My younger brother Jimmy was terrified of Chucky when he was a kid…except at first we didn’t know it was Chucky that he was afraid of because he would just run around the house in petrified hysterics crying, “The doll!! The doll!!” I don’t know when he watched Child’s Play, but from the minute he did, that scary Chucky doll had scarred him for the rest of his life.
Being the oldest of four and more mature than my siblings, I would often have to intervene during feuds. My other brother and sister would antagonize him about Chucky and whenever they were mad at him, they’d tell him that Chucky lived in the basement. I would of course come to his rescue.
“Jimmy, calm down. Calm down. It’s okay, they’re just picking on you. There’s no such thing as Chucky. He’s not real, Jimmy. The doll isn’t real. It’s okay,” I’d soothingly reassure him.
I was always there for him….until he would do something to tick me off and my maturity went out the window and I turned on him.
“Jimmy, if you do that one more time, Chucky’s going to GET YOU!” I’d threaten him.
“But, Tracy…” he quivered, “ You said there’s no such thing as Chucky!!” Well shoot now I felt bad. I didn’t want the kid to wind up in extra therapy over ME.
“You’re right Jimmy. There’s no such thing as Chucky.” I paused… “But Chucky’s cousin?? Oh he’s real. He’s really real. And he lives behind your BED!!”
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MOM!!!!” he would run off screeching.
To this day I don’t think that my brother Jim will go down to my parents’ basement unescorted, even though it isn’t scary anymore because they’re finished it and because he’s 29 and doesn’t “really” believe in Chucky anymore. There’s something to be said for a childhood fear of a killer doll that’s haunted you for so long it’s seeped into your bones and become a part of you.
After my mom’s mom passed away, we inherited way too much of my grandmother’s crap- as my dad liked to remind us- and some of that crap involved some very creepy Christmas decorations. You know how some people like to go with a traditional look with their decorations and some people like more modern and others prefer sophisticated? I have to believe after seeing my grandmother’s collection of Christmas décor that she was going for the “Scare the fuck out of anyone who sees it” look. Seriously, she had all these really weird-scary decorations- and my mom took them all like we wanted to make creepy-scary OUR tradition or something.
Being that it’s Christmas time as I’m writing this, I asked my dad if he could send me a few pictures of their inherited décor so I could show you what I am talking about. Since I started blogging, Dad doesn’t ask questions when I ask him for random pictures of things around the house, he just does it.
So when I asked him for a few pictures of the creepy Christmas decorations, I thought he could easily snap a few since they’d be out. He hesitantly confessed to me that they had become humbugs and since none of the kids lived there anymore, they hadn’t put out anything Christmas-y this year.
“Oh bummer. I really was hoping you could grab a few shots of the creepy Christmas stuff. I need it for a blog…no big deal. So how was your day?” I texted him.
Dad disappeared for a few minutes and then I got a text back from him “Does this work?”
HA! I can’t believe my dad went rifling through all the boxed away Christmas stuff just to get me a picture. What a good father. “Yeah, Dad. The Mr. and Mrs. Claus are tacky, not scary, but that gnome is perfect!”
Dad tells me the Santa Frog should work well too because….well, it’s a freaking Santa Frog. Dad was busy trying to convince me that the Santa Frog was plenty scary and then I remembered something very important. Don’t tell MOM! Mom always finds out about my blog antics and I didn’t want him getting in trouble.
Ooops! Sorry, Dad!
ANYWAY, so back to my story: picture THIS guy but WAY, WAY scarier:
Mom had inherited from Grandma THE scariest of all, 3 foot tall life-sized Chucky Christmas gnome. You could plug Chucky in and he’d move from side to side with this evil little grin. He was most certainly possessed. Once I laid eyes on him, I knew he must serve a purpose for the better good of torturing Jimmy.
After I moved away to California, I would come home for visits and barely say hello to my parents before racing down to the basement to dig him up and hide him on Jimmy for him to find when he least expected it and scare the living daylights out of him.
Jim would go into the bathroom to take a shower and run out screaming. My mom would just look at me as I giggled and shake her head. “Not the SHOWER, Tracy?!”
Jimmy would retaliate by sneaking Chucky into my bed as a surprise creepy snuggle partner.
It became a race for who could get to Chucky the fastest.
In the closet, the kitchen pantry, his feet sticking out from under the desk, there Chucky would be. There were no limits to where Chucky would be hiding when I came home for a visit.
The Chucky Doll got passed back and forth and he became less of a scary doll and more of a fun prank between bother and sister.
After one such trip back east, I was unpacking my suitcase when I got home and what I found made me laugh and laugh: Jimmy hadn’t been able to fit the real Chucky into my suitcase but he had found a Mini-version in Grandma’s never-ending supply of weird-ass Christmas trolls and stuffed him in with my belongings.
The years went by and eventually the Chucky doll prank got forgotten. Last time I went looking for him, Mom said he got ruined in a basement flood or something and that Chucky was finally really dead.
Recently, I came home from work and I noticed my roommate Hannah had done some holiday decorating. She must have come across the little Mini- Chucky that got sent home with me that one year and put him out on display with all of our beautiful Christmas décor. She knew it would make me smile to randomly see Chucky siting on our TV stand just like all the times I had bumped into him in the shower, in the pantry and under my covers.
Some people like their traditional Christmas décor. Some people like sophisticated. I like those things too- But there’s a part of me that will always love our “Creepy Christmas” tradition because it reminds me of laughing my ass off with my crazy, silly brother who’s probably sucking his thumb in the corner right now after seeing these Chucky-like images from the basement.
What are YOUR Christmas traditions?
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