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Black Velvet
December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Christmas Cards in Costume

Submitted by on December 7, 2010 – 8:13 am15 Comments
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Honky Tonk Christmas in Nashville, circa 1996

Note: There is a 30% discount code from Hallmark at the bottom of this essay. Enjoy!

I am not sure how we got started orchestrating these elaborate Christmas cards. I am not sure whose bright idea it was to rent costumes and ask a newspaper photographer friend to shoot us. But, I do know that we both really, really got into it.

Can you tell?

Take, the picture above. We always admired “the chicken car” that sat parked outside a business in East Nashville, the beautiful and historic part of town with its seedy, or should I say colorful, side. We lived over there for many years. So, on a fall morning in 1996, we stood by a busy road and posed. Who cares that people honked or wondered if Dolly was dating Dead Elvis. We were having a damned good time. (You should have seen my white boots!) And really, when you live in Nashville, shouldn’t this be your Christmas card?

OK, below is our first one. It has no real theme, other than it was the year hundreds (maybe thousands?) of balseros jumped into the oceans and headed toward Florida and Guantamo. OK, it may be a little inappropriate, but given the fact we met in Cuba, it worked. And, I really, really wanted to dress up as Marie Antoinette.

Christmas card, circa 1994

Dear goodness, we cracked up the entire time we took this photo. The idea of Bearded Dictator as Balsero made us giddy.

So, one year, we sent photos of ourselves in a Calistoga mud bath. Another year, in 2000 during the Olympic games in Sydney, we went to Australia’s version of Wal-mart and bought reindeer and elf hats, bought oranges and risked severe injury to bribe a pack of wild kangaroos to take self-portraits with us. Sadly, everybody thought the kanga was a giant rabbit.

We also dressed up as our version of American Gothic the year we moved to the great big woods — me in a fancy ’50s cocktail dress and work boots and the husband in farmer gear with hoe and shovel. Yet another year we were Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. I painstakingly made my rose headband using silk flowers and hot glue and actually thought I looked good with a unibrow.

And then we had Maria.

We had imagined that our Christmas cards would get even better now that we had a living elf, but we have slacked. Our photos have been mostly traditional — smiling family shots or fun collages featuring la nena. We aim for funny notes inside and that’s about it.

Christmas 2004

Our daughter is 7 now, and every year we promise ourselves we’re going to get all themey and costumey again, pero nada. These days, we are not the stars of the Christmas cards, but merely bit players.

Ah well, it was good while it lasted…and the truth is, the relatives would probably rather see Maria than us.

But, didn’t I make a fabulous Dolly?

OK, gente, let’s go. Share your creative Christmas cards with the Tiki Tiki!

Send photos to info@ tiki tiki blog dot com. We will feature reader Christmas cards in an upcoming post.

Feliz Holidays from Nashville, y'all!

If you still need to order cards, you can receive a discount of 30% from Hallmark — all because I took this funny picture at their BlogHer booth. Cool, huh?

To receive the discount use the code Blogher30 on Hallmark.com at checkout. Offer Expires Dec. 31.

Share, por favor!

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