Saturday, December 15, 2018

Is there a Buy Nothing Christmas?

Is there a 'buy nothing at Christmas' movement?  Yes. There has to be.  It seems obvious, doesn't it.  Wikipedia has an entry for buy nothing Christmas - 
"Buy Nothing Christmas is an ongoing protest and reaction to the commercialization of the North American Christmas and holiday season. It started unofficially in 1968, when Ellie Clark and her family decided to publicly disregard the commercial aspects of the Christmas holiday. Contemporarily a movement was created to extend Adbusters' Buy Nothing Day into the entire Christmas season. Buy Nothing Christmas first became official in 2001 when a small group of Canadian Mennonites created a website and gave the movement a name".

Here is their website:

Here is an excerpt from the buy nothing catalogue.  You can submit entries to it.  
On the downside, it looks like this website is mostly dormant, and the facebook page's last post is from a few years ago.  

There is a wider buy nothing movement with groups located around the world.  As I was checking them out, a little ad popped up - it is the gift of nothing - available on Amazon for $19.95.   Here it is.

Today is a train day - a panorama from the convention in Minneapolis.

Friday, December 14, 2018 it an art, a sport, a hobby?

What is weird and unusual in children's Christmas toys this year?  I found out quite quickly.  What is weird and unusual is 'unboxing videos'.  
Kids’ unboxing videos are YouTube series in which children, or in some cases just disembodied hands, take toys out of their packaging and play with them as uplifting music plays in the background. One particularly popular video shows a small boy unwrapping and then assembling a child-size electric car, using plastic tools that would surely fall apart in less practiced hands. He then drives the car down the sidewalk through an eerily empty neighborhood to a playground that is also completely empty, where he plays by himself, presumably because all the other neighborhood children are busy watching YouTube. The video has 267 million views.

Kids will watch unboxing videos over and over—or open surprise toys over and over—because they pick up new details every time, Barr said, figuring out how unwrapping works. Some of the most popular unboxing videos on YouTube are of surprise toys, including a 12-minute video with 321 million views in which a boy tears open a giant golden egg to find a load of Spider-Man-themed candy and toys, including a few smaller eggs that he also unwraps. The video, which is loaded with commercials, ends with him screaming in excitement as his final egg includes a little Spider-Man.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have this ability as adults?  Well some do.  There is a very  popular site called unboxtherapy.  The host unboxes technical gadgets.  So for children and adults, unboxing is something to add to the Christmas holiday activities. 

Our picture today is Sweet Autumn Clematis in the garden.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

How Beserk Can Christmas Sweaters Get? Really Beserk!

Pinterest is always looking out for me.  I have found their garden ideas to be helpful in my garden presentations - they bring novelty and fun to most everything.  They are persistent and the ugly sweater post last week brought some more ugly sweater pins.  It isn't any normal pin - here it is;
This article is from Inventor Spot - "We like to keep on the cutting edge".  The sweaters include the eat me gingerbread sweater, the frisky deer sweater, Squeeze my huge...reindeer noses sweater, barfing reindeer sweater, deck the halls in dingleberries, Santa on the pooper sweater, Santa is a naughty boy sweater, Kardashing your ass through the snow sweater, and so on.  The site is HERE.  

Inventor Spot continues the theme: They have a post on equally strange Christmas ornaments.  Some are available on Amazon under the title 'pornaments' - clear enough what the ornaments are.  They also found creepy things.  What do you think of a series of fetus and embryo ornaments, pee and poop ornaments, farting Santa and reindeer ornaments?  What would you do if a son-in-law showed up wearing beardaments (12 pc colourful Christmas facial hair baubles)?  What if your children shopped on Etsy and got you the handmade flying spaghetti monster or Trump snowflakes?

And then I found the truely creepiest ornament of all!  
Jingle bells taxidermy mouse ornament

"These hanging mice are made to order! Please note that you will not get the mouse in the picture, but a similar one in a similar pose. Due to the nature of the product, each mouse will vary in color and have a different fur pattern. If you would prefer a certain color (grey, light tan, brown, or black) please contact me in advance and I can make that happen! These are real taxidermy mice, so they make a wonderful addition to any oddities collection".  Here's the person's store.  I could never make this stuff up.

We have a normal tree ornament picture today.  The Fantasy of Trees completed with a draw for the trees and raffle items.  There were over 40 trees and close to 60 raffle items.  The trees are top quality - bought on sale, marked down from retail prices of $300 - 400. We  store them for the year.  My brother, Brian and I went through the display and he picked out a tree he liked.  I bought 3 pages of tickets, put them all in this tree's box  - and he won.  This tree was titled "Baby it's cold outside" and was decorated by Tiffany, one of the Museum staff.  She's a great designer of tree themes and did beautiful posters for us for advertising.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Gingerbread Day is here

We haven't paid attention to our national celebration days. Today is Gingerbread House Day.  Bake ginger bread cookies and use them to fashion edible houses and other architectural models.

It is also National Ding-a-Ling Day, and National Poinsettia Day.
  What is Ding-A-Ling Day?  

Ding-a-Lings on this day call the people they haven’t heard from in a while.  It may be an old classmate, co-worker or neighbor from years ago.  Or perhaps a call will go out to the child who used to mow the grass during the summer.  How about that couple who carpooled for soccer.  What was their name? There are all sorts of people in our lives who manage to slip out of our lives who would love to hear the ding-a-ling of a call from you or me.  Why don’t you join the Ding-a-ling club and call someone this year?

Poinsettias are easier to figure out.  The U.S. House of Representatives in 2002 created Poinsettia Day to honour the father of the poinsettia industry, Paul Ecke.  The date of December 12 marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the man responsible for bringing the plant to the United States.

Tomorrow's celebrations include celebrating cocoa, violins, horses,  national guards and "pathologist pals." Pick a Pathologist Day is observed annually December 13th.  This day was created to encourage us to make friends with a pathologist or coroner because we never know what tomorrow holds.  

Here are some of the Grimsby Landmarks from the Grimsby Historical Society's tree this year.  The first is the well-known Nelles Manor, the oldest house between Kingston and Niagara-on-the-Lake. 

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Olive the Reindeer

It is Sunday and time for a selection of Christmas jokes:

Why does Santa have three gardens?
So he can 'ho ho ho'!

What do Santa's little helpers learn at school?
The elf-abet!
Why was the snowman rummaging in the bag of carrots?
He was picking his nose!

What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
It's Christmas, Eve!

How come you never hear anything about the 10th reindeer?
'Olive, the other reindeer, used to laugh and call him names.'

What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!

Now what about the oddest Christmas records from the Guinness Book of World Records?

The largest gathering of Santa Clauses - 14,000 people in Derry City, Northern Ireland on December 9 2007.  I expect they are having an anniversary get-together today.

The largest gathering of Santa's elves - in Wetherby, North Yorkshire, on November 9th, 2013 with 1,110 elves.

The largest gathering of people wearing Santa hats.  Anaheim, California in the Angel Stadium June 2014 - 30,333 people.

We're at the Cumbres and Toltec rail yard in pictures today.
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