Tag Archives: excess

18 days until Christmas…

You know, when you look at the way we do Christmas these days, the commercialism, the chaos and the excess, it’s no wonder why at some point, we have to poke fun at the ridiculousness of it.  Here are some great pics of Christmas weirdness, fun and creativity.

This guy wins the award of creativity.  I wish I had thought of this!  Nope, it’s not a real guy hanging there.  He staged this, but after a couple of days, had to take it down.  People were frantically trying to run over and help him.  A few cars actually drove into his yard in a panic, worked quickly to get the ladder back up, only to find out there was no guy up there.  I call this performance art.  I wonder if he had a video camera set up?

I Googled ‘dead Santa’ yesterday before writing about the Christmas spirit.  I came across a few images that were intriguing.  This dead Santa illustration was created by Brandon Reese.  This was one of many funny Christmas icon illustrations.  It’s odd, but I love the retro look and colors.  I can’t help but wonder why he created this image and how it was used.

This one came up on the dead Santa search too.  Did you notice the peppermint candy border on the rug?  Great artistic details.  Good thing they don’t outline all the dead ones laying around in people’s yards.  Wow, wouldn’t the 3M tape company love that?

One of my favorite sitcoms of all times is The Drew Carey show.  Beer kegs in Christmas lights?  These have to be full of Buzz beer.  Maybe he’s going to have a block party.  If this was my neighbor, I would have to go check to see if any of these actually had beer in them.

Where does one get this many kegs?  Notice the extra keg behind the keg tree?  I’m guessing his patio table base is also a keg, and judging by the looks of this place, he probably has a basement, full of kegs.

Okay, so we started the tree segment with a beer tree.  I found lots of unique Christmas trees out there, ‘out there’ meaning on the internet.  Don’t worry, I plan to have many more of my own crazy photos in future posts.

Our Christmas message series at church this year is called Upside-down Christmas.  I was so excited when that was decided because we were going to finally use the idea Rod and I talked about, upside-down trees.  Sadly to me, nobody liked the idea this year.  I thought about hanging my tree upside-down.  Problem?  It’s a 10′ tree that works like an umbrella.  Four extremely heavy pieces, that if placed upside-down, would fall together and look like a tree that should be strapped to the top of a car to take home.

Let’s start with the upside-down tree.  This is one of the newest fads in Christmas decor, although there is much controversy about the symbolic meaning of it.  For some, this is just to be different, for others, it creates more space for this Christmas icon and makes more room for gifts.  Clearly we need more room for all of the stuff we are expected to, and probably will purchase.

Others have said an upright tree points to heaven, an upside-down tree, well, not so much.  Anytime you mess with tradition, there will always be a group of protestors.

Why do I like the upside-down tree?  I like it for the same reason we are doing a message series about an upside-down Christmas.  When you turn something upside-down, it usually makes a mess at first, but then you think about it, reorganize all of the pieces and maybe put everything back together in a different and better way.  Turning Christmas upside-down is an intentional action, with results you may never have thought of otherwise.  Giving, celebrating and living differently as been an amazing experience for me, so amazing that I cannot go back to my former, selfish ways.

Here are some other cool and creative trees.

Okay, so just one more.  I had an idea of something crazy I wanted to do with my hair when it was long.  My stylist, Steve Hodges, agreed to bleach and color a peace sign into my hair.  Although we have all of the technical details worked out, there’s still the reality of my curly hair.  When I wear my hair straight, the peace sign will look like a peace sign.  When it’s curly, it will look like an abstract color blob, which really isn’t a problem for me, nor would anyone question it.  In the mean time, maybe I can have Steve do this with my hair.

I think Christmas fun might be part of the Christmas spirit.  I don’t think a ‘tinselectomy‘ means that you have to spend less time decorating, however I do believe you should encounter joy in it and create some great life moments with it.  If it feels like work or feels like something you have to do, then don’t do it.  No matter how you choose to express Christmas, make it your own self-expression, depicting what is in your heart, not what society is promoting today.


tinselectomy story

I’ve always tried to teach my kids about the importance of giving to others. I started this process when they were very young. I used to tell them that they had a lot of toys and would encourage them to give some away to the thrift store. I would tell them how giving some of their toys away would help needy children.

