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Down the stairs and to the right.
December 26, 2010 7:14 PM   Subscribe

25 years of Christmas Dad tapes his kids reacting to Christmas for twenty-five years and edits it together into a single video. (via)
posted by The Whelk (59 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is one of the few times I've seen someone actually use their home movies. It is oddly touching. Several years are missing, but they are available via a Hulu plus subscription.


[joke stolen from Reddit]
posted by mecran01 at 7:29 PM on December 26, 2010


Where'd Grandma(?) go (don't tell me.) Who's the other guy that shows up in '07? Did they get the cat to replace the dog?

Damn, that's weirdly depressing.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:29 PM on December 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


I thought it was interesting in many ways. Mainly, I just tried to see it from the point of view of the father and got a little weepy.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 PM on December 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


Awwwww.
posted by Xany at 7:32 PM on December 26, 2010


Was anyone else freaked out when the dog turned into that other guy?
[stolen from reddit]
posted by birdherder at 7:37 PM on December 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


This video felt very personal, and that's why I was able to enjoy it and get something out of it - otherwise I might not have been that interested. It's this man's own project, and any project that takes 25 years to make is going to be very personal and very sincere, especially if it involves your family. He didn't do this for youtube, because it didn't exist yet. It's pretty touching, and the music only makes it that much more endearing.
posted by ORthey at 7:38 PM on December 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


yeah ... who is that other guy?!?!?
posted by liza at 7:39 PM on December 26, 2010


No vocals, but you gotta know what the kids are saying ... "Oh, Dad. Not again..."
posted by crunchland at 7:39 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I thought the other guy might have been the daughter's boyfriend, but admittedly there are problems with that theory.
posted by eugenen at 7:41 PM on December 26, 2010


I assumed the other guy was the girl's boyfriend or spouse.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:41 PM on December 26, 2010


It's interesting how the staircase loses the dated shag look in 1996. What happened in 1998... did they move to a different house?
posted by crapmatic at 7:46 PM on December 26, 2010


We always had to wait for "Daddy's flash to warm up"!!!

Took forever....


(grumble grumble.)
posted by pearlybob at 7:55 PM on December 26, 2010


I love watching how the family tradition evolves... as little kids they're a bit shy ... they get a bit older they're totally into the whole videoed reaction thing... then it's a bit, "but daaadd... oh alright" ... and then they're kinda into in an ironic sense but they've fully embraced that this is their families tradition. Or maybe I'm projecting. ;)
posted by adamt at 7:58 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: [stolen from reddit]
posted by brundlefly at 7:59 PM on December 26, 2010 [7 favorites]


What happened in 1998... did they move to a different house?

Yes, but they took their railing with them and put it through a Photoshop's horizontal flip.
posted by dobbs at 8:00 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


The other dude is the daughter's husband.
posted by birdherder at 8:01 PM on December 26, 2010


The top YouTube comment: "i like how they finally let out the unwanted brother that lives in the attic in the video towards the end."
posted by zardoz at 8:04 PM on December 26, 2010 [18 favorites]


I like how there is a whole middle peroid of them reluctently butt-scooting down the stairs but then they totally get into it later.
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 PM on December 26, 2010


This broke through the blackened, cynical crust of my heart to find its chewy nougat centre.

Don't let this happen again.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:21 PM on December 26, 2010 [13 favorites]


Nice to know sassy started around 1995 and not sure whose boyfriend that is in the 2000s.
posted by thorny at 8:30 PM on December 26, 2010


Bah who needs a family. For the last 20 years I have been filming my dry cleaner's reaction to a Christmas tip.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:40 PM on December 26, 2010 [13 favorites]


Blah you negativos. That was lovely.
posted by MarvinTheCat at 9:08 PM on December 26, 2010


MetaFilter: reluctantly butt-scooting down the stairs but then they totally get into it later.
posted by Beardman at 9:09 PM on December 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I didn't think it was fair that the girl got to have her boyfriend for Christmas, but the boy didn't.
posted by Goofyy at 9:13 PM on December 26, 2010


