Angels We Have Heard
Are High

angelic kitsch...from Hell

Cavalcade of Bad Nativities
it came upon a midnight weird

The Passion of the Tchotchke
holy week kitsch-o-rama

Stations of the Kitsch


I am not responsible for the content of the above ads, which are often hilariously mis-matched.


Wednesday, December 29, 2004

best thing ever

Check out the excellent present the fairy godchild's parents gave me: Singing Bible Keychain.

I love love love it. I also am now the proud owner of a cast-iron nun bottle opener. Yay!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

new post: it's got knitting! jacuzzi! godzilla!

Christmas was good, and the next day Dennis and I drove down to Santa Cruz to spend the night. The weather was kind of bleh, all drizzly and gray, which is probably why I reacted the way I did to the In-Room Jacuzzi sign when we pulled up to our cheap motel. Not a difficult decision at all; the place was nearly deserted and they gave us a good rate on the upgrade. The tub was huge - one of those corner ones that holds two happy people and their hastily-purchased rubber duck. The trip really wasn't what we had planned - we got a late start, we decided we didn't want to deal with the crowds to go to the movies in the afternoon as we had planned, and the places we wanted to eat were closed. But everything still worked out great, and it turned out that what my body needed more than anything was multiple rounds of serious tub soaking. We sprawled on the bed and read magazines and my fun retro Christmas book for most of the evening, between soaks. We had planned to go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium the next day, but the weather was worse and we decided to just get home, after a really tasty breakfast. Mine involved hollendaise sauce. Mmmmmm.

The trip was our Christmas present to each other, although Dennis also got a partially-finished sweater, because everyone loves that. I've been working on it since the women's retreat in November, but only finished the front and back and half of a sleeve by Christmas. It's the Very Manly Sweater from Stitch-n-Bitch, done in charcoal grey heather wool. It's going to look amazing on him once I, you know, finish it.

And, of course, I got to see the fairy godchild and her parents and that rocked like a hurricaine. It had only been six weeks or so since I had seen her, but her vocabulary has really expanded (water! outside! NO!). I had some of the leftover bubbles from the goody bags we handed out Christmas Eve (yes, the bottles have snowman heads and say "Jesus Loves You Snow Much!" I don't want to talk about it.) at my desk, and amused her this afternoon by blowing tons of bubbles. I didn't finish her present, either, but she is fifteen months old and things are exciting whenever they happen in her world.

One present I did finish was a set of Godzilla Mittens for Leigh.

They're adapted from the Later Gator mitts from Stitch-n-Bitch Nation - vague and confusing directions for how I did that are here.
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Friday, December 24, 2004

randomness wrap-up

Since this is the last day of our Cavalcade of Bad Nativities, here are all the ones I've gathered along the way and not posted.

Weird animal nativity department:

Research suggests that cats actually hate being dressed up.

Whoooo is the son of God? Whoooo?

Hey kids! Come throw beanbags at the holy family! Yeah!

This one needs a second look. That's a leg.

This one would just be another ho-hum nativity on top of a shrubbery if it didn't have Thomas Kinkade's name attached to it. But the addition of the Kinkade brand of bland makes it snark-worthy. I despise his art. I do not like him painting boats, I do not like him painting goats. I do not like insipid cottages here or there, I do not like them anywhere.

This one amuses me because everyone looks so surprised, especially Mary. Baby Jesus just looks uncomfortable, like he's trying to avoid being stuck in the back by a piece of straw.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
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Thursday, December 23, 2004

there's NO Jesus like SNOW Jesus

Apparently, it's really cute/touching/inspirational when people made of snow give birth to adorable, extremely meltable saviors. It must be, because there are so many snow-centric nativity sets.

Snowmen in coats...because they want to stay warm...?

These two both portray a giant protective figure over the snowtivity. The huge angel is frightening.

And the pillow has a bear in a sweater snuggled between Mary, Joseph, and Snow-god.

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I am apparently someone whose happiness is more dependent on a copy machine than is really healthy

It must be Christmas. The church's copier died. It's being all jammy-jam-jam-jam and crumply-crumple-butt. The copier man came and pronounced it in need of parts. Parts he does not have.

