Blogs of Christmas Past.

One of the sad byproducts of having such an elephantine blog archive is that nobody bothers looking at it.

I don’t blame you. The X-E blog went live in 2002, and save for design changes and a migration to WordPress, it really hasn’t changed much since Day 1. That means no convenient tags, and only a brief flirtation with categories. Even if you know exactly what you’re looking for, it takes work to get there. Maybe I should do something about that?

In the interim, I’d like to draw attention to some of my favorite holiday-themed posts from years past.

First, some notes:

1. Even back during the blog’s 2002 debut, I was fucking up the Advent Calendar and hearing shit about it.

2. It’s so strange to look back at the comments on the oldest posts. Some of them are over nine years old. God knows if any of those people still read the site. Probably not more than a handful. Let’s say someone who commented back then was 18. Now he’d or she’d be 27! I can’t help imagining how their lives could have changed over that time. Some of them may be dead!

3. In 2002, I had a pretty ugly Christmas tree.

Below: A list of exactly 21 old holiday blogs. Most of them are from last year, because when we go back further than that, my misuse of quotation marks is even more legendary than it is today.

Pop-Tarts Gingerbread House!
Joy was in abundance when I received strict orders to transform a Pop-Tarts box into a gingerbread house. (2010)
The Amazing Farm Animals Bucket!
This one got around, big time. It’s one of the most widely read things I’ve written in years. People like ducks. (2010)
The Ultimate Christmas Stocking!
Finally, clueless parents can learn how to stuff stockings like a pro. (2010)
Macy’s Holiday Smurf Doll!
I will always fondly remember that trip to Macy’s, and the strange looks I got while photographing a Smurf doll riding an escalator. (2010)
Snoopy Gingerbread Doghouses!
Love this one. It’s just so Christmassy. And Christmessy. Behind the poor craftsmanship was the holiday spirit, realized through frosting. (2010)
Make Your Own Snowman World!
Most of the “kits” I buy for the site end up being pretty disappointing, but this one overachieved. If you can find it, it’s worth every penny. (2010)
Holiday Lucky Charms – From 1991!
One of my biggest X-E joys is covering stuff like this. It was one of the few times when I had something I was sure nobody else did. (2010)
Simplest Artichoke Recipe Ever!
Still a great recipe, but if I’m being honest, artichoke rookies are better off trying the full-sized real deals, which are stuffed with enough goodies to barely pass as vegetables. (2010)
Cranberry Madness!
I wrote this in early November of last year, when the holiday season was just beginning. Always such an exciting time, and I can see my happiness even in a post about cranberry English Muffins. (2010)
Cheetos White Cheddar Snowballs!
Writing about things like this will never make me famous, but I adore being one of the Internet’s only resources for discontinued Cheetos. (2009)
Mr. Snowman Sno-Cone Maker!
I haven’t gone back to read this one. I’m assuming it’s interesting, since it’s about a snowman who shits snowcones. If it isn’t, don’t tell me. (2008)
English Leather?
Another case of a review that meant more to me than anyone who read it. I will always associate cheap, bad cologne with Christmastime. (2008)
Swanson’s Turkey TV Dinner!
If this makes you hungry, keep in mind that there are much leaner versions available. The sodium will still kill you. (2007)
Moose Mugs!
I’d like to believe that I was one of the web’s first supporters of Christmas Vacation-style moose mugs. Years after their first reference on X-E, I got mine. (2007)
The 5-in-1 Super Mega Christmas Pen!
I wish I could find random stuff like this more often. If I had to pick one post to show me what this place really should be about, this may be it. (2007)
Manger Christmas!
The story of a drunken Christmas party and a corresponding trip to our local manger. I still have those pewter elk shot glasses. (2006)
Obscurely Awesome Garfield Christmas Moments!
Since I’ve never given Garfield’s Christmas special a “big” review, this will have to do. (2006)
Ice Berry Krispies Cereal!
“Ice Berry Krispies” still sounds so incredibly appetizing. That is the only reason why I’m including this here. (2006)
Holiday Cheetohs Turn Your Tongue Green!
Hey, more Cheetos! These are more noteworthy than the White Cheddar Snowballs, not just because they’re older, but also because they made your mouth look slimy. (2005)
The Christmas Sushi Roll!
I had a blast during my office run with Nick, especially on the day I was introduced to the “Christmas Roll.” I wasn’t prepared for that much tuna at the time, but now, I’d be all over it. (2004)
Pepsi Holiday Spice!
I don’t think I was being too hard on Holiday Spice, here. Loved the concept, but it plainly did not taste good. Yet, I wish they’d bring it back. Go figure. (2004)

Eagle-eyed readers may think that I’ve simply cannibalized the HTML from my tribute to Halloween GIFs. They’d be right.

This entry was posted in 2011 Christmas Season, General. Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to Blogs of Christmas Past.

