Crissi C's Book Giveaway!

Good morning everyone! Are you ready for your challenge? I’m participating in Crissi C’s 31 Days of Christmas and I’m the THIRTEENTH DAY. Win your own copy of Delcroix Academy just by doing this:

Visit: http://crissi-b.blogspot.com/

Write: the chorus of “We Three Kings” in the comments section.

Win! Win! Win!

Crissi has LOTS of other books to give away this month (including a copy of Wired, by Robin Wasserman, which is also on the blog today).

So visit and win!

It's Ugly Ornament Contest Day!

You probably didn’t know there WAS an ugly ornament contest day, did you? Well, there is. Or at least, I think there should be. When else are you going to celebrate someone’s artistic vision going horribly, terribly, and completely wrong? When else will the ornament outcasts get to celebrate like the Charlie-in-the-box from Santa’s Island of Misfit Toys? I say, it all starts here, and now! It’s December 1, Annual Ugly Ornament Contest Day!

My fascination with ugly ornaments began one wet and rainy Christmas Eve. My mother and her best friend had just arrived to spend the holiday with us. It was our baby’s first Christmas and my husband’s first year of teaching. We were, needless to say, tired, and hadn’t done much in the way of decorating. We didn’t even have a tree.

We went out to the local department store, and discovered something wonderful — on Christmas eve, all the trees are free! We also discovered that by the time you get to Christmas Eve, all the “good” ornaments are gone. As we walked up and down the aisles, we found the most bizarre, freakish ornaments one could ever imagine. Our sides splitting with laughter, we found this, and knew it had to come home with us:

I just want you to take a moment to appreciate this gem. He’s about seven inches long, with posable legs and a red ribbon hanger. Someone designed this ornament. Someone sat around, trying to be creative, sick of reindeer and snowmen and Santas, and thought — “why NOT an elephant?”

Thus began our appreciation — no, our LOVE — of ugly ornaments. Someone thought that a ceramic elephant head on a man’s body wearing a brown coat was lovely enough to grace someone’s Christmas tree. So now, he graces ours.

Each year, we look for ugly ornaments. This year, we found a little friend for our elephant. It’s a cat, covered with tattoo-like marking. I would have loved to have been on the marketing meeting for this one. “We’ll capture the cat-loving, tattoo-wearing, Christmas crowd! No one’s done that before! They’re an untapped market!”

Okay, I know, the cat’s kinda cute. Nothing like the elephant. So we’re determined to do better. And that means, it’s time for the contest. Go find me some ugly ornaments! Take a picture and send it to me and you’ll be in the running for a $30 gift card to Borders. Contest runs until December 7. Pictures can come in via Twitter, Facebook, or on the blog.

Thanks, and HAPPY ORNAMENT CONTEST DAY!