I remember seeing an Alvin & the Chipmunks cartoon as a child and loving it. I don’t know if it was because little Alvin was sassy or because I liked the one with the glasses or because I can relate to high pitched voices, but I loved it. This adoration is not shared by many.
But, when I was 18, my then boyfriend took me to see the most magnificent Christmas light display and my love of the Chipmunks was cemented forever.
It was just around the corner in his neighborhood. We parked the car and got out to look at the house across the street. There was a Santa sleigh in the yard, reindeer flying over the roof and a small ice skating rink with skaters. It was a dazzling display and many cars stopped to look a it. But, the centerpiece for me, was in the front window. All day, every day, three animatronic Alvin and the Chipmunks danced and sang their Christmas song.
I squealed with delight as the snow fell around me. And long after me and this boy broke up, I would take a yearly trip to that house to see those chipmunks. It was my favorite Christmas tradition.
I never knew the residents of the house. Perhaps they got old and tired of the elaborate display preparation. But, for more than 20 years I went and looked at that house. I took friends. I took people I dated. I took my son from birth. I even drove an hour to see it after I moved.
But, then one day, the Chipmunks were gone. I was so sad. It was like a piece of the magic had disappeared.
Now, my only reminder is this Alvin and the Chipmunks ornament I have. And yes, it does sing the song. I do still light up when it comes on, despite the groans of others.
“Christmas, Christmas time is here. Time for toys and time for cheer.”
I’ve been trying to find another Christmas tradition. At the college where I work, they have a night where everyone sings “Silent Night” on the lawn and then they turn on the Christmas lights for the first time. It was quite beautiful.
Whether your tradition is quiet or quirky, enjoy these yearly rituals.
We can all use a little bit of holiday joy.