Tag: childhood

Christmas coffee.

Here is another essay I wrote and recorded as part of The GrantCast.  The audio is below.  If you’d like to subscribe to the podcast you can do so in iTunes, or by using this feed in your favorite podcatcher.  Thanks for reading.

Christmas Coffee
By Grant Baciocco

As a kid, I used to get way too excited for Christmas.  Actually, if you know me, I still get way too excited for Christmas (hello, Advent Calendar).  But this all started for me, as a little kid.  As said in the movie A Christmas Story:

“Lovely, beautiful, glorious Christmas, around which the entire kid year revolved.”
I think part of the reason Christmas is such a big deal to me is because my mom and dad made it a big deal.  Heck, they still do.  They started traditions that still carry through to this day.  One of those traditions is new pajamas.
Actually, it was my Grandma Donny, my mom’s mom, that started that tradition.  She would send down presents every year, or we’d bring them back with us from Thanksgiving.  We’d get to open one present on Christmas Eve, sort of a sneak preview of what was to come the next morning.  We were never allowed to pick the present we opened and it took me several years to realize that the present was always from Grandma Donny and it was always pajamas.  It took me several more years to realize the reason it was pajamas was so that we looked nice in pictures on Christmas morning!  No ratty old pajamas were allowed!
The fatal flaw here was that as a kid, I used to get so excited about things, so worked up and nervous, I would make myself sick and throw up!  There were several Christmas mornings where I wasn’t able to make it down the hall to the presents.  I got myself so excited, I’d barf all over the place and usually over my new pajamas.  In later years, my parents would wait to make me wear the new pajamas until they were sure I wasn’t gonna blow chunks.  Luckily I have grown out of this habit.  I haven’t barfed on Christmas in at least, two or three years.
Another tradition that we had starting at a very young age is that on Christmas morning, my great grandmother, Noni and my great aunt, Auntie Dorothy would drive down from San Francisco to be there as we opened presents.  It would go like this, I would wake up first, early, usually around 6 am because I was so excited and I’d get my parents up.  They would call Auntie Dorothy and Noni and they would get up and drive the 20 minutes or so to San Bruno (or later Burlingame) to join us.  Now this did nothing to help calm my excitement!  I’d have to wait, patiently, in my room as they made their way down the peninsula from San Francisco.  And Noni was an older lady so it took her a little longer to get moving!  I’m actually sure they got down to our place as fast as they could but when you’re little and you know there’s presents out in the living room for you under the tree, every minute is an hour.
I would wait patiently in my bedroom, a bundle of nerves until I heard our front door open and I heard the exchanges of “Good Mornings” and “Merry Christmases” being made.  They were here!  It was time to open presents right?  Wrong!
“Can we open presents now?”  I’d yell down the hallway
“Not yet.” my mother would reply.  “We have to make the coffee.”
Make the coffee?!  “Why did’n’t you make the coffee while they were driving down?!”
My parents were literally trying to torture me.  No wonder I barfed all over the place.
©2015 Grant Baciocco/Saturday Morning Media
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The Dudley Disaster

I was in a CVS last week and, of course, being a week out, there was Easter merchandise everywhere.  Enough yellow, pink, green and blue to beat the band.  I started getting nostalgic for Easter celebrations gone by.

Usually, our Easters were spent in Klamath Falls, Oregon with my Mom’s side of the family.  We would dye Easter eggs with my cousins, the Palmers.  It was a tradition that was passed down from my cousin Brent to my brother Brandon to my cousin Brittany, that the egg dying wasn’t complete until the youngest had taken a big swig or easter egg dye, coloring their entire mouth.

Remembering these warm times, I remembered that, as a kid, we would get Easter Egg decorating kits and my favorite was Dudley brand because of the wacky characters they’d have on the box and decorating supplies.  To my supreme delight, this CVS had Dudley egg decorating kits!  To my absolute horror, this is what Dudley looks like in 2015…

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What?!  Part of what I remember so fondly about Dudley is that he and his friends always had a hand drawn look about them that was reminiscent of Jay Ward designs from Rocky & Bullwinkle.  I was so perturbed by this overly cute, seemingly computer generated, Dudley that I did what anyone who is seeing their childhood tarnished, I turned to the internet.  Within an hour I had purchased a classic Dudley Shake-an-Egg kit from eBay.

Friends, this is Dudley…


And, because his appearance changed a little even within the package, this is also Dudley…


My friends, either one of the two examples above are, to me, way more charming than…

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All the vintage packaging just has an air of being handmade.  As if Dudley and his pals created each box by hand.  Take a look…


To me, that is a thing of beauty.  As a kid, I looked at, not only the box, but all the details of each of the contents.  I fondly remember each little character on each of the bags of dye!  Here’s what Dudley boxes look like today…



Another thing I loved about these Dudley kits as a kid was Dudley’s wacky group of friends.  Clyde, Klara, Tedley and Elwood.  Who wouldn’t want to be friends with this group…

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I went by the Dudley website today at http://dudleyseaster.com and wanted to see if Dudley, at least, has the same group of crazy friends and what their designs looked like now.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Who are these creatures?!

Meet Emmi, Oggy, Gus, Petals (the butterfly), Dudley and Phoebe.  The new Dudley gang.  They all have backstory now and relationships.  You can read them for yourself here http://dudleyseaster.com/about/?Dudley-Gang-2

Knowing nothing, this redesign seems to be an attempt at getting a TV show.  This section of the website reads like a pitch bible that you’d make if you were pitching an animated series.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rater watch this show…


Happy Easter.

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