I am not especially upset about this, since I got everything vital produced yesterday, but it does point to the increasing instability of my little universe.

We just turned the copier off, which we never do because it takes ten minutes to boot up. There's a graphic of the space shuttle on its screen to enjoy while you're waiting. It mocks you with its speediness.

The Christmas Pageant was last night. If there is a law against gratuitous cuteness, we can look forward to some citations. The little sheep who kept waving to everyone and shouting BAAAAA! is probably a huge fine from the Cuteness Police right there. And the angels conducting us with their little glittery wands as we sang Angels We Have Heard on High were also adorable. Shut UP, ovaries. No one needs to hear from you right now. It is not my job to provide a baby Jesus for the next pageant, mmmmkay?

Speaking of adorable small people, the fairy godchild will be here tomorrow with her parents and I am ten kinds of excited. Their decision to spend Christmas here instead of Montana was the best! gift! ever!

So, I've finished, like, a quarter of the projects I wanted to have done for gifts. Feh. And the apartment has the amazing spinning tree and that's it. Although I made sure to get the giant plastic containers full of decorations out and put them in the middle of the living room, where we can trip over them, which is almost as good as having decorations up, right?. See previous comment re: the Christmas that kind of wasn't.

Also, I seem to go from zero to tears in a fraction of a second, but I think that's probably the sleep deprivation. I'm feeling kind of paralyzed by anxiety at the moment, in that place where you can't really move past it by maybe doing something about the thing that is making you anxious. Nope, I'm a big pile of Freak Out at the moment, and I just bought the upgrade kit to make Super Freak Out.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

maybe santa is bringing baby Jesus a nice refreshing Coca-Cola

The opportunity exists here to go off on secular Christmas vs. sacred Christmas, but you know what? I'm freaking exhausted. And you've pretty much heard it all before anyway, so my additional thoughts about Santa aren't going to be all that illuminating. So fill in the rant here, mad-libs style.

This is wrong on [number] levels. What [adjective][noun] thought of this? Jesus [letter]. Christ on a [noun], this is a [adjective] idea.
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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

savior under glass

Today we will look at more examples of strange nativity waterglobes.

Bethlehem air traffic control didn't know what to do about the people floating above the city.

Another example of the hermetically sealed Baby Jesus concept. The waterglobe part rotates. Of course it does.
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Monday, December 20, 2004

CSI: Bethlehem

Both adults appeared to be missing their legs.

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Merry Christmas from Fuzzy Hot-Elf

Santa's Little Helper Name Generator

Time wastage: it's everywhere you want to be.
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Sunday, December 19, 2004

I'm a parade float

For everyone who thought the rhinestone sweatshirt was too restrained:

That's some sparkle. There's a wise man on the back, presumably lost and trying to find his way back to the front.
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Jesus watches you from behind one-way glass

I keep stumbling across this item in my quest for new nativity goodness to show you.

Here's what it does:

Life Of Jesus Cross Light

Scenes from the life of Jesus decorate an elaborately designed wall cross. At center, Jesus sits behind a mirror and, when switched on, is illuminated by a pale light. Uses two AA batteries, not included.

So, you're looking in the mirror, and then you turn the light on, and then, AAAAAH! It's Jesus! He's watching me!
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who stole the cookie from the deeply confused cookie jar?

I found another cookie jar.

I'm imagining the design meeting on this one.
"Rainbow! There's a rainbow in the Bible. You know, Noah? Let's put a rainbow in there."
"Wasn't Joseph, like, really old when Jesus was born?"
"You're thinking of Abraham. He was old when Isaac when born, and then there was the whole sacrifice thing..."
"Look, I've already made his hair gray, so you're just going to have to deal with it."
"Is that a bottle in his hand?"
"NO. That's a lantern."
"Are you sure? 'Cause it looks like a bottle. Whoo hoo! Toasting the birth of the Christ child!"
"It's. A. Lamp."
"Maybe the wise men brought booze for the new dad. That was so thoughtful. It's definitely a bottle."
"SHUT IT! It's a LAMP! I hate you." [flounces out]
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Saturday, December 18, 2004

I heard on the internet that Bethlehem is, like, a code name for Area 51, dude

This was on ebay. It's a nightlight.

