Christmas 1971

My first Christmas. Perhaps someone thought it would be cute to let the six-month-old me wade in a sea of wrapped presents. At that age, I’m not sure what it would’ve accomplished apart from overwhelming me, though that may have been the point. Yes, my son. This is what Christmas means: stimulus as far as one could crawl. And my god, it gets even more dazzling. From the photographic evidence, Christmases in the Daddino household up this point have been small-scale, with presents safely umbrella’ed under a not-too-big not-too-little fake metal tree. But now there are three children, and as we grow older and the family gets richer, our expectations rise and all of our eyes grow saucer-sized. Dad has already made amazing career gains the accountancy world, making us firmly middle-class-rising-to-upper-middle-class, split-level ranch and two cars in the heart of darkest suburbia. So in the Christmas photos I’ll be posting in the next couple of days, you’ll see this room get busier and busier, absolutely bursting with STUFF.

The other two kids tolerating my wriggling are my brothers. Tommy is the oldest, born 1966, and Bobby (here partially obscured by the green chair) is the middle one, born 1968. I myself was born on June 20th and adopted only a month or two later, thus I’m the newest presence in the house.

It’s difficult to suss out from the resized pic above, but those white, red and yellow blotches to the side of me constitute a doll I figure I must’ve carried around for a couple of years because I think I ruined it in a misguided attempt to give it a bath, then hid it in a toybox when it didn’t dry as fast as I had hoped. It had large buttons with which a toddler could practice motor skills. That excepted, I remember none of the toys at all. We apparently all got drums, probably in the spirit of kid equality. At that age, I had problems sitting up — what was I going to do with a drum?