This year, as I channeled my inner Clark Griswold and sojourned forth to kill a tree* to put in my living room for the Christmas season, it was important that each family member pick out something for the tree decorations. I’m not all about fancy matching ornaments or uniform lights; I want a tree that looks like it was decorated by a family with three small kids and more enthusiasm than concern for aesthetics. And by gum, I was going to get it.
My daughters and son each picked out some ornaments for the tree, but more importantly, they provided me with multiple homemade ornaments. My wife decided to top our tree with a giant bow and ribbon instead of a star, which has lead to multiple comments by me about the Three Wise Men following the Christmas Ribbon to Bethlehem. Such comments are not conducive to my well-being, but I can’t seem to help myself.
So what is my contribution to our tree? Well, unsurprisingly, I really wanted an IndyCar ornament to put in the tree (I particularly like this one). However, with three kids, a cat, and a dog who REFUSE TO LEAVE MY TREE ALONE, EVEN FOR FIVE SECONDS, I figured being made of glass, it would be shattered within mere seconds of me putting it on the tree, because that’s what happens when you have kids. Cartoon soprano opera singers break glass with less regularity than my kids.
All three of my kids are getting IMS Kids Club Memberships for next year, and my son wants a big IndyCar in his stocking. These things I can do, but I still need something properly "IndyCar" for my contribution to the tree. So, what to do? Do I buy the glass ornament, only to have it break? Do I use driver cards to decorate? If I do that, I risk being “the weirdo who glued multiple Oriol Servia hero cards together to decorate his tree”, and like Scott Speed trying to qualify for the Indy 500, you just don’t come back from that. The weirdo/creepy factor would also apply to making detailed gingerbread representations of various drivers.
The trick, you see, is ensuring it doesn’t take over the tree, because then my long-suffering wife will have to SAY SOMETHING. And that is not what we’re after here. I’m afraid that likely knocks out putting a Tom Carnegie bobblehead on top of the tree. No, we need subtle, but clever. If you hadn’t guessed, neither are my strong suites.
So I’ll throw open the suggestion line here: what’s a good IndyCar decoration I can put on my tree? I was thinking of turning a couple of Hot Wheels into ornaments, but I’m open to further suggestions. Clever, Relatively Practical, Christmas-y, and Not Too Weird are what we're looking for here. If you wish to send letters of sympathy to my wife this holiday season, I'll take those as well.
*-I am aware Clark Griswold pulled his tree out by the roots. Here, I deviated from the script.