Hey kids, Mr. Lytle here. It’s almost Christmas and just about everyone has their trees decorated and displayed. My guess is, if you are like most kids, you probably haven’t thought of anything to get your mom, or dad, for Christmas and just might be considering throwing together another homemade ornament for the tree. “They’ll love it, right?” No, no they won’t. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but no parent at any time or any place has ever loved a homemade ornament from one of their children. (The only exception is if the child that made the ornament is an artistic prodigy of some sort. They have a shot…barely.)
Let’s take this a step further, though. While all homemade ornaments are terrible, there is a handful so awful and so pervasive, that it’s my duty to warn you specifically about them. Here are the five lamest Christmas tree ornaments you should never make again.
The popcorn garland strand
In my mind, this is the gold standard. The king of the mountain. The cream of the crop. There are some who actually think this decoration/ornament is capable of looking pretty. I question their sanity. You are literally stringing food together and then wrapping it around your tree. Let that sink in for a few seconds. It might look okay for a few days but then the popcorn starts to shrivel and wilt a little, it loses a bit of its color – going from a bright white to a faded eggshell – and it turns into a pitiful sight altogether. Do you really want that corpsified looking edible arrangement clinging to your beautiful tree? I don’t think so.
The soda-tab-picture frame
I understand what you are trying to do here. I really do. How could your parents be unhappy with a picture of you to hang on the tree? Easy. You framed it with soda can tabs. There has never been a pretty version of this ornament. They are all ugly, misshapen, and shoddily constructed. And the pathetic little ribbon at the top is an embarrassment to everyone involved. If you give this ornament to your parents, it is their legal right to disown you. That’s the law.
The construction paper links
The biggest problem with this travesty is that it takes so stinking long to actually make it. Scratch that. The biggest problem is that it looks stupid. Or maybe the biggest problem is that it’s fragile and will fall apart before Christmas Day even arrives. In summary, there are many problems with this decoration and you should have nothing to do with something this problematic. There is no upside to this one at all.
Anything with glitter
I’ve made my views about glitter very clear. It’s evil. Altogether evil. I fully believe glitter is a direct result of the Fall of man. Adam and Eve sinned and glitter was born. No theologian will be able to convince me otherwise. So to be clear, do not use it in any way, shape, or form. Do not use it on, in, under, above, within, without, baked in, cooked in, glued on, brushed on, or any other way you can imagine. It is literally the worst. If someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, I have this great homemade ornament we can make for your parents. We just need a little glitter to make it absolutely perfect.” You are well within your rights to slap them and then run away. No one of sound mind would blame you.
Any ornament using a combination of Popsicle sticks, cotton balls, or yarn
You are really scraping the bottom of the barrel at this point. If Christmas Day is quickly approaching and you have nothing to give your parents, do not reach into the junk drawer hoping that you can rig together some masterpiece using the above items. You can’t. No one can. These are the hand-tools of the lazy – have nothing to do with them. Giving your parents nothing is better than whatever monstrosity you create using what basically amounts to poorly-glued-together garbage.
I know what you are thinking. “If we can’t give our parents one of these, what can we get them for Christmas on such late notice?” I’m glad you asked but unfortunately I cannot help you. I’m not the one that waited until the last minute to think of a gift for the people that love, raise, shelter, teach, and guide you. That’s your problem, chief. Maybe next year you will be a little less selfish and come up with something good to give them in a timelier manner.