A baby boomer’s Frosty Fiasco

It’s up to us baby boomers to carry on traditions. After all, if we don’t, who will?!? So we like this story from Ord, Nebraska’s Doreen Frick, about The Frosty Fiasco.

When I was a kid, Frosty the snowman always made an appearance.

Doreen’s mother Mary Kirban with Frosty.

Frosty was stored all year long in a box in the basement, but come mid-December, Dad would bring him upstairs along with Christmas bulbs and a tree stand and strings of green and red lights. We kids always knew when Frosty was lit in the living room, and more important, we knew what it meant: Santa would be coming soon.

Once Christmas was over, my mom left the tree and decorations up until New Year’s Day, and then, to my great sadness, Frosty was re-boxed and sent downstairs to wait for what seemed forever, for next Christmas to come. I always hated to see him leave.

In 1996, my parents sold their home and asked us grown kids if there was anything we wanted from the old homestead, and though I knew what I wanted, I hesitated before answering. I didn’t want my parents to think I was eager for them to move so I could have my beloved Frosty — and in that instant of my hesitation, my older (louder) brother Dennis shouted, I KNOW WHAT I WANT!

Doreen's growing family and her parents in 1964. She is in the plaid jumper in the front left.

Doreen’s growing family and her parents in 1964. She is in the plaid jumper on the front left.

And just that fast, Frosty was handed over, neither my parents nor my brother knowing how dearly I loved that little light-up fella. There’s an old saying my dad used to quote when he was trying to merge into traffic, and it is applicable here: “He who hesitates is lost.” In my brief pause, my brother was the big winner, while having hesitated, I lost. But it was a revelation. Until that moment, I hadn’t known we both shared strong ties to that lovable old snowman from our past.

Doreen's mother, Mary Kirban, beside the family Christmas tree.

Doreen’s mother, Mary Kirban, beside the family Christmas tree.

I am consoled by one thing. At least Frosty went to a good home. He’s been given a new lease on life and will spend his “golden years” in a nice warm living room where he’s well cared for and loved and aglow. Dennis sends me pictures of the old guy all lit up and singing (well he’s not really singing, but when you look at him you can almost feel his song), as he takes his proud spot in the living room where the little ones play, just like he did when we were kids.

Doreen with her older brother Dennis Kirban.

Doreen with her older brother Dennis Kirban.

Now all they need is a little of Bing on the radio, and it’s 1960 again. Dad is tangling with the tree and I’m testing the lights and my sisters are tossing the crinkly tinsel at our little brother Duane … and my big brother Dennis is shivering in the driveway trying to start his GTO.


  1. Doreen, I LOVE THIS. We had one of those cardboard fireplaces. Our Shiny Brites and silver metallic tree are rusting in a landfill somewhere, but I managed to hang on to a 1950s collection of Santa figurines and they are a treasured part of my décor. Hey, here’s an idea, why don’t you invite yourself to your brother’s for Christmas? Then you can still enjoy Frosty.

  2. We will be downsizing. One of the more important reasons is NOT leaving our children with these tough decisions – who gets Frosty?

    I got the spoon. Yup. In my parent’s household there was one particular cooking/measuring spoon that everyone grabbed when cooking, because it was just right. For years we discussed having the spoon as a traveling memorial, in each of the five daughters’ household for two months each year.

    Like The Traveling Pants, the spoon would keep us together.

    Except that the spoon would have to visit two countries.

    My sisters, bless them, voted that I, as the one living far away from everyone else, would receive the spoon. I will think of our parents, and of my four sisters, every time I use it.

  3. Great story Doreen…….Frosty is enjoying the bright lites of the living room showing a few more age cracks…..due to age like all of us. Sure would be nice if the folks were still around to enjoy it as well.

  4. Love it!
    Merry Christmas? My grandparents had one of those silver trees. We all loved that tree. Not to mention the balls that were so shiny and blue!
    Don’t know where it went but I did get a few of the balls!

    1. Hi Doreen, Hey great story. Heard a man in the store the other day say to a employee at Fred Meyer’s who was assisting him, “You’re a gentleman and a scholar.” It stopped me in my tracks and I turned around to see a elderly man in a wheel chair. Little did that man know the happy memories of Dad that his words invoked. Blessings, Dawn

  5. Thank you to all who saw a little of their own past in our family. It was wonderful of you to comment, and share your stories with me.

  6. Thank you Doreen, what a heartwarming story. It brings back a lot of memories
    that we all have as children. You are so special.
    Mary Marshall

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