Saturday, December 4, 2010
It's Ugly Ornament Day!
By Kirsten Scott
You probably didn’t know there WAS an ugly ornament day, did you? Well, there is. Or at least, I think there should be. When else are you going to celebrate someone’s artistic vision going horribly, terribly, and completely wrong? When else will the ornament outcasts get to celebrate like the Charlie-in-the-box from Santa’s Island of Misfit Toys? I say, it all starts here, and now!
My fascination with ugly ornaments began one wet and rainy Christmas Eve. My mother and her best friend had just arrived to spend the holiday with us. It was our baby’s first Christmas and my husband’s first year of teaching. We were, needless to say, tired, and hadn’t done much in the way of decorating. We didn’t even have a tree.
We went out to the local department store, and discovered something wonderful — on Christmas eve, all the trees are free! We also discovered that by the time you get to Christmas Eve, all the “good” ornaments are gone. As we walked up and down the aisles, we found the most bizarre, freakish ornaments one could ever imagine. Our sides splitting with laughter, we found the elephant-headed lumberjack, and knew it had to come home with us
I just want you to take a moment to appreciate this gem. He’s about seven inches long, with posable legs and a red ribbon hanger. Someone designed this ornament. Someone sat around, trying to be creative, sick of reindeer and snowmen and Santas, and thought — “why NOT an elephant for Christmas?”
Thus began our appreciation — no, our LOVE — of ugly ornaments. Someone thought that a ceramic elephant head on a man’s body wearing a brown coat was lovely enough to grace someone’s Christmas tree. So now, he graces ours.
Each year, we look for ugly ornaments. This year, we found a little friend for our elephant. It’s a cat, covered with tattoo-like marking. I would have loved to have been on the marketing meeting for this one. “We’ll capture the cat-loving, tattoo-wearing, Christmas crowd! No one’s done that before! They’re an untapped market!”
There are some wonderful, inspirational websites I've found with ugly ornaments. You might like to peruse the Peterson's timeline of ugly ornaments, or perhaps view the Top 10 Ugly Christmas Ornaments. I really appreciate most the ugly ornaments that aren't trying to be a joke -- like my elephant. How about this poor little Clara ornament? I mean, I know she's trying to be beautiful, but *ouch*.
Okay, I know, the cat’s kinda cute. Nothing like the elephant. So we’re determined to do better. And that means, it’s time for the contest. Now, I posted information about an ugly ornament contest on my blog, and discovered people didn't have pictures of ugly ornaments. Shockingly enough, you all don't seem to COLLECT them, the way I do. But there were definitely stories out there about ugly ornaments, particularly those made as crafts when we were kids.
So...it's time for a little contest. I've got some Delcroix Academy swag to give away for the best description of an ugly ornament. Extra points are awarded for pictures, though they aren't necessary. If you Twitter, you can tweet me (@inarascott) pictures. You can also post them to Facebook (look for Inara Scott). If I get a lot during the day, I'll update the blog. BUT, descriptions are also fabulous! Tell me about that craft you did with corn kernels and pipe cleaners and you're in!
Thanks, and HAPPY UGLY ORNAMENT DAY!
Posted by Kirsten at 12:09 AM