frank r. hermans | dec. 2017
Christmas has been the most wonderful time of year for me for 53 years now. Firstly as a kid getting presents and hanging with family, secondly in seeing the joy in my own children's faces and thirdly in getting in the black financially — one-third of my income is made in the month of December. Black Friday has a similar theme in the theatre biz; you cover costs all year long and then get to pay yourself with Christmas shows galore! I love me some holiday season.
Since I was a youngster we've always hung stockings, so I passed the tradition on to my kids. Back in the day it was one of my dad's wool hunting socks, now we all have designer socks — mine is pictured. We usually do St. Nick with the stockings on December 6 and I've had the good and the bad stuffed in the sock, so please enjoy some of my favorite and least favorite stocking stuffers.
The Good: Hot Wheels Cars — I love Hot Wheels. I used to collect them as my son Jack does now.
The Bad: Pencils — I got pencils once; this is also No. 10 on the worst things to get on Halloween.
The Good: Money — Money works always, back in the day we got silver dollars or 50-cent pieces.
The Bad: Popcorn Balls — Popcorn balls always suck, except during a snowball fight.
The Good: Seroogy's Meltaways — Seroogy's candy bars are a tradition.
The Bad: Troll Dolls — The last troll doll I got I put a firecracker in its mouth, wait.. that was kind of cool.
The Good: MAD Magazine — Love me some Alfred E. Neuman, good read!
The Bad: Jacks — Jacks, really? It's like getting a box of rubber bands and paper clips. Thanks, St. Nick.
The Good: Silly Putty — How many times have you taken a face off a newspaper with silly putty? And it bounces really high.
The Bad: Slinky — If you had a cat, Slinky's were OK, I guess.
The Good: Cap Pistols — The bummer thing here is the gun would always break before the caps were gone, but a good ole hammer would do the trick.
The Bad: Homemade Treats — Homemade treats are meant for family gatherings, really?
The Good: Vinyl 45s — Remember it was the '70s when I got this stuff; any music was awesome.
The Bad: Coloring Books — Coloring books are for school!!!
The Good: Magic Slate from Hasbro — Remember you could draw with the plastic pen and then lift the plastic and it would disappear? Cool stuff.
The Bad: Paddleball — The paddleball broke the rubber band and I used the paddle to torture my brother.
The Good: A Good Slingshot — A good slingshot should be able to penetrate the skin of any doll known to man. Just sayin'.
The Bad: A Crappy Slingshot — There are good and bad slingshots.
The Awesome: Gift Cards!!!
The Horrible: Any Type Of Fruit — Not even going to comment on this one.
I hope you enjoyed this little Top 10. I never look at other lists, I just think of my experiences and have so many fond memories. It's nice to think of how normal and abnormal I am. Merry Christmas, everyone!
--banner image by Jebb/CC BY 2.0