Christmas Overreactions, 1987 Style!

originally posted on What the Flicka? by Erin K. Moffat

My family has an old home video, which mysteriously disappeared a few years ago. No one will admit to knowing of its whereabouts. It is an old VHS tape with the tiny strip sticker reading in my Mom’s delicate handwriting Christmas 1987. Why is this video so special you ask?

1. This video provides documentation that Santa exists, as my Dad accidentally left the video camera on all night. Yes, Erin Moffat there is a Santa Claus.

2. It also includes maybe some of the best Christmas morning gift opening overreactions of all time. Mostly, made by me!

The quote of the day being: “Just what I wanted! I do need this!” It also included A LOT of annoying screaming, obnoxious jumping up and down, and clapping all while screaming, jumping up and down, and slipping on wrapping paper. Out of control!

Some of the overreactions were for items such as:

• Barbie Ice Cream Shoppe (I never really succeeded in making real ice cream, bummer)
• My Child (a creepy doll from the 80’s with a soft face and button nose)
• Sweet Valley High: The Game (where no one ever wanted to be poor Enid)
• The Moffat Children received an original Nintendo with Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers.

The only under-reaction of the day was when I opened “Writing in Cursive.” It was a book to help me with my penmanship. Which was simply followed by a: “I do need this!” and was thrown under the wrapping paper. Its whereabouts is also unknown!

Christmas 1987, and it must always be referred to that way, was the best Christmas we remember. Probably because it’s on video tape! It is still unclear to all of us, where the video otherwise known as ‘infamous blackmail,’ has gone. Looking back at all of the years of Christmas and presents, my brothers and I truly realize how lucky we were and are to receive the gifts that we did/do. Anything done out of love is really where the value is, and that’s the true gift.

I loved Felicity’s December Felicitations because it was a great reminder about the art of giving and receiving. About what this time of year really means. (Thanks Flicka!) I was kind of the same. After the excitement of childhood I started getting gifts that I didn’t “understand.” I found more joy in giving because I put a lot of thought into what I got for people. However, I wasn’t able to find the joy in receiving Christmas gifts unless it was something that I absolutely positively wanted. I was kind of disappointed that I felt like people didn’t “know me.” “Why would she get me this?”

I realized in college, that I was being a gift snob when I was the giver and my gift wasn’t received well. I studied dance in college, and had to take Ballet 101. A friend was taking the class as well, but couldn’t afford ballet shoes. So, I not having a ton of extra money myself bought her a pair of ballet shoes for class. They were different from mine, and actually more expensive. She was less than excited, rude even. (Under-Reaction Major) She went through the entire semester wearing her socks to class. The teacher told her that she needed shoes. I would’ve returned them, or exchanged them, or given them to someone who would’ve used them. Watching her point her toes in her thick white sport socks made my blood boil. It didn’t feel so good to watch day in and day out. It really hurt my feelings!

However, it made me realize what I’d been doing on my end to others too.
When she didn’t accept my gift I realized that maybe, the expectations that I put on others were so high that they were bound to fail every time. When she didn’t show me gratitude at all, I had to ask myself “where was my gratitude?” The answer was I lost it somewhere in the expectation. Giving is also not about what someone else is going to give you. It’s just about giving with the expectation of getting nothing in return, but the gift that we should always give in return is gratitude.

When someone gives you a gift most times they’re trying really hard, and it’s from their heart. Some people may not put thought into what they’re giving you, but just wanted to give you something. Even if it’s not what I wanted, or what I like, I’m learning to be grateful that someone took the time to give me a gift in the first place. Even if I know that I have certain friends that will always give me gifts that have been regifted.

A few years ago my brother Jon and I started watching Christmas overreaction videos on Youtube. Now, it’s like a thing. Every year it is a rule in the Moffat home that you are to overreact when you receive your gifts. All of them! Christmas 1987 style! My Dad doesn’t really get it; we try to make him redo his reactions. It’s just unacceptable, but he makes Christmas breakfast, and he contributed to giving us life, so we don’t really hold it against him.

How the Christmas overreaction works? It doesn’t matter what you get; an orange, socks, underwear, a gaming system, a prancersize video, really anything should be cause for overreaction because well someone just gave you free stuff. Usually, that someone loves you very much! Be grateful!! Be Merry! Have fun!!


It’s: “Just what I wanted!” (Even if it’s not)

And: “I do need this!” (Even if it’s some sort of weird cell phone purse that your cell phone is too big for)

Go for it Christmas 1987 style! Happy Holidays!!


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