  1. Scottie says:

    I suppose now is as good a time as any to leave my comment on here. I too am a lurker. I’ve been reading this site for what seems like forever. I found this site when I was in grade 10 (early 2002/2003), and have been a regular reader ever since. Reading the Halloween & Christmas countdowns have become part of my yearly tradition. Thanks Matt! Perhaps I should take time out more often to comment on here :)

  2. Ducky says:

    I don’t even remember when or why I started reading the site, or when, like the Rev, I suddenly discovered if I clicked on the blog I could see NEW content. Certainly long enough that I’d been around for some time before you made that shrunken apple head. I very, very rarely comment, but I’ve read very near to every single entry.

  3. Intensely Inactive says:

    My dream job is to make those shitty monster movies that Syfy plays. That would be the greatest thing in the world. Expectations can’t be too high there, so I’d think it’d be the perfect platform to learn and experiment while getting paid to make movies that may some day end up being reviewed on nostalgia innerweb sites.

  4. whit says:

    I have no idea how long I have been reading. I do remember my favorite posts would have to be the Macy’s Thanksgiving play by play from years past.

  5. Matt says:

    Just wanted to thank you guys again for coming out from the shadows, even if only this one time. It’s great to see the people behind the numbers. Thanks for reading!

    @Intensely Inactive: Yes, it would be an absolute dream job. Do things poorly and chalk it up to being on purpose. That is my whole MO with my videos, btw.

  6. Skind Eep says:

    I agree about those Syfy movies. I think one of the toughest things to pull off would be the (un)intentional sense of earnestness.

  7. First read the site in 01 or ’02 when I was a senior in high school. Since then, I’ve graduated high school and college. Moved across the country for grad school. Finished that and moved back to Georgia. Spent a year unemployed and am now in my third year of teaching
    Still alive.

    Watched Charlie Brown on TV tonight and was quickly reminded of why I always watch on DVD now. The cuts they made tonight were ridiculous! Whole scenes were left out. No mention of bubblegum cards! I tweeted my frustration using the Snoopy hashtag they had at the bottom of the screen. Five minutes later Snoopy (!) @-replied me saying the full special would air in an hour long slot in a few weeks. Recorded the Nw Prep and Landing, but I didn’t watch it tonight. I oiled the first two. Anyone else watch the new Phineas and Ferb special this weekend? Good but not as good ass the one from two years ago. Also, during How I Met Your Mother tonight, I saw a promote saying Rudolph would be shown again on CBS this Saturday.

  8. Hoverbored says:

    I remember reading about Pepsi Holiday Spice here back in 2004-that was seven years ago! It tasted awful, but it was a nice memory.

  9. Ken says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever posted, but I’ve been reading since before there ever was a blog…I was about 19 and a sophmore in college… I’m 30 now. Shit that’s a long time. Anyway, thanks!

  10. Teddy Ray says:

    I’ve been here since at least 2001, because I remember reading articles during my planning period when I was student teaching. I think my friend, Chris Hayner, sent me here, but I disremember what for. I’ve been around since then, although I do disappear for long periods of time every now and then. It’s nothing personal. I’m a slacker.

    Let’s say someone who commented back then was 18. Now he’d or she’d be 27! I can’t help imagining how their lives could have changed over that time. Some of them may be dead!

    Hell, I SHOULD be! I won’t get into it AGAIN because it’s been done to death. But yeah, I should be dead and my life is drastically different than when I first came here.

    God I’m an asshole… I also met my wife dated her and got married in that time. I have been with XE longer than my wife!!! -drew do

    XE clearly means more to you than your wife, too! 😉 Go ahead, tell ME to shut MY whore mouth…it’s long overdue!

    I love this place. I love these people. I love Green Bamboo Mystery Peanut. I love baleen whales. I love old Kool Aid. I love Madd Matt. I love Harley. I love thinking about chicken when I’m eating Doritos. I love Dorothy Zbornak. I love Saved by the Bell. I love James Lipton. I love giant ape juice. I love Congo action figure reviews. I love the Power Glove. I love The Worst Witch. I love lamp.

  11. Misty says:

    I was frustrated myself at how much is cut out of A Charlie Brown Christmas these days. I didn’t know the full version would air in a few weeks though. Will definitely watch then.

    And I miss the Garfield Christmas special. They’ll show every shitty Rankin/Bass Christmas special on ABCFamily but whoever owns the rights to Garfield won’t even bother to air it once. To them I give a great, big, FUCK YOU.

    Also, I’ve been a long time lurker since the better part of last decade. Only felt compelled to start leaving comments when this years parade briefly mentioned Starlight Express, then I just had to say something. The play-by-plays of the parades of years past are my favorite articles, too. And yeah, the parade was a lot better back then. Definitely aren’t as many character balloons anymore. This years was one of the recent better ones, though, even if there weren’t really any disasters.