Those are aliens, right? Back in the window?
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Friday, December 17, 2004

SILver and GOLD, SILver and GOLD

These have a really creepy Rankin Bass feel to them. The giant heads and spindly little bodies...

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

weird and unnerving

They're, um, naked. Naked little trolls.

God came to earth...as a hobbit.

If you have a bunch of troll dolls sitting around, here are instructions on how to dress them up for a nativity display.
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you just know this is going to be accessorized with light-up Christmas tree light earrings

The rhinestone nativity sweatshirt.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

skooool's out for...Christmas

I can't believe the semester is over (well, the work goes on for those of us who still owe papers).

Sunday was good; I got up to chapel early to try to find a better alb since I was on torch again, and I think I succeeded. It was much less lumpy. AND I learned how to do the cool cincture slipknot, and wasn't a beat behind everyone else during the liturgy. Go me.

The fabulous vintage aluminum tree of doom is up, and it is spinning away. Dennis didn't realize that it has a motorized stand, so he got to have the wait a minute...the tree is moving moment. I realized that my old tasteful Christmas tree skirt looks wrong with it, so I'm thinking next year I'll make something involving sequins. Yes, it's very much like If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. If you give Sara a tacky tree, she will want elf heads and scary-ass felt-n-sequin tree skirts. It's just the way she is, folks.

My next challenge is getting my brain off the worry-wheel. I'm not sleeping very well, because as soon as I close my eyes, I start thinking about all the stuff I need to get done, and how little time I have in which to do that. Plus there's some bad budget shit going down at St. Ned's and I'm feeling mega-anxious about that. So I'm like a little over-caffeinated hamster with hyperactivity issues, basically, running and running in my stupid little wheel and getting nowhere. I really need to find a better way to deal with this whole anxiety-paralysis thing, because it does seem that I spend more time worrying about things than I do accomplishing things. Jesus told us not to worry, but I guess I still think he was talking to someone else.
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when the baby Jesus points to 0, your cookies are done

Also, you should probably keep your cat away from this nativity set.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

go play with your plagues, kids

Just to prove that weird stuff isn't only for Christians: toy plagues. I think my favorite is An icky boil on a piece of flesh, but it's so hard to choose, you know?
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I don't know about you, but I never want to have to decide if I should eat the baby Jesus feet-first or head-first.

Cookie Nativity Kit

Chocolate Nativity

And where would you keep these tasty creche-o-licious treats? How about here:

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Monday, December 13, 2004

they tried to be cheerful, but they knew the spider would be back soon

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all I'm saying is, you could think about changing a diaper once in a while

Mary looks really pissed off here.

apologies for all the big images, but if I compress them too much, you lose the horror.
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the messiah in the bubble

"So, as you can see, it wasn't really a normal delivery. Do you think you can get him out?"
"Look, I have this plant right here...how about if I just smash the stupid bubble?"
"I have never seen anything like this. I am definitely going to have to call in my supervisor. One of the archangels should be able to deal with it."
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it's Christmas...in the village of the damned

Proof that there is something worse than Pweshus Moments. And that's...knockoffs with seriously deranged lipliner.

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Sunday, December 12, 2004

the best post about cat pee you've read today

I wish this could be one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, because then I could say that I'm going to talk about my day at skool, and ask you if you would rather hear about the open flames and the world's least flattering garment™, or the cat pee.

Let's say that you chose the cat pee, because I think statistically people tend to choose the second option.

I was in my first class, and I thought I smelled something weird. Something kind of like cat pee. The territory-marking kind. Sometimes bad kitties like to come in through the cat door and eat Clyde's tuna, and one of them peed in her basket a while back. Stupid cat. So it smelled like that. And it was coming from...my bookbag.

