Even if I carved a jack-o-lantern this year, I dunno where I'd put it in my house. It'd have to sit on the floor somewhere, out of sight, making it not worth the effort. (Which, as you might guess...is why they don't get carved at my house.)
But, a family of tiny little gourds with oversized fangs and eerie red eyes. Those I can handle.
Sometimes, a card from the grocery store will do. (Grandma.) Sometimes, some stationery from an independent designer is right on. (Non-artsy sibling.) A handmade card is always tops for those you like and with whom you have inside jokes. (Good friend.) But, what about when you need a kick-butt, custom card for those closest to you, that deserve the next step.
Why, you gotta take things into the next dimension.
Whenever I'm out and about, and opt to have a beer, my go-to move is to ask, "What are your seasonals." They way I figure it, the independent and micro breweries that craft seasonal beers do this as their profession. It's their job to match the flavors and textures of beer to those of the season - the weather, the ingredients available, the kind of food we eat. And while I have a few year-round staples, I've found I always get what I want by inquiring re: seasonals.
I've gone on record before about my general distrust of gender-based gift guides. I find them to be mostly biased, reinforcing the norms that led me to start ManMade in the first place. But, more importantly, and more offensively, they're unimaginative. Yes, men wear t-shirts and have wallets, and play video games, and tend to like gadgets. We know this. Please take it to the next step.
But this fine Father's Day gift guide from Brittany and Jacob at Wantist avoids all the traps. Its inclusive for all types of guys, and provides unique, solid stuff, that anyone might want, including dads. Plus, it's beautifully designed and full of care.
Check it out.
You may be surprised to learn Cinco de Mayo is actually more celebrated in the U.S. than in Mexico. "Cinco De Mayo marks the 1862 battle of Puebla, during which Mexican troops defeated the French army in an underdog victory regarded as a symbol of national unity. Mexico celebrates Independence Day on September 16, but Cinco De Mayo is only observed regionally."
And now you know.
But, no matter the history, no one needs an excuse to eat Mexican food.
Normally, I'm a Valentizer Scrooge, but this year, I've been thinking a bit differently. I dunno, I guess I just figure there's never a bad time to tell someone you care.
Of course, I'll still never do roses and chocolates, but after whipping up my own Valentine's Day "card" that belongs on the wall, not in an envelope, I started paying attention to other thoughtful/not cheesy options.
I know, I know. The holidays are over...even I took down all my seasonal decor over the weekend.
BUT! This kind of awesomeness is worth watching, year-round. Plus, we figure these guys actually completed this after Christmas, and grabbed all that terrible gift wrap when it was 90% off.
Click through to watch the video:
It was bound to happen: the U.S.'s most famous architectural accomplishment meets the holidays most beloved architectural tradition.
Melodie of Garden Melodies reworked the Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece for the 2010 Gingerbread Festival in Orem, Utah.
Unfortunately, she lost to this guy, "Candyland":
True, it's a little late to be worrying about sending Christmas cards through the mail at this point, but how about a sweet e-card with no animated gifs or cheesy MIDI soundtrack?
The folks from Fossil are offering an updated take on the e-card, perfect for passing along to that friend that you won't be able to connect with this season.
This year, I've watched a total of twenty-one Christmas movies and Christmas specials. So far. There are still three essentials to come in the next few days.
I don't normally watch that much TV in three months, but there's something about seasonal specials that turns me into a couch potato, with a candy cane in my mouth, festively lit by my spinning light wheel.
I guess like I feel it's okay, cause I presume everybody does it.
So, I'm hoping you'll prove me right, and I wanna give you something to say thanks. So, between right now and 11:59pm on December 25th, 2010, just tell us your favorite Christmas movie or television special, and you'll be entered to win one of five free copies of one our publications, Make It! Hardware Store Decor.
As much respect as I have for the handmade traditions of the past, old fashioned holiday candies don't do much for me. My family is famous among their friends for their peanut brittle, but I can't stand the stuff.
But these bright blue glittery twisties!? No, this is candy making I can get excited about! And even, better it's made in the microwave, so no fancy thermometers or dropping stuff in water needed.
One of my favorite holiday memories is of making luminaries to light the walk on Christmas eve. We'd gather with the other kids from our church, and fill paper lunch bags with sand, and then set a candle and light up the sidewalks of the entire block. I was always amazed that the bags didn't catch on fire, but mostly, I was amazed they'd let me play with a lighter, which I was definitely not allowed to do at home.
But, paper bags and play sand aren't the only option for these holiday traditions, so here's a roundup of DIY luminaria with a little something for everyone. There's LEDs for the geeks, a wax for the crafty folks,
I hate all those email forwards that try to update folk tales and ancient narratives into contemporary language. I mean, I hate email forwards in general, but those ones in particular. The cheesy clip art, the fact that Snow White and Moses always say "OMG", the repetitive jokes...and mostly that they aren't funny.
But, for some reason, I find this take to be clever. I appreciate the various approaches to the social networks and digital tools, love that Melchior checks in with Caspar and Balthazar to see what they got the baby, and think the message is clear: "Times change...feelings remain the same."
Really, you want to watch the video:
Over the past few years, I've sorta developed an obsessive hobby of trying to find non-Andy Williams or Nat King Cole Christmas songs to soundtrack the kind of holiday that I've come to love as an adult.
I've now got a collection of almost 400 (nearly a day's worth) of holiday and winter songs by indie and modern rock artists, as well as a few classics that get ignored by soft rock stations, that have come to sound like Christmas to me.
I've assembled a free playlist of some of my favorites; just click the play button below and settle in for a long winter's rocking out!
It's true - it isn't easy to find cool gifts for guys. Roundups and wish lists are generally reduced to practical clothing items (the standard tie), video games and media (which are cool, but expected) or tools and gadgets. And handmade items? Even more difficult.
But, if you know where to look, there are lots of cool items out there, all of which can still show up at your house before Christmas Eve. Tomorrow's free shipping day for plenty of places, so make those decisions quickly!