At the same time, I was also trying to teach them to be frugal and teach them the value of a dollar. If we weren’t using something or wanted to upgrade, I would sell our stuff on eBay. If we shopped at the thrift store, I would give them a budget. So Joe, who in his own ‘Joe’ kind of way would go around telling people, “Yeah, I’m helping needy kids by selling my toys to them.”

Although ‘tinselectomy’ is not a new concept for our family, it’s needs to be a more important part of our lives. I’m excited to be a part of this movement!  Become a fan of tinselectomy on Facebook!

are you expressing yourself or propagandistically supporting financial insanity?

n1355929489_107613_2584About two months ago, I got a really cool pair of shoes from a friend’s teenage daughter.  She said she was not wearing them anymore, so I took them home with me.  The shoes were awesome, great colors and artwork!  As soon as I got home, I put them on and went outside to play with the boys.  We got out the sidewalk chalk… well our version of sidewalk chalk… and started the outside art process.  I drew the skull that was on my shoe.

I had seen lots of merchandise with artwork like my shoes, but I didn’t really know much about it.  Ed Hardy.  Stuff that people are paying insane amounts of money for.  $109 for a short sleeve t-shirt?!?!?!?  Are you kidding me?

Okay, so I have been know to shop at The Buckle on occasion.  I love their stuff, but not as much as they do.  Even if I had that kind of money, I would not pay full price for it.  I typically avoid the mall at all costs, but I needed to go there for my annual visit.  I had the boys with me and they picked out my Christmas gifts there.  Each one picked out a shirt for me off of the sale rack.  As we went to pay, we passed a table full of Ed clothing.  I didn’t even stop to look since I knew I would never pay what was listed on those little tags.

When I went to wear one of the shirts, I realized it had loose buttons.  My laundry theory: wash similar colors together in warm water, dry on high heat and anything that comes out looking good is worth keeping.  Oh, great.  Another trip to the mall to make a return.

imagesThis time I went without the boys.  It was the day after Christmas and I’m really not sure what I was thinking, other than I just want to get all my errands run.  I decided to just return the shirt and not get anything else.  I think I’m probably the only person over 40 that shops there, because they did not see a teen with me, so nobody asked if I wanted anything else in place of the shirt I was returning.


On either side of me, there were teen girls shopping with their moms, making purchases with what was probably Christmas money or Buckle gift cards.  The girls were purchasing Ed hardy clothing.  One had a total of $87 and the other a total of $94.  Each girl only bought one t-shirt.  It really saddened me that this is an acceptable way to teach kids how to spend money and how our society endorses financial prostitution.

ed_hardy_duvet_and_bed_setsOn the way out of the mall, I saw an Ed Hardy bedding set at Macy’s.  Don’t get me wrong, I think his stuff is really cool, however I think it’s ridiculous that it costs as much as it does.  Just for a queen duvet cover and 2 pillowcases… $299.  Saddened once again that Macy’s was nearly sold out of this stuff, I left the mall.

I had one more return to make at Marshall’s.  As I was once again standing in a long line of people waiting to return something, I saw another teenager shopping with her mom.  They were checking out, and once again, the girl was buying an Ed Hardy t-shirt.  It was not the one she really wanted, but it was an Ed shirt for $30.  I suppose she thought that any Ed Hardy shirt was better than no Ed Hardy shirt.  I had a respect for them for shopping at a discount store, but whether or not the Ed stuff is discounted, or like in my case free, what statement are we making by wearing it?

  • I support financial insanity
  • Food… $12, gas… $40, mortgage payment with late fees… $2367, Ed Hardy t-shirt… priceless
  • My shirt cost more than yours! 😛
  • The tattoo would have been cheaper
  • So what, my parents paid for it

Ok, I’ll stop now.  Should I start my own clothing line?  I could, but that would make me another victim of our society.  I think I will write a book (Allison will have to do this with me) about self expression through clothing.  How to treasure hunt at thrift stores and modify clothing to make your own personal statement.

Off to treasure hunt now…  Oh, and I will probably still wear my free shoes, but as usual, I will modify them and make sure I tell everyone about treasure hunting.

Other images from Excessable

junk food worship plastic need more stuff what more can we want? you can call… I’m not eating that magic pills


cleanThis is a light painted photograph that was part of my series called ‘excessable’. 


smokin’This is a light painted photograph that was part of my series called ‘excessable’.  

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