Maybe his boyfriend was a family embarrassment until they got used to the idea.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:23 PM on December 26, 2010


I would have liked to see them going back up the stairs with all their new crap.
posted by pwally at 9:58 PM on December 26, 2010


Made sad me. Hulk no like sad.
posted by Senator at 10:24 PM on December 26, 2010


What's with the weird skips from 1998 on, the girl's an awkward tween unwilling to be photographed and the guy's a typical-looking highschooler then suddenly the girl grows boobs and the guy turns into a college student
posted by tehloki at 10:37 PM on December 26, 2010


Oddly enough, what got me feeling all nostalgic and misty was the transition from awesome little kid pajamas to t-shirts and sweats.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:00 PM on December 26, 2010


ChurchHatesTucker:Where'd Grandma(?) go (don't tell me.)

I chalked that up to the reindeer incident walking home from their house Christmas Eve.
posted by dr_dank at 11:02 PM on December 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


I thought the extra guy was the long lost illegitimate son finally coming home for
Christmas.

No really, I thought it was sweet.
posted by captainsohler at 11:16 PM on December 26, 2010


tehloki - kids really do grow that fast.

One day you have a little kid, the next, a fucking hooligan. In this case, the leg hair only showed because he'd been wearing long pants the last couple of Christmases.

posted by porpoise at 12:06 AM on December 27, 2010


I do not understand this staircase.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:57 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


What happened to Chuck?
posted by stargell at 4:55 AM on December 27, 2010 [4 favorites]


Where'd Grandma(?) go (don't tell me.) Who's the other guy that shows up in '07? Did they get the cat to replace the dog?

No, no, they got the guy to replace the dog. The cat is the boy's spouse.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:55 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, maybe the cat is grandma. Or maybe the extra guy is grandma's new man and she's still sleeping it off upstairs!

Nothing depressing about that!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:57 AM on December 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Where'd Grandma(?) go...Who's the other guy that shows up in '07? Did they get the cat to replace the dog?...What happened in 1998... did they move to a different house?...What's with the weird skips from 1998 on?

Guys, this is the real-life family that Bewitched was based on. You do not want to know the answers to those questions.
posted by PlusDistance at 5:59 AM on December 27, 2010


I was kind of hoping that we'd see their reaction to Christmas morning change over the years, maybe from excited to cynical.

But I guess because the camera was so obvious, we really only saw their reaction to being filmed, and it wasn't even clear that they remembered it was Christmas morning, except in one or two of the early years where a kid went bounding past without paying attention to the camera.

Still, a cute idea for a project, and 25 years of it shows dedication.
posted by lollusc at 6:32 AM on December 27, 2010


this was really nice!
Kudos to the Dad and the kids!
It would be really cool if he continues this and in the next few yeas, one of them comes down with a child of their own, or alternatively, one of the kids starts to film their own kids a-la Dad.

Dad-dude, whoever you are, this is great! Congratulations on your creativity!
posted by bitteroldman at 6:40 AM on December 27, 2010


That was cute, haters! :-)
posted by randomkeystrike at 7:00 AM on December 27, 2010


Re: "Reluctant butt-scooting". Doesn't this seem like imperfectly-remembered/performed nostalgia for an event that never, in fact, occurred?

I mean; at some point at the beginning of the "accept the corniness as tradition, and no longer act 'too cool' for it" phase [as described in adamt's insightful breakdown of eras] they started butt-scooting – a tradition they would incorporate consistently after its introduction – as though indulging the old man with a bit of their old routine. But they had never, in fact, butt-scooted as children.*

I'm all-kinds of fascinated by this process of slightly mis-remembering tradition and enshrining what happens when trying to replicate it through memory. Pretty easy to draw parallels to all Christmas traditions (can someone explain to me again exactly why I have a tree inside my house??) if one projects the time-scale beyond individual memory and onto generational/cultural memory.

