Daily Life

On Heroes

So far the holiday season has been one big trip through hell in a stolen gasoline truck with zombies hanging off of it. Metaphors aside, Chris has put out a nice piece and was kind enough to give me the lead off spot. You can check it out here:

Or download direct…
Hopefully I’ll have a chance to tell the holiday story soon, but until then I hope you have a safe and happy holiday.
Daily Life

Master’s in Tree Toppers

Artist's Likeness of The Retired Heavyweight Champion

After probably 40 years or so of service the Angel that would sit atop our Christmas Tree finally disintegrated. When the quest to replace her began I came across a very similar one on eBay. Ours was much like the one pictured at right, except she had golden wings and her dress matched the wings the way this one does. Life at the top is not easy, in the event the tree goes down you’ve got the farthest to fall and the most time to accelerate. She didn’t have a name, had lost both arms, her wings had fallen apart and her stylish headband was falling off, making her hair a hot mess.

The one in this picture is currently on eBay and bidding is up to $200. I’m not up for paying that for a 60+ year old angel that is not prepared to handle the battlefield that is my home.

Having landed a Groupon deal for a tree on Friday, on Saturday we began auditioning replacements for the part. My first check was Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland of Frankenmuth, Michigan. The only thing bigger than this Christmas shop in upstate Michigan is Chicken Dinner. I was surprised that there were only about 30, if that was the selection at the greatest on earth this was going to be much tougher than I thought.

I turned to eBay and there were 27 pages of results. My quest led me to review over 1,500 tree toppers, and as I did I started tweeting some revelations. These were cross posted on Facebook, and got some decent comments so I decided to bundle up and present as a gift to you:

Top 10 Tree Topper Observations:

Creeps me out a bit

#1 – Animal heads on human angel bodies look weird. I.E. This tree topper – for King Charles Cavalier Spaniel fans ONLY:

#2 – When shopping on eBay “Vintage” usually means “dirty and/or broken”

#3 – The idea behind the angel is peace and grace, not defending your house from demons or dragons – No staffs for smiting

#4 – like most things for sale, the stuff of good taste costs 20x more

#5 For some reason 99.99% of angels are blonde, unless they are African American (eBay user’s term, not mine)

#6 Angels should have eagle, not butterfly wings

#7 If you are not into angels like Tammi Faye with a hoop skirt add Lladro to your search and think 10 times the cost

#8 Excessive lights or fiber optics result in angels holding weird looking things that look like they are casting a spell

#9 – Like dolls or ventriloquist dummies, there are some that look like they will come alive at night and eat your family

#10 Note: Your Scooby-Doo angel is not authentic unless he is also holding a piece of pizza

A 5 College System One and One to Terrify the Kids

@JasonFredlin mentioned checking out etsy as opposed to the normal mall route. There was some killer stuff up there – I would be ALL OVER a Steampunk Angel, but “she who must be obeyed” would give that the NFW.

Examples of Awesome Etsy Toppers that Would Never Make It Into My Home

I would be remiss if I did not add a plug here for a Krinner Christmas Tree Stand. These are amazing devices. Every family that’s purchased a tree has stories about stands that just don’t work, broken ornaments, and domestic violence as a result of tree raising. Well over an hour to put up a tree, get it straight and balanced so it won’t fall is not uncommon.

The key to the Krinner is that it uses a cable to pull supporting arms tight against the tree as opposed to every other system that has you screwing bolts into the relatively mushy tree stump. Instead of spending your day crawling around adjusting one side and then having to tighten and loosen others, you drop the tree in, use the foot pedal to tighten the cable and in 15 seconds you are done. A true Christmas miracle.

Putting up the tree is so damn easy I can wear my high heels

Although it’s not cheap at around $80, one of the Amazon 5-star reviews hits the mark with the title “Way cheaper than a divorce attorney”

A Rare Approved Alternative to the Standard Angel, and my message to you - "Merry Christmas Momma Baby"