Ghosts of Christmas Past

Monday, November 26, 2007
It's not often that I make fun of retro items. After all, I'm supposed to be the purveyor of retro redux. I want my suggestions to make your humble abode look like Austin Powers' shagadelic hideaway. But once in a while, I come across something I remember from my childhood that is so hideous, so tacky, and so outdated even for its time that it stops me in my tracks cold. I'm warning you, you may want to half-cover your eyes for this one. Today that something happens to be beaded Christmas ornaments from a long-defunct store called Lee Wards. A few misguided souls are selling these gems on eBay, under the delusion that these things are actually pretty enough to display on your tree.

I remember seeing a collection of these in one of the Christmas ornament boxes we'd lug down from the attic each year and personally, they are so fugly to me now that it's physically painful for me to look at them. I think my sister made these, and I think the notion behind them was that you'd be bejeweling your tree in ornaments that looked like Faberge eggs. Only in the 70s would people think that sticking beads and pins into a styrofoam made good objects d'art. Now seems like an appropriate time to blame the era's home decor on all of that marijuana consumption.

This one's called the Irish Tears design. I'm not Irish but the name must fit because it makes me tear up to look at them.

This egg shaped one reminds me of the egg from Alien. You don't want to stick your face too close to that one!

I remember these suckers were heavy, too, from all of the beads and pins. It would be dangerous to swing one of these babies around; you could easily take someone's eye out. Hmmm...that's the only use for these things: self defense weapons!

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