How to have the most amazing Hot Glue Christmas ever!

Hey you, with the inside-out pockets and upside-down smile! Don’t be sad. When the holidays come and you’re broke as a joke, it’s time to get crafty like a fox!

You might not think it, but there are a lot of sad sacks moping around during the holidays. That kind of melancholy is okay for the people diagnosed as clinically depressed, but it’s just not acceptable for us normals. The holidays are a time for celebration and shopping. It’s the season for drinking pumpkin lattes and sniffing fancy soaps. Nobody likes a wet blanket … especially when that blanket is wet from tears and urine.

What’s that? You say all this gloom and glum is because your bank account is full of cobwebs and peanut shells? Nonsense. I’ve never heard of a Christmas that’s ever been made BETTER with money. You name me one thing money can buy that would make Christmas any more special than it is already. One thing besides expensive gifts, toys for orphans, or a Xmas rave party with black lights and a snow machine.

Besides those things, I bet you can’t name one.

That’s because Christmas is about more than money. It’s about love and family and eggnog and gravy. It’s about hugging Grandpas in sweaters and walking around in your fuzzy socks all day. You can’t BUY that kind of experience. Even if you could, what would you use for money? You’re broke and sad, remember?

Which brings me to my point: this year, if your funds are low and your spirit is crushed, then you need to rediscover the true meaning of Christmas … with handicrafts.

Go ahead and laugh. You won’t be laughing when you actually create these gifts and give them to a loved one on Christmas morning. It won’t be funny when your heartfelt and crude attempt at self-expression sends shockwaves of genuine emotion through the room.

Drop one of these surefire hits under the tree and you won’t be mocking anything because you’ll be too busy feeling completely AWESOME.

The Sock Monkey

Gather all of the odd socks you can find around the house. Cook them in hot water and bleach to kill germs and lingering foot odor. Fill each sock liberally with a mix of cooked Quaker Oatmeal and pipe cleaners. Let dry overnight. Come morning, each sock should be firm and bendable, yet soft enough for cuddling. Arrange the socks into the shape of a monkey. It helps to have an actual monkey that you can model your sock monkey after, but if a live monkey is not available you can use your own reflection. But don’t forget to build at 1/8th scale or else you will have to start all over. Once the body is complete, you can dress the sock monkey in an adorable tiny sailor suit or overalls. Buttons work best for the eyes, but olives or pennies will do in a pinch. Last but not least, hot glue-gun his moustache on and spritz liberally with your favorite perfume or cologne. I dare you not to fall in love with him!

The Self-Portrait

Find a large, flat surface. Take a Polaroid photo of yourself looking as handsome and/or pretty as possible (this will be used as your “source material”). Find some paints, wild berries or packets of fast food condiments. Study the Polaroid carefully and recreate the exact image onto your large flat surface. It’s important with a self-portrait to make certain that the final image actually resembles you. If it looks like a grizzly bear, a dragon or a fire truck, you will need to start over. Once you have completed your self portrait, let it dry for at least 48 hours. Use this time to get started on the giant macaroni frame.

The Recipe Box

Find a wooden box that you can cover in shiny beads and glitter. This will be the “box.” The next step is get note cards. On these cards, you should create at least 70 “recipes.” Each “recipe” should be written in fancy script and be completely edible. I cannot stress the importance of this point enough: the “recipes” that you create—and fancily inscribe on these cards—must be made of actual food materials. You cannot just start jotting down whatever ingredients come to mind. If you get careless here, somebody could get hurt. My advice is to stick to soups. Soups are basically water and then whatever else you want in the water. But remember, those ingredients must NOT be poisonous or have pointy edges. A great rule of thumb is to avoid anything you’d find under the sink or in your toolbox. If there is ever any doubt, stop and ask yourself, “Can I eat that?” Once you have compiled at least seventy “recipes,” wrap the cards in a red ribbon and place inside the box. If someone does get ill from preparing and eating one of your “recipes,” it would probably be best to destroy the rest of the box.

If you still believe that none of these ideas will work to rescue you from your poverty-induced desperation this Christmas, then you should probably just go to one of those Payday Loan places. There’s nothing more I can do to help.

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Pete Humes

Pete Humes is a husband, father and writer who lives in Richmond’s North Side. He enjoys coffee and owns way too many records.

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