When I started skool, I bought a really cute pink corduroy bookbag, which had been sitting empty on the floor in the dining room for the past couple of weeks. Clyde seemed to enjoy sleeping on it at first, because it's always better to sleep on something which is incrementally higher than the floor. Well, apparently it got marked, and I was in too big a hurry to notice when I was packing it up this morning. So, now I don't have a bookbag, because, well, cat pee.

I kind of wonder how it is that I didn't notice this, but the truth is, I've kind of been sleepwalking through the ol' life this week. There could have been a giant three-horned ape in the dining room, and I probably would have just hung my keys on it.

Now I have to go throw some Nature's Miracle around.

If you picked the first option...I was a torch bearer at tonight's eucharist. Yes, they let me carry an open flame around people in flowing, flammable robes. The bare minimum for a quality eucharist is 'everyone got fed, no one got hurt,' so I hope the equivalent for torch bearing is 'no one caught on fire.' Because if you raise that a tiny bit, to say, 'the torch bearer knew what she was doing and sat in her seat and didn't fidget with her stupid alb,' then we might have a problem.

Ach. The alb. I have been an Episcopalian for a while now, and somehow I managed to avoid putting on an alb in all that time. The alb is the white robe that people who are serving at the altar wear at churches that aren't St. Ned's, where we don't really do vestments much. Some churches put everyone who goes near the altar in an alb, so the torch-folk have to wear them during school liturgies.

There is a big closet full of albs in the chapel sacristy, in a variety of sizes that somehow manage to fit no one well. I decided to go with 'slightly too long, drapes weird over the chest.' To get an idea of just how unflattering this thing is on someone with boobage, think white turtleneck. White turtleneck a couple sizes too big, since it hangs straight down from the chest. I had been idly wondering if there are maternity albs for clerics who are great with child, but since the standard model makes one look pregnant anyway, I guess it's not really an issue. Cinching it at the waist with a rope belt (cincture) is an option, but it doesn't really help the effect. The cincture has to be tied a certain way that I've never learned, so I have that to look forward to.

The deacon at tonight's eucharist had on a custom-made, more fitted alb that was actually rather flattering, so I may have to bite that really expensive bullet at some point. There are no good patterns for them or I would think about sewing it myself. Having your own alb that fits means you're a grownup.

My teachers have given me a couple of extra weeks to get my work in, so it looks like I may not have to take any official incompletes if I can crank out some papers. This is a huge relief.

It also means that this is getting a bit closer to being The Christmas That Sort of Wasn't, since I will be working on skool stuff until Christmas. My fabulous vintage aluminum tree is waiting to be put up, and I'm hoping to get to that tomorrow. I hope I can get all of my presents finished, but realistically there might be a few Epiphany presents given this year.
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I think your robe is FAAAAB-u-lous!

Is there any more beautiful combination of words in the English language than glitter nativity?

I actually bought this one on ebay, and will have it soon. It will sit under my aluminum tree and be so very festive. I love this.
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Saturday, December 11, 2004

...and they brought him gold, frankincense and snausages

Two different visions of the nativity starring dogs

I'm fresh out of clever. Fill in your own hilarity!

Oh, and am I wrong about this being the creepiest baby Jesus doll ever?
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Friday, December 10, 2004

is this the bible belt? (ba-dum-bum)

The problem with most of the nativities I've posted so far is that you can't really take them with you. Only a select few people will ever know about the glory of your nativity collection...unless! You get this amazing nativity belt buckle.

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

raver Jesus

Once again proving that the only thing better than a cheap nativity is a cheap nativity with fiber optic holiness-indicators:

I think everyone looks a little cramped in there for some reason. Joseph looks like his feet hurt. That star is just kind of crammed onto the roof, there's a random pillar in there, and everyone has to hold their heads at weird angles to see the child. I kind of feel sorry for them.

This is a very depressing nativity, and the fiber optics only make it worse. It's trying too hard.

Oh, and here's a bit of nightmare fuel a reader tipped me off to: scary animated baby Jesus.
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Wednesday, December 08, 2004

my EYES!

Y'all might enjoy uglychristmaslights.com.

