Archive for November, 2010

Tacky Christmas Tree Ornaments: Yule Be Sorry

Now that we’re officially past Black Friday and well into the holiday season, it’s time to send out advance warnings against decorating your Christmas tree with grotesque ornaments that may send out the wrong signal to your children, elders, and visitors.  I’ve self-censored the more vile ones I discovered this weekend, but the ones I’ve included seem to illustrate the idea well enough.

According to The Holiday Spot, Saint Boniface is credited with providing German citizens with a fir tree and decorations in the 15th Century. The first indoor tree appeared in Strasbourg in 1605. Designs may vary, but rest assured that none of these trees were adorned with:

Pink Flamingos


These yuletide birds come complete with Hawaiian shirts and thong sandals–just like the ones the sparrows of the Galilee once wore.

The Strip


A favorite of the Kardashian clan, this ornament sets the perfect tone for world peace. What happens in Vegas holiday parties, stays in Vegas.

Go On, You’re Worth It!


Imagine the very idea of associating Christmas with money! This $20 globe of joy comes from Designer Ornaments. If they don’t have an ornament you love, they’ll make you a personalized one…for extra.

Have a Mr. Big Christmas


Startle your relatives and employers with this year’s trend-setting Sex and the City ornament collection. Show them you’re oh, courant!

I Have a Headache in My Eye


The look on your Jewish mother’s face will light the entire room when you unveil your Hanukah bush replete with this menorah ornament. A klog iz mir! You should catch a plague.

Expect a Miracle

aa ornament

This genuine ornament featuring A.A. founder Bill Wilson is a great way to tell your kids that they won’t find you under the tree come Christmas morning!

I was amused, even amazed, to find a blog post from a real estate agent who confessed the sins of the less scrupulous members of his tribe. While quick to note, “Please remember, not all agents are liars,” the insider posted his list of lies agents like to tell in an online issue of The Intelligent Investor. My favorite, of course, was the remark that the property represented a “Once in a lifetime opportunity!”

A similar piece was published on Yahoo this week by Ilyce Glink of CBS MoneyWatch, citing the biggest lies in real estate, including falsified or manipulated photos, unreal property descriptions, and…you get the idea. Often the problem is not with ugly architecture or bad designs; it’s about the inner ugliness of people who see a prospective sale.

It led me to try out a few lies on you:

It’s Near Local Schools

near schools

Yeah, that’s a good idea. A friend of mine had a house across the street from a junior high school and his lawn was continually seeded with empty soda cans, fast-food cartons, notebook paper, and un-matched tennis shoes.

It’s in a Gated Community

gated community

This is actually a genuine photo found on a Charleston real estate website. I guess you could call it a fixer-upper.

Water Views

water views

Here in Western Washington where I reside, one of the most-popular sections of town–North Beach–is home to the city’s waste-water management plant. Houses line both sides of the street by the plant. Perhaps they know something I don’t.

Easy Freeway Access

freeway access

This Southern California beauty, also in its own gated community, has convenient freeway access.  I wonder if the Jake brakes and shriek of skidding ambulance tires ever becomes quiet background noise for the heavy sleepers that live here.

Corner Lot

corner lot

This Euro charmer is not the skinniest house in the world, but it has to be among the contenders. The folks at Web Urbanist have assembled a nifty collection of skinny homes, including the Wedge House in Scotland that is but 47 inches wide at the narrowest point.

I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of examples of stretching the truth in your own search for housing. In sum, if a listing for a home sounds too good to be true, it is. And I don’t mean to single out real estate agents as the most horrific group of white liars and manipulators. I save that distinction for people who post listings on dating sites.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.