*By this I mean "butt-scooted in a deliberate, coordinated effort". There is the suggestion that butt-scooting could have spontaneously occurred for both parties for at least part of the staircase in 1986; and the daughter employs this method of her own accord in 1988. [Great video, by the way.]
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 7:08 AM on December 27, 2010 [3 favorites]


Photo montage would work even better. Bah humbug. I'm a lot of fun at parties.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 7:39 AM on December 27, 2010


This is exactly the kind of video where you should turn the youtube comments off.
posted by fungible at 8:44 AM on December 27, 2010


> This is exactly the kind of video where you should turn the youtube comments off.

There's a Chrome extension for that.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:57 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


My favorite YouTube comment: This probably took like 25 years to make.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:38 AM on December 27, 2010


A hilarious way to end that video would have been to replace the boy at the end with a disheveled and apathetic looking Zach Galifianakis walking down the stairs with a bottle of whiskey in his robe pocket. I bet he'd do it too - make it happen internet.
posted by any major dude at 9:56 AM on December 27, 2010


Every filmed year places Dad one step closer to the grave and the camera, the attic.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:14 AM on December 27, 2010


a tradition they would incorporate consistently after its introduction – as though indulging the old man with a bit of their old routine. But they had never, in fact, butt-scooted as children.

This makes the obvious mistake of assuming that the people we watch on screens only exist in the context of us watching them. We have no idea of how much butt scooting went on, or what the family reaction to said scooting was in real time.

I think the nature of family traditions is that they are both performative and organic at the same time. Also as families age and spread out and grow, it's not uncommon to condense traditions. The butt-scooting could have been from some other point in the family's history, now incorporated into Christmas, because that's when everyone is together.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:54 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Have I been going down stairs wrong my whole life? Am I supposed to use my butt?
posted by jnnla at 11:23 AM on December 27, 2010


Yes, you should be using your butt for most things. It's time this country stopped being so buttist and let people realize their full physical potential.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:25 AM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


> The butt-scooting could have been from some other point in the family's history, now incorporated into Christmas, because that's when everyone is together.
A good point, and well-made. When a member of the family (or plausible and convincing imposter) steps forward to collect his/her internet plaudits (on Reddit, if I had to guess), we must make it a point to ask them this very question.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 12:24 PM on December 27, 2010


On the one hand, that was really sweet & interesting, but on the other hand, there was nothing I loved more than my mother shoving a camera in my acne riddled pubescent face every year. Now that I'm older & my skin has cleared up, all we take pictures of are the cats.
posted by broken wheelchair at 2:50 PM on December 27, 2010


Kind of creepy and sad.
posted by Robin Kestrel at 3:47 PM on December 27, 2010


... butt butt butt you're showing your precious little tradition to the rest of the world (internets-wise). I, uh, don't get it.

Why would you do this? My three kids are about that age, and I'll tell you why I didn't do this -- besides not having the discipline (or assholeishness?) to insist on things being the same every year -- we haven't had a video camera or a spiral staircase throughout our entire 18 or so years of watching the kids at christmas.

Sorry, all I could think about was how rich these folks have had it, right from the beginning. I mean really, should they have been bumping down spiral staircases from the age of two? Isn't there some sort of "you have to work your way up to that kind of a house and shit" statute on the books somewhere.
posted by kneecapped at 6:22 PM on December 27, 2010


Have I been going down stairs wrong my whole life? Am I supposed to use my butt?

And here I am using my legs like a sucker!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:17 PM on December 27, 2010


No, you need to have tentacles to do that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:19 PM on December 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Perhaps next year the son will have a random guy of his own to slide down the stairs with, he was totally jealous.

Cool film, it was touching...
posted by berkshirenative at 10:23 PM on December 27, 2010


Isn't there some sort of "you have to work your way up to that kind of a house and shit" statute on the books somewhere.

So I'm guessing your children lived in the backyard until they could work their way into the house with the rest of the family?
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:09 AM on December 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


And silently the middle, in the background, you can see the dog grow from puppy to nice old dog, and the dog is still SO HAPPY FOR EVERYONE OMG THINGS RE HAPPENING.
posted by The Whelk at 12:18 AM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


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