25 Years Of One Family's Christmas Tradition : The Two-WayDad recorded every year as the kids came down the stairs on Christmas morning. Now the family's tradition is condensed into one much-watched video.
Before we all completely switch from one holiday to the next, take time to watch this 25 Years Of Christmas video. It's one of the most-watched YouTube clips of the day (190,000 or so views as of now). We think you'll be glad you saw it:
Nick Confalone, who put his family's clips together, tweets here.
Full disclosure: I'm a sucker for this video because the Memmott family had a similar tradition, though no photo record seems to exist. We six "kids" lined up according to age — youngest at the bottom, oldest at the top — before heading to the tree and our presents. It worked to my benefit, being the baby.
Update at 7 p.m. ET. We just spoke by telephone with Nick and his father, Pat Confalone, who were at the family home in Wilmington, Del. It's safe to say the Confalones have been blown away by the strong, positive reaction to the video.
Pat, a research chemist, has a theory on why the video's struck such a chord. Parents, he thinks, can identify with seeing Nick and his sister Tricia "grow up so fast, right before their eyes" — just like so many children seem to do. And children can identify with seeing family traditions play out on screen.
Nick, now 29 and a writer and editor in Los Angeles, surprised the family with the 25 Years compilation. It was among his Christmas gifts to them this year. Pat had taken all the old recordings — many of them VHS tapes — and digitized them two or three years ago. Nick worked with those copies to produce the 25 Years video.
For those wondering about some of the players and other things in the video:
— Tricia (now 26) was about 18 months old in 1985, the first year on tape. That's her mom, Dianne, carrying her down the stairs. Pat's mother "Curly" is just ahead of them.
— Yes, the scene does change — though stairs remain the focus. The family had moved to a new home in Wilmington before the 1998 scene.
— Yes, seven years are "missing," because the family spent Christmas morning at a relative's.
— The guy who shows up in the last couple years is Tricia's husband, Matty.
Nick says that among the things he noticed in putting together the video was how the way he and Tricia behaved changed over the years. "In the beginning, we're into it and we're excited," he says. "Then we get camera shy," as teenagers do.
"And they we get back into it. That was really nice to see."
As for any sequels, Pat thinks it may be best now to keep future recordings (like the one they did this year) for family viewing.