Let's get this countdown kicked off proper! This is a wacky, well, words fail, but let's say miniature gumdrop (do a Google Images search for "gumdrop" you'll thank me later for introducing you to your new favorite adorable wallpaper) sucker on a really long stick. I got this thing at Michaels as I was leaving noticing it near the checkouts and paid some obtuse irregular odd price like 43 cents for it.
I told you it's a long stick! Perfect size for, I'm not sure, possibly attacking a fleeing relative who's running through the house or terrorizing the family pet.
Here's the money shot! Now they had several different versions of these but this one warmed my heart fastest (same reason I choose chili). Why? Well, they didn't have my first choice Michael Ironside in a tacky Christmas sweater. No seriously, do you really need to ask? It's freaking Santa Claus holding a stand of Christmas lights! That just doesn't happen. A wreath? I could buy it. A present? Why certainly! But holding an item us everyday folk use in our celebration of the very holiday he represents? That'd be like a picture of Michael Jordan in your childhood bedroom dunking on your doorway basketball hoop.
Also, why is his tongue sticking out? Is he mocking us? I never took Santa for the type to blow raspberries in jest.
Of course even at 2AM my cat Tomo had to see what was going on in the kitchen. This reminds me of pretty much any article I posted in 2009 when my wife and I still lived in a small apartment, before children, when my cat was the coolest thing on the planet (she's now relegated to a bit player like Trevor Ochmonek on Alf).
I took the first bite without hesitation leaving Santa looking like JFK post-killshot. Actually this image really sort of resembles that teenager who gets his head crushed by a car in that wonderful scene in The Toxic Avenger.
I made quick work of the candy (not that there was much to it) and all that remained was the strand of lights. Which brings us full-circle. Another reason I chose this particular sucker is I'm a sucker for Christmas lights. One of my favorite childhood memories, and I'm not just talking holidays here, was loading up into the car with my parents and big brother on cold winter nights around this time of year and driving through neighborhoods looking at other families' Christmas lights and decorations. So magical. I especially recall the year that I knew in a few short days under the tree a Game Genie for the NES was awaiting me and I was fantasizing in the backseat about all of the games I'd now be able to conquer.