Every year, the Christmas tree would be different.
One year, it would be the classic red and silver glass spheres. The next, scores of wooden ornaments, lovingly accumulated over decades. The next, dozens and dozens of crystal bells, painstakingly hand-stitched together for months in advance of the big debut.
And every year, it would be the same. Li’l Scott, sitting in the otherwise darkened living room, lit only by the flickering strands of electric lights wrapped around the tree, staring at the wrapped packages and wondering what lay still undiscovered.
Christmases are special for me — in a very real way, it’s what put me on the path I still travel. It all goes back to that Christmas morning in 1975, when I found two colorfully wrapped rectangles under the tree: Mego Spider-Man and Mego Batman. There probably aren’t that many people that can track their career back to a specific moment in time. Would I be doing what I’m doing today if I hadn’t opened those boxes?
Christmases are a little tougher now. There are empty places around the tree, voids that can’t be filled, and every happy memory is double-edged, bringing with it the reminder of what’s been lost.
Still, it’s not without its joy remaining. The happiness I used to get from the packages being opened now comes from the pleasure I see in the eyes of those around me when they open their own.
And there’s many a December night, in my own darkened living room, I can still be found in the flickering light of the tree.
To all of you out there who’ve stuck with me for the past decade, Merry Christmas. And may we all find better days ahead in the new year.