Christmas Crazy Goes Shopping

Every year we venture to Meder's as part of our pre-Christmas preparations, and this year was no exception. There is a story to be told, one that involves a very giggly little girl and a (rein)deer, but that story will have to wait. First, I ABSOLUTELY MUST share some photos of some ornaments that I found there.

I was keeping an eye out for some fantabulous gag gifts, and these fit the bill perfectly. The only problem is that the bill for each of them was over $30, so I guess everyone lucks out and only has to see these in photos.

Anyway, let me introduce you to my groovy boyfriend:

He's a peaceful merman, or so he claims.

This guy is apparently trying to drop his . . . um . . . pants? Tail? I dunno.

I also have no idea what he's doing with his hands. Nor do I want to know.

Ride 'em, cowboy!

How exactly does a merman sit on a horse? Does his tail hang to the left? Does the horse have to run under water? Won't the horse drown? I'm so confused.

There were about twenty different merman, each one more ridiculous than the next. I couldn't even take pictures of them all because I was laughing too hard. Because I saw this:

Before you give me crap about the camera being focused on her boobs and not her face . . . aw, hell, it's not like you noticed anything other than her boobs anyway. Why am I even bringing it up?

Anyway, if anybody has that chick on their tree, I demand an explanation.

Psst . . . keep on linking your Christmas Crazy. Photos, stories, special finds, whatever!


Santa Needs to Talk to Toys 'r Us about Those See-Through Bags

I think my kid may figure out that I'm a fraud soon. Very, very soon.

It all started because of the now infamous "Princess ball." Miss Alexis was very clear in her negotiations with Santa that her true desire was for that Princess ball. The only problem was that Santa wasn't exactly sure whether she meant a baseball or a kickball or a bouncy ball or what. So, Santa squeezed into his Mommy costume and started asking questions.

"What kind of Princess ball?"

"What color is this Princess ball?"

"Did you see the Princess ball at Target?"

"Would you please just order the damn Princess ball online and I'll pay for it?"

OK, maybe Santa didn't ask that last question, but he thought about it. The kid keeps changing her description. One day it's small like a baseball. The next day, it's big and has a handle so you can sit and bounce on it. After that it has seven Princesses on it, but only after she changes its color from pink to purple to white to a hue only small people who like to drive parents crazy can see.

When Santa decided he was getting really confused and didn't have time for such shenanigans, he turned to the computer and went hunting for help. A few minutes later, he had found a photo of a pink kickball that happened to have a lot of Princesses on it. He emailed the photo to me and I showed it to Alexis. "Santa sent me an email and wants to know if his elves are supposed to make you a ball like this."

She nodded affirmatively and repeatedly said THAT was the right one.

Santa acquired it that very night and stuck it in my car trunk for safekeeping.

The VERY NEXT DAY, we went to Toys 'r Us to pick up a few things for some kids who don't like to torture their parents with contradictory reports of Princess balls and such. As we walked through the outdoor toys aisle, Mr. Husband spotted the purple bouncy ball that you sit on. He was under the impression that he was looking at what was The Princess Ball. I shook my head, "No," but he insisted it was.

After some silent debate that probably left the other shoppers wondering if we were senile, we finally asked Alexis. "Is this the kind of Princess ball that you want Santa to bring you?"

"Yes!" she said.

I might have smashed my head through the wall right then and there. I'll never tell.

A few awkward head gestures later, Mr. Husband and I decided to just buy the stupid thing, figuring we could return whatever ended up needing returned, or we could just give her both Princess balls and be done with it. I took Alexis to the bathroom while he grabbed the ball and the other things we had picked up and took them up front to pay.

As Alexis and I rejoined Mr. Husband at the front of the store, I realized that if you sort of squinted and tilted your head just right, you could see hints of the Princess ball through Mr. Husband's bag. I didn't know the head gesture for, "Put that behind your back NOW!" so instead I sort of distracted the kid and rushed us out the door into the blackness of the night.

A few hours later, a little voice cut through the dark silence in the car, "Can I play with my Princess ball when we get home?"

Us adults sat in stunned silence. Finally, I asked, "What Princess ball?"

"The Princess ball I got at the toy store. Can I play with it when we get home?"

I don't know if I managed to effectively talk my way out of that little mess or not. All I know is Santa ain't delivering no purple Princess ball and that Alexis is going to figure out this whole Santa thing entirely too soon.


Sidewinding Christmas Crazy through the Kitchen

Last year, she didn't much care for the stuff. This year, Alexis is a lean, mean Puppy Chow eating machine. In less than 24 hours, the kid has joined forces with her dad to consume an entire batch of the stuff. That would be NINE CUPS.

If that doesn't define Christmas Crazy, I don't know what does. So, without further ado, the recipe for Puppy Chow. I suggest you hide it from my kid.

Puppy Chow
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff--that imitation crud is for sissies)
9 cups Crispix cereal
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Place the powdered sugar in a large paper bag and set aside.

Combine the peanut butter, butter, and chocolate chips in a large pot and melt over medium/low heat. Stir constantly. Once fully melted, remove from heat and add vanilla. Stir. Pour the cereal in the pot and use a rubber spatula to gently stir the mixture until the cereal is fully coated with the chocolate mixture.

Pour the cereal mixture into the paper bag with the powdered sugar, close the bag tightly, and shake. Shake some more. And shake some more. You're done when the cereal is fully coated and looks a little bit like Purina Puppy Chow.

Now guard the stuff under lock and key. Really.

Psst . . . Go visit Rachel's place for more fantastic recipes.