Christmas Countdown #1!

Hey it’s December! The rest of the world may have begun the psycho parade procession toward Christmas back in August, but I’m only getting warmed up right now. I put up the outdoor Christmas lights last weekend. That’s right—last weekend, which was December. I don’t put that ish up in November, folks. Oh yeah, and I got a hot tip for you in the lighting department. The $12-a-pop Martha Stewart lights are worth it. You might be tempted to save money with the $7-a-pop off-brand lights, but stick with your girl Martha. They’re way brighter and nicer.

Anyway, it’s time for some Christmas counting down. Over the next two weeks, I’m going to be doing mad Christmas posting and blowing up your life XMAS STYLE. I got something awesome for the first post.

The other day I was at the thrift store. This is the kind of thrift store where old people’s lifetimes of accumulated knick-knacks go to die. It’s heaven if you’re a hoarder—or if you’re me. I’m not a hoarder. I’m an artist. I collect things with utmost discrimination. This next thing was no exception.

Check this out.

VINTAGE SANTA DOOR COVER.

Let’s take one moment to worship those people on the packaging. They sure can appreciate a decent Santa door cover when they see one. I love that girl’s admiring gaze.

Back in the day, this thing would have set you back a dollar and some change, but I got it for SIXTY SIX CENTS, still sealed. MINTY NICE. (Gah, I’ve been perusing on eBay too long.) The vinyl sheet was crisp in the package, factory folded and untouched. I was all over it.

I mean, it just screams Christmas. Weird 1960s Santa! A door cover!

Christmas door covers are a lost art form.

I love this old artwork. They just don’t make Santa as manic and drunk-looking these days. And Santa definitely is both of those things.

To me, Christmas has always been about old, weird things. Man, I wish all of my grandmother’s Christmas decorations still existed somewhere in a place besides my head. She used to have some of the weirdest stuff. It was always for more than just displaying. Christmas decorations were bizarrely elaborate with purpose. There were ceramic elves that had tiny hooked hands for scaling the table centerpiece. There were snowmen candles that played music with wicks that could never be burned lest it destroy the electrical innards. There were plastic holly leaves for hanging off ledges, with soft plastic berries that gave a little when you squeezed them, and it was just enough.

The other thing was the smell of the decorations. The vinyl and plastic and PVC sitting in cardboard boxes all year up in the attic was a ripe recipe for the intoxicating and chemically polymer smell, sweet like gasoline. Jesus, they don’t make plastic like they used to. It just doesn’t smell that good anymore. Forget pine and sugar cookie. This is the true the smell of Christmas. I’m probably slightly brain-damaged from huffing boxes of old-ass plastic Christmas decorations as a child.

Sigh.

I guess that’s why I dig these old things. It’s not nostalgia. It’s my craving for fumes. And the Santa door cover? It delivered. Big time. As I opened the package and began to unfold the vinyl, there was a whallop of fifty-year old polyvinyl chloride unleashed for the first time. It was like the nuclear cloud of shower curtains. It was the good shit.

Also, check out those hot specs:

Waterproof! Can be used indoors or outdoors! Fits standard doors! And my favorite, EASY TO ATTACH. And if by “easy to attach” you mean scotch-taping that sucker to the front door, then my God, YES IT IS THAT EASY to attach. Dang, those specs smoke my HD TV.

There’s something passé about taping a plastic sheet to your front door, but I’m bringing it back. The thing I love about my wife is that it didn’t even phase her when I taped that bad boy up on the door. She just looked at it and noted its brand-new condition for its age. She’s so pragmatic, it’s sickening.

And they didn’t lie. It was easy to attach. Tape is so magic. Anyone who has ever put up a single Christmas decoration knows that tape is, in fact, the Christmas miracle. I’ll leave you with that thought tonight.

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9 responses to “Christmas Countdown #1!

  1. Fab Santa door cover! I could smell the plastic while I was reading — great descriptions. Come summer, I highly recommend spending some time blowing up a dollar store pool ring — it’s intoxicating…literally.

  2. I opened the door and got a whiff of that plastic… whew you weren’t kidding.

  3. That lady on the door cover looks like Jackie O!

  4. Wow! That is sweet. The guy on the packaging looked like he was smiling off into space, but now I see he’s reading those specs. The lady is clearly high on plastics.

  5. Love manic drunk Santa! I have a red felt, sequined and spangled door decoration that I got at our local thrift store a couple of years ago that very much reminds me of my grandmother. Even have some kitschy ornaments from the late 60’s and early 70’s. Keep the good stuff coming, Pizza. kt

  6. So jealous, finding that would have made my whole Christmas. Great score!Growing up in the 60’s & 70’s, tacky & plasticy seasonal decor are the only kind of decorations that really feel like Christmas to me. Thank god Kmart is still around, you can count on them for a good array of tacky stuff. Puffy Santa face toliet seat cover anyone?

  7. Awesome! You’re right. Christmas decorations these days aren’t nearly as cool as the ones in decades past. And old minty plastic does in fact have an intoxicating smell. Whether it’s old toys or old(mint) decorations.

    I also noticed that it was manufactured by McCrory Corp. I used to love that store! I can remember getting a lot of toys there back in the day(also my first packs of Marvel Trading cards). They were kind of like a Woolworth’s, but smaller.

  8. haha this is great! santa still looks maniacal and drunk in france, probably from the copious amounts of wine he gets to drink on christmas eve here haha

  9. Dear Pizza,
    Your humor is contagious and I am glad to have stumbled upon your blog.

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