Wednesday, November 29, 2017

An Alcoa Christmas

Ready to cap off a year of highly reflective celebrations? That's right: Let's dip into 401 Party and Holiday Ideas from Alcoa (Conny Von Hagen, 1971) for Christmas.

Of course, there are gift-wrapping ideas that will only take 27 hours to execute in a month already filled with carol singing, cookie baking, egg nog making, last-minute shopping, present hiding, tantrum throwing, repeated "Santa is watching" warning, office party avoiding, and hurried "some assembly required" assembling.

I'm sure making a regally crowned swan laden with flowers or a dollhouse with windows, garden, and functional door as wrapping for another gift is on the agenda too.

The book also suggests ways to incorporate other cultures' Christmas traditions through creative use of foil. Do you like pinatas?

Well, it's nothing like the tissue-covered papier mâché form, but this chicken made out of a foil-covered bowl is pretty cute, and it will clearly only take one moderately gentle tap to dump the presents, rather than 20 minutes of increasingly frantic whacks with a baseball bat.

If you want something a little colder for Christmas, you can always go with the Polish decorations instead:
I'm pretty sure the kids won't go to bed dreaming of sugarplums. Babouschka will hunt them down in their nightmares as she holds her candle aloft, angry-villager-with-a-torch-style.

Speaking of torches, my favorite Christmas decorations are the ones that seem to suggest this is a fine time of year to burn your house to the ground.

Cover a bunch of paper towel tubes with foil, then top with Christmas ornaments and surround with lit candles. When the kids come through (or maybe when someone opens the door and a stiff breeze blows in), you will have broken glass and blazing cardboard in no time!

Even better: Hang candles from the ceiling, right where an unfortunate tall person might run into them.

And hang them on bent-up coat hangers! Yes, bent-up coat hangers. What could be more stable than lit candles carefully balanced on bent coat hangers dangling from the ceiling?

Happy Holidays from Alcoa! Now, call the fire department.


  1. Babushka will be haunting my dreams! "Silent Night, Deadly Night" And to be crude but that Tube Pyramid looks very penis-y, right?

  2. Foil used for wrapping paper was a suggestion in the "worst case scenario Christmas" book. They make it a lot more simple. Rip off sheet of foil, mash it around gift, call it good.
    The coat hanger chandelier is truly frightening. I wonder how many people actually tried that.

    1. I'll bet anyone who did try the chandelier ended up homeless...

  3. I promise that the Polish folklore does not feature anything even remotely resembling the Baboushka. Or much aluminum foil at all, for that matter. In fact, "baboushka" is not even a Polish word.

    1. I'm not surprised! That seemed more Russian to me, but I don't know much about Polish language or culture aside from the fact that paczki are awesome.