  12. Kelly says:

    I started reading the blog when I was a freshman in highschool…15 years old in 2002. It’s still my holiday tradition every year Halloween and Christmas! When no one else cares about stupid decorations in Walgreens or wants me to shut the hell up about wigs, I know you’ll be there.

  13. Paul O says:

    I don’t know if I commented on the site in 2002, but I’ve been visiting it since probably around that time. If not 2002, then 2003, but definitely by 2004. I can’t remember the first article I saw, but one that sticks out was the TMNT Toddler figures, which was 2004. I was probably around before that, but I can’t remember for sure when i first started coming.

    As far as the first time I commented…I’m really not sure. I did a few google searches to try and figure it out, but it doesn’t really help. I know more than one Paul posts here, so if I just posted under “Paul” previously, I’m not going to remember if those posts were mine or not. They probaby were not, but whatever. I should have posted a website with my name then, then I could just check the link to see if it was mine. The earliest posts I know are mine are from 2006, in the article about Chuck E. Cheese.

  14. Paul O says:

    One thing I forgot to mention…18 in 2002, 27 now. Yep, me indeed.

  15. John V says:

    I happened upon this site in about 2002, I was 28 then, I’m now 37…I’m old. I always kept the X-E bookmark on my computers. I never commented before this year but since I am reaching a ten year mark visiting this site I felt compelled.

    Random favorite post from the past: Marshmallow Peeps Maker from 2004

  16. Matt says:

    I can’t express how much it has meant to see these new/old faces pop up. (And to think, I was originally going to post this up with the comments closed, since it’s basically a post full of links. Glad I didn’t.)

  17. Nicole says:

    I am pretty sure I started coming to X-E in 2002, because I’m pretty sure that my ex-boyfriend is the one who showed me X-E and I met him in 2002. I know I was on the blog in 2004, since I about swallowed my tongue after I made a Livejournal post (HAHA REMEMBER LJ?!) detailing how I was finally in the Christmas spirit mostly thanks to X-E, e-mailed it to Matt on a whim so he could see how much he was appreciated…and he posted it on the blog.

    In 2002, I was 20 and a junior in college. Since then, I’ve graduated college, learned that an English degree is pretty damn useless, held no less than six different full-time jobs, had 2 different apartments and moved back home for a stretch, met my soulmate and was able to be with him against all odds, buried both my grandfathers and the family cat, acquired 3 cats of my own…the list goes on.

    And through it all, X-E has been a part of my life. I may not always have had time to comment or to keep up with all the comments, but everyone on the site is like family to me, and Matt is the head of that family. That crazy, hyper, nostalgia-loving family. <3 and hugs to all.

  18. Z says:

    Personally I’m a little disappointed about the site’s move to almost exclusively being the blog, since it’s pretty hard to find the non-blog stuff (articles, old advent calendars, etc.), which is a shame, since there’s a lot of really good stuff there that was already hard enough to find.

  19. random says:

    Been coming here since maybe around 2002, and I comment once in a blue moon. I do love the sense of community here, even if I dont join in it very often.
    But the first article that cemented my love for X-E, and literally made me laugh so hard I couldnt breathe and my eyes water so bad I couldnt see?

    Still one of my favorites! Thanks Matt!

  20. Colonelcatsup says:

    I’ve been reading X-E since about Dec 2002, though I have taken a few years “off” to have a kid. But now I have a reason to spend extended amounts of time and money at Toys R Us again!

  21. Man, these links really do bring back memories. I’ve been coming here since early 2003, and the Cartoon All-Stars to The Rescue entry got me here.

  22. Gassbag Goat says:

    Damn. That Peepmaker article is another one I’ve never come across. If you ever want to do something that’s probably not worth the amount of work required, Matt, an updated index, or even a blog post with some random links to some of what must be a massive amount of buried articles on the site would be awesome. I didn’t even know about the cereal premiums till a year ago.

  23. andy says:

    Old reader check-in: I have no idea when I started reading XE. Maybe in vitro? More likely in high school, which was 99-03. Since then, I went to Stanford, Oxford, worked in a virtual reality research lab, a book store, a literary agency, an internet start-up, a television station, then got a masters in film, wrote ten or so short films and a feature and a bunch of other crap.

    And yet I still feel like I’ve spent the majority of the past decade wasting time on the internet.

  24. Alex says:

    I’m in my thirties and I’ve been reading at least ten years. I don’t comment frequently. I probably should. But if it’s any indication of what the site means to me, it’s one of a select few that I disable all forms of ad-blocking on.

    And speaking of the site’s archives, I’ve got a bit of a request: While I fully endorse your decision to axe this year’s Advent Calendar, I was wondering if it would be at all possible to whack up some links to previous years? A good walk down memory lane might be a reasonable substitute.

  25. Meg says:

    I’d like to say that I was definitely reading this site when I was eighteen, and I just turned 27 yesterday!

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