Our nation’s bicentennial.  A gallon of gas was 59 cents.  Taxi Driver was a hit at the box office.  The Muppet Show was on television.  The Eagles released Hotel California.  You’d have had to wait in line to get a Stretch Armstrong that Christmas.  Nadia Comăneci scored the first perfect “10” in the Olympic games.

And I was born.

There is an unwritten law that states that when a child is born in to a family you must have a Christmas ornament to commemorate their arrival.  And this is mine.

I don’t know that you can buy an ornament like this anymore.  At one time you could get a whole box of balls that were decorated with shiny polyester feeling filaments.  This is one of those, shrink wrapped with an image of a baby and the year of my birth.


I bought my first album at Waxie Maxie’s in Springfield.  KC & The Sunshine Band.  I rode a Big Wheel with a hand brake.  And I did it without a helmet.

I wanted to marry Tom Selleck . And have the Solid Gold dancers as my bridesmaids.

I didn’t mind black and white tv shows because one of the tvs in our house was black and white anyway.  I Love Lucy was the funniest show and it was on every morning.  The Love Boat seemed very risque to me, with all those unmarried, beautiful people vacationing together.  I wasn’t sure if I liked Chrissy or Janet better.  Chrissy had better clothes, but Janet was smarter.

I will never forget the episode of “Real People” where Sarah Purcell interviewed the woman with Lobster Claw Syndrome.  For years one whole side of my basement smelled like Strawberry Shortcake.  I made mixed tapes with songs I taped off the radio.

When I was very little I was afraid of Libya,  an economic recession and my father’s unemployment.  I knew that groceries were cheaper at Shopper’s Food Warehouse, because they didn’t give you any bags.  I have waited more than an hour at a video store to get a new release on VHS.

Pantyhose came in a plastic egg and the underwear section of a magazine was embarrassing.  I wanted to smell like Prell shampoo and Love’s Baby Soft and wear my dad’s old fraternity baseball jerseys.

I thought Parkay was fancy.  Sodas were for grownups. Fruit roll ups were for special treats and fast food restaurants gave out tiny orange juice glasses that were going to be collector’s items.  Everybody’s thermos smelled weird and their milk was lukewarm, but no one ever got sick.  I never met a kid with an allergy.

Because I was born in 1976.

4 responses to “1976

  1. Pingback: Yes, I’m ready…. | Excitement on the side

  2. Kelly, I was born 25 years before you but I feel our childhoods were very similar… except I got to experience the 60s and the Beatles… an amazing growth experience for a very shy withdrawn geek. 1976 was an important year for me… I bought my first brand new car… not just any car, but the car of my dreams, a 1976 Camaro LT, specially ordered from the factory with everything on it… even a white landau roof. I still own it, rebuilt it three times… it is now pampered, covered, garaged and appreciated as much now as the day we were introduced. If I could hang it on my tree I would :) 1976 was a very good year.

  3. I have an ornament almost identical to that, except mine says 1977. It’s one of my mom’s treasures (as is the one commemorating my brother’s birth), and every year it has a prominent spot on our family tree.

    • That’s awesome. It is killing me with this pregnancy that I can’t get a Christmas ornament yet!! “Baby’s First Christmas” will be NEXT year. :)

      I love that your tree has “prominent spots.” Merry Christmas, Barb!

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