We had three or four of them. Each one had a cover like a present waiting to be opened. Inside was a shiny 33 rpm record filled with Julie Andrews, the Vienna Choir Boys, and famous opera singers rendering classic Christmas carols. You'd hear lovely selections like "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear", "We Three Kings," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and more.
Each Christmas season we'd put them on the old hi fi in the basement play room and crank it up so we could hear it upstairs, or we'd sit on the sagging sofa and listen to the old songs. It became a tradition. They were treasured albums.
When my siblings moved out, I acquired the record collection by fiat, which is a good thing because my taste in music is similar to my dad's. I treasure his complete - mind, you, complete - collection of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, the old 1950's high fidelity symphonic recordings, and lots of Wagner. Well, the Wagner mysteriously disappeared....
Now flash forward to a few years ago. I was on vacation in Ohio and we went to an antique mall. It was August. We parked the car very far away and wandered through a quaint Ohio town, ending up at the antique mall last. There, peeking out from a scatter of record albums, was the familiar present-like cover. Could I resist? Of course not. I ended up carting the silly thing around for miles, clutching it gingerly, afraid I was going to drop it. Then there was transporting it in the trunk of the car for the duration of the vacation - a hot August vacation - and keeping it from warping!
I don't exchange presents with my siblings since there are so many of us. Between my siblings, my in laws, and the bunches of kids running amok, there are too many of us to give gifts too. But this year was different. I wanted to do something special. I had a hunch, and I went on eBay looking for the old Firestone albums. I thought I might fine one or two.
Imagine my astonishment. These things were apparently so popular there are plenty of them out there - and plenty of people like us who loved them!
For only a few bucks each, I scored a bunch of the old albums. I wish I'd had a camera to capture the moment when my sisters unwrapped their albums. The joy, the memories flooding their faces.....
Yes, for only a few bucks each.
Do you remember the old Firestone Christmas albums?