Sometime in the early 2000s, some genius low-level worker at RCA decided it'd be a brilliant idea to re-release the "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth" collaboration by David Bowie and Bing Crosby from Crosby's 1977 holiday television special in the US. In the last five years or so, it's moved from a mostly unknown gimmick to, dare I say, the standard pop rendition of "Little Drummer Boy" on holiday radio.
Comedians Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have re-created the entire scene, shot for shot, and play it straight for a full five minutes, proving that there's plenty of humor in staying small.
See both videos below:
I mostly hate party food. I mean, I like parties, and I love food, but somehow when I gather with others, all the options are sour cream and canned mushroom soup laden glops on my paper plate. And if I ever hear another person remark, "You put grape jelly in your meatballs!?!?" like it's some big secret, I may scream.
But not all is lost. Turns out, you can make tons of scrumptious, fresh, and (most importantly) edible finger foods. And by tons, I mean 101. The NYTime's Mark Bittman has created this master list on which you'll find stuff that'd be perfect for any upcoming Christmas or New Year's events, but worth keeping around to reference for a gathering in any season.
PerhapsWandering through the shops, scurrying to finish your gift list, you've no doubt stopped in front of the line of families, looking at that guy in red, and wondered, "What sort of person has the time or motivation to play the mall Santa Claus?" Or, perhaps you're a parent, and the question becomes much more serious: "Would I let my kid sit on that guy's lap?"
We've all seen some great Santas in our time, and we've seen some absolutely terrifying ones as well. Your new favorite Tumblr blog, Sketchy Santas, captures those in the later category, reminding all of us just how vulnerable the holiday season can be.
Comfort and joy?!
I'm still keeping up with my handmade only Christmas gifts this year, which, if you ask me, means I also gotta create my own wrapping paper. I added a typographic punch to brown craft paper, and made a super fast hand drawn snowflake paper, but decided I needed a little color under my tree. Not wanting to spend a ton of time, I whipped up several sheets of mod hand-printed paper in under an hour.
Here's how to do it:
Sugar plums... Figgy pudding... A Dickens goose...
We all know these things exist, and have something to do with Christmas, but in the days of multl-flavored candy canes, pre-cooked hams, and eggnog from a carton, their actual meaning is beyond most contemporary celebrations. But we can guess a bit: we know sugar and plums, figs and pudding, geese.
But no old-school, carol-inspired foodstuff is more perplexing than that we know from:
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green;Here we come a-wand'ring, so fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too;And God bless you and send you a Happy New YearAnd God send you a Happy New Year.
So, WTF is wassail, and why would you ever want to make it? Well, here's a hint: it's beer! AND wine!
Three or four years ago, these 3D paper snowflakes exploded all over the how-to and home decor blogosphere, and they've been an essential part of my holiday season ever since. I love the methodical tape slicing and paper cutting that perfectly matches a viewing of Christmas Vacation or Scrooged. This year, there's a total of sixteen hanging all over my home, and in case you haven't seen this how-to somewhere, I thought I'd share.
This year, I promised myself I wouldn't make an official ManMade gift guide for guys. Not because I don't know about all kinds of cool stuff that a fellow might want this Christmas, but because presuming that you can suggest what to buy someone based on their gender goes against the reason ManMade exists in the first place.
Rebekah Greiman of Potholes and Pantyhose is all kinds of fun. Her website is a neverending collage of witty images, random bursts of energy, and pretty clever crafty projects.
Like these super sparkly snowflakes, which look like a cross between Sputnik and some dangerous weapon from either 1350 or 3350. One or the other.
It's always very obvious when it's December in my house. I simply can't help but add a little bit of holiday cheer to each room.
But, there's not an inch of greenery, nor Santa Clauses, reindeer, or snowman. My home is really pretty modern, and the traditional Christmas vibe just doesn't match my stuff. So, I have an aluminum Christmas tree and metallic stockings, and to balance all that synthetic industrial-ness, I like to add plenty of handmade elements.
This year, in additional to my infamous paper snowflakes, I wanted more paper decorations that brought in a bit of color. So, I came with two easy how-tos: some mid-century inspiration paper ornaments, and a mod paper garland.
Only during the holiday season do we allow ourselves to consume things we never would otherwise: namely, too many calories and terribly cheesy television and movies.
But when its Christmas, that's okay. Normally, most of us wouldn't watch the same programs, intended for children, year after year, but buddy, when the Grinch is on, I'm watching.
And in 2010, no one needs to spend hours in front of the television, waiting for that magic moment when Home Alone comes on (Kevin, you're such a disease). Take a minute to look at these great schedules, then set your DVRs or other recorders, and have them available for whenever you get around to wrapping those gifts!
Sliceforms are "are geometric models constructed from interlocking sets of planar pieces," basically a 3D model made of flat pieces, creating a grid. Mathematically-minded folks, of course, can create super complex structures with the technique, but it can be scaled down to make simpler structures, like this 3D Christmas tree.
This year, Chanukah starts on December 1st, this Wednesday night. As for most holidays, we wanted to find appropriate decor to match the ManMade goals - guy-friendly, contemporary, and handmade.
We found it in this industrial menorah, or chanukkiah, which was assembled entirely from pipe fittings easily found at the hardware store.
Here's how its done:
It took me a couple of days, but I finally figured out what I'll be making for Thanksgiving.
For the first time, I'm veering away from trying to do the traditional items as best as possible. I grew up eating frozen Butterball, Stove Top stuffing, and perservative-laden green bean casserole Thanksgivings, so I spent my first two years on my own seeking to do the sage/celery heavy Thanksgiving as best as I could.
But this year, I'm ready for something else, and so I'm gonna embrace my beloved Mexican and Latin flavors and infuse them into the Thanksgiving classics.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Appetizers: Southwest Cheeseball and
Christmas card update: Nativity scenes or snow covered farms have been outdated for decades, and even thoughtful phrases like "peace on earth" or "comfort and joy" have grown a little tired over the last few years. But now? Now, non-plant producing Christmas cards are so 2009.
The "Seasons Greetings" PostCarden: "Once opened and unfolded into its log cabin, pop-out the skaters and simply sow the enclosed seeds and add water. In a few days your card will start to grow into a festive forest and will keep for 2 - 3 weeks."
Check out the video of it in action:
If you find yourself gathered with others this Thanksgiving, you'll find yourself with 1) a lot of food, and, if you're not cooking, eating, or cleaning up 2) some downtime.
We always think a group of folks gathered is an opportunity to do something together. While watching football may be a popular tradition, there are plenty of other options for all types of personalities and groups. More importantly, when you do stuff together, you might surprised to find that you actually like the people you're gathered with.
Here's a few of our favorites, and we hope you'll post some of yours in comments below.
Somewhere between age eight and wherever you are now, classic gingerbread shapes no longer satisfied. Sure, they still taste delicious, but a human shaped cookie with a head, two arms, and two legs, and no pyrotechnics? Well, that's just boring.
From architecturally satisfying houses to human rights campaigns to Nazi re-creations (what?!), we love some gingerbread inventiveness.
Illustrator, author, and artist Robert Sabuda provides these free, downloadable pop-up card templates and how-tos that'd be great for the upcoming holiday season. We especially like the new pirate ship design and all sorts of Star Wars models, including R2-D2 and a totally excellent Millennium Falcon.
We also love the "Pop-Up Basics" that show you how to create your own, custom designs.