07 Dec The Force Was With Me That Christmas by Alastair Heim
I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am for today’s guest blog post. Alastair Heim is a children’s book Author. Our family is such big fans of his books – we pre-order every one and we given his books away as gifts. If you are looking for a good picture book gift idea, check out No Tooting At Tea, Love You Too, The Great Puppy Invasion, and coming in January 2018, Hello Door (affiliate links). I’m really honored to have Alastair share a Christmas memory with us today!
THE FORCE WAS WITH ME THAT CHRISTMAS
When I think back on all of my childhood Christmases, most of them run together like a blizzard-y blur. I can’t, for the life of me, remember what Santa brought me in any given year without the help of old photographs or my mother reminding me how excited I was to open (insert 1980’s present here). But there’s one Christmas I remember quite vividly, because it was, quite simply, the best one ever.
A long time ago, on a Saturday in May…far, far away, there was a boy who went to see a little film called RETURN OF THE JEDI with his father. The boy was already a HUGE Star Wars fan, but seeing the movie in the theater permanently solidified his love for The Force. And when it came time to make out his Christmas list later that year, there was only one thing on his mind.
In the weeks leading up to December 25th, it was “Star Wars!” this and “Star Wars!” that for me. I lived, breathed and ate Star Wars (literally…there was a cereal). It became an obsession for me, much like Ralphie and the Red Ryder BB Gun…minus the shooting of anyone’s eye out, mind you.
When my brother and I awoke that Christmas morning and ran to the living room, there were presents EVERYWHERE. I don’t recall having been all that good in 1983, but Santa had delivered, nonetheless. My mother, wanting to prolong the present opening as long as possible for her own self preservation, made us open gifts one at a time – an agonizingly slow pace for a kid with Han on the brain.
As I tore into my presents, the riches began to reveal themselves in wonderful ways. Action figures! Underoos! Ewoks! Star Wars cassette tapes! A Speeder Bike! There was even a Return of the Jedi Storybook that I still have today…
But, just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I turned my attention to the very last, unopened present – which also happened to be the biggest box in the room. I tore into it with boundless determination and, strip-by-disappearing-strip, my eyes began to widen and my mouth dropped open even further.
It was here. It was glorious. And it was MINE…
I still have all of my old Star Wars toys, some much worse for the wear than others, and they are an ever-present reminder of the power stories can have on young minds. Star Wars fueled my imagination then and continues to do so today. My children were born with The Force in their bones and it has been one the great pleasures in my life to experience the films (new and old) with them, and see their eyes light up the same way mine did all those years ago.
And while the adult in me (who is familiar with what a “Mint In Box” Millennium Falcon goes for these days) wants to scream out to young Alastair, LEAVE IT IN THE BOX!!!, the child in me is forever grateful for the countless weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings that followed over the next few years. Hours upon hours spent battling the Dark Side, rescuing the princess…and creating my own new adventures in a galaxy far, far away.