Stockings, Lasagna, and Mike’s All-time Favorite Toy

The holidays always bring back great memories for Michael Lauderdale — Christmas stockings filled with goodies, presents under the tree, and mom’s lasagna. But the gift forever seared in his memory was a very special G.I. Joe that, much to his great disappointment, met an unfortunate end rather quickly.

My favorite holiday memory… I grew up, as all of you know, in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Christmas was always a great time of year. I always loved getting up in the morning — even when I was 22 years old — and getting stockings. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was after I finally got out of law school, I would come home when I would be there on Christmas and my mom wouldn’t have any stockings for us. But that was always a big highlight.

Weird thing about our family is my mom hated turkey, and so we always had lasagna for Christmas and Thanksgiving. Every meal we have lasagna. I like turkey, I like the stuffing, I like mashed potatoes, I like the rolls. Everybody else likes the lasagna.

And then so many great memories as a young kid, getting up in the morning and getting fishing poles and all the other things. Little army men that came with it.

But my very favorite toy of all time was the G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip. No one can beat the G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip. So I got that when I was nine. My younger brother Lance did not get that when he was four, and he thought it would be funny to see if G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip could survive fire. And so he dumped my G.I. Joe with the Kung Fu grip into the fireplace. And let me tell you, it smelled really, really bad. Needless to say, I cried.

Happy Holidays!

Theme graphic for McAfee & Taft Holiday Memories video series