the Grinch doesn't count. (Never. That would be never.)
I know not all of us celebrate Christmas, and there are a million beautiful things about all holidays. Really, it's about coming together, spreading love to the people around you, and counting all the reasons we're so very fortunate. Not gifts. Not food. Not parties. That being said, Christmas in the '90s still holds a special place in my heart, for more reasons than one. Does anyone else remember these 12 things from Christmastime in the '90s?
You Always Got The Best Gifts
Santa knew that the greatest gifts were always toys — never clothes. And certainly never gift cards. Some of these would make their way into your present pile anyway; but the majority of your gifts were all the coolest toys you saw in the commercials.
The TV Specials And Movie Marathons
We '90s kids invented binge-watching. We'd spend hours in front of the TV watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and Home Alone and Jingle All The Way. There was never a shortage of good TV during the holidays.
Seeing Santa At The Mall
If you celebrate Christmas, chances are you visited Santa at the mall at least once. You could never understand how he penciled time into his busy schedule to take pictures with kids; but by golly, that was nice of him. And how come no one ever talked about how photogenic he was?
The Food (*Drooling*)
My family's Christmas dinner always included lots of yummy appetizers, delicious meats, mashed potatoes, gravy, and approximately 20 different kinds of desserts — including Italian cookies, passed down through the generations.
Every year, my brother, sister, and I got a new outfit specifically for Christmas. It was typically some time of poofy, red velvet dress with black patent leather shoes. And let's not forget the enormous Christmas scrunchie. It usually had bells glued to it.
Secret Santa At School
Teachers would organize the secret gift exchange and you'd keep your fingers crossed that your present didn't stink. But the excitement alone made it an event you looked forward to.
Learning About All The Winter Holidays
Christmas wasn't the only holiday we celebrated at school; we learned what everyone we went to school with celebrated. My elementary school winter festivities always included Kwanzaa and Hanukkah, and we loved it all.
Classroom Holiday Parties
Baked goods, arts and crafts, festive music — nothing beat holiday in elementary school. Sometimes the principal would dress up as Santa and we'd all pee our pants in disbelief.
Leaving Out Milk And Cookies
Back before we started worrying about gluten sensitivities and lactose intolerance, we'd leave Santa milk and cookies, and he'd always gobble them up. He'd even leave me a note, too. Did anyone else get a note? No? Too bad.
Nothing brought on the holiday cheer quite like carolers. You'd stop to watch them for a few minutes and mouth the words, even though you didn't know what they were really saying.
We used to spend every Christmas at my grandparents' house, and their holiday decorations were on point. Every room was decked out top to bottom. Every night, we'd hop in the car and drive through the neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights. It was magical.
Giving Back To Others
There were always a ton of toy drives and canned food drives; and nothing brought a smile to my face like hauling boxes of soup to school to be donated to the less fortunate.
Images: Nickelodeon; Giphy (12)