I'm just not sure that the development of cheap, huge inflatable characters is going to turn out to be a win for humanity. Because when everyone can afford to have a giant spherical Santa in their front yard...well, evidence suggests that they will just go ahead and do it.

abrupt topic shift

I'm focusing on skool and getting as much done as possible before this weekend, so that I won't be quite as hosed as I am at this moment. Can I just pause here a moment to reflect on how much my first semester of deacon skool has sucked? Because it really has, despite my best efforts to be all perky about it. It's not a quitting kind of suckage, it's more that I've had to take a really hard look at myself and the many ways in which I can be a real asshole sometimes, as well as the ways in which I go out of my way to set up a nice spectacular failure now and then, and many other things I do which are ultimately less than helpful. So I'm trying to work out a new way to be in the world, and it's weird and uncomfortable, but it's also a good thing, this stripping away. I just thought that I'd, you know, signed up for the easy plan. Which is entirely not the case as it turns out. The payoff, of course, is that I have a very strong sense of God working in the world and in me.

Really cool moment today - a woman came in who was trying to get to Seattle, but she was out of gas and out of food and hadn't eaten since yesterday. Which totally could have been a scam, except I just knew that I was supposed to help her. I pulled together some food from the kitchen; I found a cereal bar when we started looking and gave that to her so that she could eat something right away, and I really don't think she was kidding about not eating, although she was trying not to just wolf it down. We got her set up, I may have slipped her something from my wallet (I'm not saying I did, since that would be against policy), and then we went out into the courtyard so that I could point her back to the freeway and to the cheapest gas station up the street. It was such a gorgeous day - it had been raining a bit, so everythiing was clear and clean and slightly sparkling, and almost at the same time, we both said, "God is good," because that was the only possible reaction. Her name is Cora, and a few extra prayers her way would be appreciated. She really blessed me today.
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disco holy family!

In the future, holiness will be designated by fiber optics. It's true!

The person whose soul-crushing job it is to write product descriptions for this stuff says it best:

This colorful 14” fiber optic nativity is a must have for your Christmas décor. Exquisitely crafted from porcelain and masterfully accented with hand painted details, this beautiful nativity contains transparent fibers that continuously change through a rainbow of colors.

Got that? It's exquisitely crafted. Those details are masterful!
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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

bonus bad nativity

We'll have two today, because I've just been alerted to something so very, very wrong, it cannot wait.

Celebrity Nativity at Madame Tussauds

I know when I think of the Virgin Mary, Posh Spice is the first person who comes to mind. And that's Hugh Grant as a shepherd, next to Samuel L. Jackson. WTF?
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I feel like chicken tonight

Chicken nativity! B'gock!

I would really have to display this one in a creche made from a KFC bucket.
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Monday, December 06, 2004

can't sleep...Joseph will eat me...

Yes, it's a gianormous inflatable holy family.

of course it lights up.
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Sunday, December 05, 2004

the holy family of kitsch

I have decided that my theme for Advent is Nativities That Maybe Don't Need to Exist. I'll be posting a new one every day! Feel free to email me with examples.

Today's entry comes from reader Jessica.

This is a set of costumes for those geese people have on their porches, the ones that get dressed up to match the current holiday or season. Those geese. The best detail is of course the baby Jesus. Since I guess there are no cement/resin/plastic baby ducklings available, well, rubber ducky, you're the one.

Lo, I have come to make bathtime so much fun!
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Saturday, December 04, 2004

robot roll-call

I'm under house arrest this weekend, trying to get caught up for skool. I don't actually have a little bracelet on my ankle, but Dennis took the car to work, so I'm limited to distractions I can walk to.

So, my life looks like this...laptop, silly pajamas, MST3K on the TV (familiar eps I don't have to actually watch, but the sound of Tom Servo's voice is comforting), and a pile of papers and books.

Bonus points to the alert reader who found this little tribute to the birth of the Christ child:

Is the baby Jesus made from mini marshmallows and those little Andes tingaling mints? And his name shall mean, Snacks Are With Us.

Crap, now I want a S'more. And I don't even really like S'mores.
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