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Merry Kitschmas: The Ultimate Holiday Handbook    by Michael D. Conway & Peter Medilek order for
Merry Kitschmas
by Michael D. Conway
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2004 (2004)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ready to start chuckling over the holidays? Then open up Merry Kitschmas, full of ideas to give Martha Stewart nightmares, even in her current abode. Admit it, Christmas brings out the kitsch in all of us - no matter how elegant our normal décor, we all have something tacky that we bring out for the holidays ... I used to have a Santa sleigh that revolved around the treetop (told myself the kids loved the flashing lights). Yep, kitsch is definitely part of Kitschmas, I mean Christmas.

In his introduction, Michael Conway offers us 'a no-holds-barred extravaganza of kitschy Christmas inspiration ... wacky wreaths, tacky trinkets, campy couture' (he even advises us to wear the tree skirt!) Some of the titles and subtitles will give you a good idea of what's in this tacky little volume: 'Happy Huladays Tree', 'The Bad Girl's Ho Ho Ho Stocking', 'Tiny Tim's Turkey', 'The Certifiable Fruitcake', and 'Santa's Hot Buttered Rum Balls' (this last one's in the busy 'Kitschmas Spirits' chapter).

There are edible Christmas trees (but watch for the glue on the Weenies), shocking stockings (I like the scarlet high-heeled one), and seriously weird wreaths (a tire with a bow?) The 'lighting extravaganza' looks straight from Vegas, or perhaps The Grinch movie. Edible ornaments include a marshmallow snowman (we're told that making it is an ideal occupation for anyone with obsessive-compulsive disorder), a 'Frigging Pudding' and 'Gee Whiz Gelatin'. Every kitschy idea comes with detailed instructions, and campy photos by Peter Medilek.

Have friends or family who are into Christmas Kitsch? Then you've found the perfect gift. 'Tis the season, Merry Kitschmas to all.

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