Here’s a brand new edition of “Growing Up Fallon” – Jimmy’s sister, Gloria Fallon, shares memories and photos from their childhood during the holidays.
Christmas was easily our family’s favorite holiday. We always tried to do everything exactly like we did the year before, because the year before was always held in memory as “The Best Christmas EVER.”
Each year, we’d set up the same fake tree and we’d decorate it with the same ornaments and silver tinsel. Me and Jimmy would write letters to Santa asking him for a bunch of toys and our parents would take us to see Santa in person—sort of a second chance at getting what you want in case your letter wasn’t so great.
Easy with the hand there, guy-dressed-as-Santa.
Jimmy palling around with Santa.
On Christmas Eve, we’d leave out a plate of cookies and a glass of milk, and head to bed.
Falling to sleep on Christmas Eve is one of the hardest things to do when you’re little, and Santa’s visit is depending on it. When morning finally came, me and Jimmy would race to our parents’ room, begging to go downstairs. Dad would go before us and light up the tree, and then we’d run down and try to take it all in at once. We could do this because our parents never wrapped our Christmas presents. Mom says she just thought it looked prettier that way, which loosely translates to “Wrapping presents is a pain in the ass, so I left them unwrapped.”
Mom was always big on the same posed shots every year: us holding up our favorite gift in front of the tree. Here’s just a sampling:
The year of the trikes.
Yo-yos, Play-Doh and Magic 8 Balls…plus look at that massive TV that didn’t have a remote control just hulking there in the background.
Michael Jackson, Pacman, a telescope, Billy Joel and the family’s first-ever computer: the Commodore Vic-20! (The floppy drive was a cassette player, practically Flintstone material)
We’d play with our presents until we heard a fire engine’s siren in the distance. Then we’d put on our coats and boots and participate in a weird tradition I’ve only ever seen in Saugerties: On Christmas morning, Santa would drive around the neighborhood on the back of a fire truck, giving out boxes of hard suck-on candy. (Why would he do this after his triumphant trip around the world in a sleigh driven by reindeer? I’m just as puzzled as you are, and I don’t have the answers.)
That being our only engagement for the day, me and Jimmy had the whole day ahead of us to play with our new toys. And that made for another perfect Fallon Christmas, the best one we ever had. Until next year!