Homemade Christmas is Best?

Well, it’s that time again when we look at Christmas crafts and laugh because the only other option is to totter over to the liquor cabinet.  Best to keep laughing—at least until it’s five o’clock somewhere.

Kathy was so proud of this craft book.  She knew it would be chock-full of blog fodder:

It was published in 1972, the year that Watergate started and the terrorist attack on Olympic athletes in Munich, Germany occurred.  I don’t think that any crafts could help folks deal with those two events, but McCall’s soldiered on at the craft front.  Maybe, the McCall’s folks thought that no one would notice the hilarious crafts inside because of all the trouble in the world.

We’re going to jump in with a big splash.  No easing in slowly:

Behold the Gingham Twins.  They are supposed to delight or terrify your toddlers, depending on who you ask.  The faces are drawn on with ball-point tube paints so good luck with making a recognizably human expression.  I like embroidery faces—nothing’s permanent until you put the scissors away.  The best thing about these babies is that they SIT UP!  Shut the front door!  They can really sit up?  Nothing like managing your toddler’s expectations.  You can not start too early.  All of those dolls below the twins are felt and can be attached to shelves.  I’m not sure why you would want to, since they all look like they’re living in a Charles Dickens novel.  Pretty grim stuff for toddlers.

Just in case you thought I was kidding with the Gingham Twins, may I introduce the Moppet Choirboy?

On second thought, maybe I was wrong about the embroidery faces.  Unless Moppet means unhinged psycho killer, there’s something else going on here.  I think he’s about five seconds away from using his guitar to go all Pete Townshend on those organ pipes (??) surrounding him.  I’m worried about the person who thought this was Christmas decor.

Okay, let’s all take a deep breath and try to forget the first two projects:

This scene is described as blue-robed kneeling angels in front of an elegant wreath.  “The quiet of blue enriched with silver and gold creates serene setting for Christmas.”  Most of the descriptions in the book are delightfully weird.  In what universe is a yarn wreath elegant?  And, that angel, with those wings, looks like an extra from Game of Thrones.  I would like to see her create a serene setting kneeling at the Iron Throne.

These are described as “fancy boots”:

I have to agree; those are some fancy boots, alright!  The book encourages us to make these boots, or this decorative hanger:

… “to use and enjoy for many holidays to come.  [The] festive hanging adds Christmas cheer to wall or door.”  Don’t believe me, just zoom in and read that little paragraph for yourself.  “The colorful Christmas boots from yesteryear will hold many little holiday surprises.”  Promises, promises.  Unless they’re filled with pirate booty, I’m going to be disappointed.

Just in case you want to terrorize teenagers as well as toddlers:

I was a freshman in high school in 1972 and I can guarantee that anyone who wore this get-up to school, would NEVER live it down.  The fine print tells us that the hot pink leotard is made by Danskin, just in case you were wondering.  Now, my dear mother made my sisters and me wear body suits because our hip hugger jeans showed way too much skin.  Thank goodness she didn’t know about Danskin leotards, or using the toilet would have been even worse!

Back to “cheerful” Christmas decor:

I call this Pink Santa, because, well otherwise it would be Red and Pink Checked Tablecloth Santa, which sounds even worse.  He looks to be made from felt, which is at least, cheap.  Maybe if you take enough mommy’s little helpers, you won’t shudder every time you walk by him.  I just can’t imagine the amount of side-eye a hostess would receive after her guests got a look at her table decorations.

Santa might distract your guests from what is going on with the “Magic” Christmas tree:

Is it my imagination, or is that clown eyeing little Jimmy?  I’m not sure which is worse, the clown or the cat, which is really saying something given how we feel about clowns.  That cat is ready to show everyone just what claws are for!  Santa is looking a little creepy, too, now that I’m keeping my eyes away from Mr. Clown.  Okay, just the dog and the candle; everyone else off the tree!

Another gift idea:

The owl and the pussy cat stuffed toys, also known as Story Hour Playmates.  I always liked the rhythm and words in the poem, but these two pedestrian toys just don’t look like they would go:

…  to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.

As a kid, I would have made it work by duding the owl up with a collar and tie, and maybe adding some pearls and earrings to the cat.  Poor Pussycat looks like a middle linebacker more than, “O lovely Pussy!  O Pussy my love,”.

Finally, the last two pictures are probably why Kathy really bought the book:


Those little Francies are so cute and the Barbie isn’t too shabby either.  Now, that green outfit poor Barbie is saddled with is kind of wild.  I’m not sure why you would wear a knitted cape over a midriff top.  Aren’t you trying to show off your awesome abs?  Why cover up?  The green suit that Francie is wearing seems a little more Barbie-like.  I would happily dress my dollies up in these outfits just for the heck of it.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that I have the poncho and bell-bottom pants somewhere.  Now, I know where they came from.

One more post after this one before Christmas.  Come back next week to see all the lumps of coal we have found!

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