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Slap happy holidays: How Smallest Users beat the seasonal energy-suck

October 28, 2010

by Ashley Akin

The holiday season is upon us, and I have one thing on my mind: sparkles. Well, sparkles and booze, but we’ll get to that later. While that is not a particularly professional confession, it is a fact. My mother swears I didn’t grow up in a trailer park or participate in any sort of Toddlers & Tiaras experiment, but I’m simply not convinced. Because there is a voice in my head that constantly whispers, “Put on that electric blue eyeshadow and bedazzled jean jacket. It’s a totally valid look. Sequins are in again, didn’t you know?”

And I fight that urge, in the solitude of my closet, with only my dog’s disapproving looks to convince me that pleather is not appropriate for class, even if it is raining outside. But you know what? The holidays are the perfect excuse to blow off conventional taste and let your inner drag queen out for a while, and we at The Smallest User want to encourage that kind of expression.

You want to cover your house with giant spiders and put witch faces in every window? Have at it. You want to spray paint helpless vegetables ridiculous metallic colors in the name of celebrating the pilgrims? You go girl. You want to wrap every tree in your yard with a thousand little lights and smother all your plants in tinsel? Mazeltov. You want to do all of this with a seasonal cocktail in your hand? YES, honey, yes.

But we, Smallest Users, have one thing to consider this year that we might have overlooked in the past: how much energy are we willing to waste in order to spread all this holiday cheer? To be honest, my usual answer would have been ALL OF IT, but that’s just because my inner redneck – we’ll call her Krystal – usually takes over my body from October 1 to January 2. In reality, though, there are plenty of energy-efficient decorations you can use to minimize your contribution to global warming and still warm everyone with the holiday spirit…. or is that just the whiskey? Well whichever.

For example, swap out your old light strings for some LED Christmas lights. They are energy-efficient, they last much longer than traditional bulbs, and they don’t get as hot. Which means you can tell Peepaw he’s got nothing to worry about when y’all leave the tree lit while you go to the Cracker Barrel. [Also, if you buy new ones, you don’t have to watch your Dad go all Clark Griswold while trying to undo the knotted-up crazypile of last year’s lights.]

And speaking of fire hazards, candles are a decorator’s best friend when trying to reduce energy use but still keep things festive and bright. Plus everyone looks more attractive in candlelight, so even that weird guy from Accounting will have a shot at some inappropriate office action at your next holiday gathering.

And finally, in the spirit of the most hallowed of holidays – The ‘Ween – remember that simple is good. Carve a pumpkin, you old fart! They’re easy, pretty, dim yet attractive – pretty much like any (insert-your-rival sorority-here) girl that you knew during your college days. C’mon, you remember how much fun they were…

The point is that a little time and ingenuity can be better than the energy-sucking glitz and glam that Target throws at you. So get your knife, your spoon and your garbage bag and get to carving. And remember all that bluster your mom used to spew about how gawh-geous your pumpkins were because you’ll need that shot of confidence after you take a look at these. And perhaps that shot of whiskey too.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 1:12 pm

    Well, I do have a blackmail picture of you and I holding teddy bears and in flannel christmas pjs from our amazing 3 and 4 year old days of ballet and tap…maybe that is the launch point?? 🙂

    • November 2, 2010 1:43 pm

      I knew those pictures would come back to haunt me one of these days. But I actually LOVED the nightgowns we danced in… I wonder if they make those for grown ups.

  2. November 2, 2010 3:13 pm

    I would THINK Stein Mart would have them–I normally get my bad Christmas sweaters from there. I’ll keep an eye out! I can scan that picture if you would like to share it to the world…

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