Christmas Morning, 1978: Assembling the Millennium Falcon

Christmas Star Wars 1978

One of the best living room decor shots I’ve seen. There’s more Star Wars on the far left, just in front of the coffee table. I think one of the boxes is the 12″ C-3PO figure. (It’s actually the MPC C-3PO model kit. Thanks, Retro Art Blog!)

The kid in the photo is Scott Tipton, comics writer and co-creator of Blastoff Comics. He says:

I can’t remember a Christmas growing up when there wasn’t exactly what I wanted either under the Christmas tree or arriving as a surprise on Christmas morning. And half the time, I hadn’t even asked for it — my parents just knew. This was the thing I would want. The Mego Batman Wayne Foundation? The Star Wars Millennium Falcon? ROM the Spaceknight? There they were.

And looking back now as a grown man with bills and responsibilities of my own, I can even more than ever appreciate what that meant. We were a working-class family, no question about it. My father drove a truck for a living, and my mother worked at the school cafeteria. Some of these gifts must have meant skipped lunches for my father and careful tightening of the purse-strings by my mother. And yet every year, Christmas was an absolute joy, and not just for the presents under the tree. My parents always treated Christmas as something special — to go back to the Dickens, we “were happy, grateful, pleased with one another, and contented with the time.”

That hits me in the feelers. Scott goes on to ask everyone who can to donate to Toys for Tots, “Because every kid should have a Batmobile under the tree if they want one.” Hard to argue with that.

I didn’t forget about the giant Bat Away box. Here’s the commercial. (Stick around for the hilarious Zips shoes commercial that comes next.)

12 Responses to “Christmas Morning, 1978: Assembling the Millennium Falcon”

  1. 1 Mike Moore December 10, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    Great post. My holidays were the same way. My Dad worked for Bell Telephone in the city and we lived on Long Island, so that meant long commutes to and from work every day, and my dad normally worked on Saturday’s to get OT. My mom was a stay at home mom. There were 6 kids, and my dad always made sure we had everything we wanted for X-mas.

    Christmas was a big deal to my dad. We did not even see the Tree until Christmas day, because “Santa” brought it with him on Christmas eve. My mom and dad would stay up most of the night on Christmas eve getting everything ready, only to have to get up at the crack of dawn with us.
    I remember the first Christmas when I was older and got to stay up and help, it was a lot of work. I don’t know how they did all those years, but it was awesome.

    • 2 2W2N December 10, 2013 at 9:38 pm

      Christmas was big at our house as well. We put up the tree the first week of December, and my dad hung the lights outside and inside. (I got to help him eventually.) I put out milk and cookies for Santa, the whole deal. I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when my mom told me Santa wasn’t real.

  2. 3 Mike Moore December 10, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Oh yeah, the Zips commercial…does anyone else remember a Zips commercial where the kids would stop whatever outdoor activity they were in to scrape a giant “Z” into the dirt? I do.

  3. 9 RetroArtBlog December 11, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Off to the left, in front of the coffeetable, I don’t think it’s a Kenner 12″ C-3PO but a MPC model kit of C-3PO.
    Good luck gluing that one together, 1978 Scott Tipton!

  4. 11 Don Gates December 16, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    That Zips commercial does everything they can to make you feel like you’ll be bionic if you wear their shoes.

  5. 12 Mark G May 18, 2015 at 6:49 am

    The top picture is one of the freakiest things I’ve ever seen. Why ? Because when I was a kid, my family had a couch, gold chair, and mirror like those shown. I had pajama bottoms with red cuffs like those (they were part of a Winnie The Pooh set) and the feet of the guy wearing the bottoms look nearly identical to my own feet. To top it all off, the woman sitting on the couch looks very much like my own mother did at the time!

    The only thing that says this isn’t one of my own family photos is that we never owned 8-track tapes nor were there ever any Star Wars toys in the house. (I never wanted any.)

    For me, this is like looking at a photo of an alternate family history on an alternate Earth somewhere! (Perhaps on that alternate Earth, my brother Grant wasn’t born with his mental incapacities and loved Star Wars.) Freaky!

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