family anecdote

My dad started a Christmas tradition a few years back in which he goes to Menards on Christmas Eve to buy his children (all adults) ornaments — it spawned from the acute thought my mom has put into gifting ornaments for the last three decades. The first year of Chubby’s Holiday Collection was a particularly busy year for my mom, and she told Chubby of her sadness that she did not have enough time to find our perfect ornaments. Chubby Jangi assumed the mantle, determined to save Christmas.

DIY ornaments, courtesy of DiGangi-family quirks.
DIY ornaments, courtesy of DiGangi-family quirks.

The first year of Chubby’s Holiday Collection, 2009, brought NASCAR ornaments, gifted at random yet somehow personal to the recipient (for example: mine was black and gold, the colors of my alma mater). Miniature John Deere tractors have adorned my Christmas tree since 2010. In 2011 we received Disney ornaments which bore comically sloppy paint jobs.

This year, Menards had no ornaments left on Christmas Eve. Never easily deterred, Chubby happened upon some figurines and purchased about two dozen, among them bar maids, cheerleaders and winter sportsmen. As usual, they remained in the shopping bag until Christmas morning, when we passed it around to choose our gifts at random.

We went home with two cheerleaders, a bar maid, a snowboarder, a homecoming banner and a young man who can only be described as a Home Team enthusiast.

True to the creativity Dad passed on to me, I took 20 minutes over the holidays to make my figurines into ornaments, so they could join the ranks of Chubby’s Holiday Collection. [Aside: the nickname Chubby comes from a botched Siri command, “Call Chuck DiGangi.” Response: “There’s no Chubby Jangi in your contacts.” The name is not commentary on his physique.]

In summary, three figurines broke during the transformation process, but I suspect Dad would be proud of by nimble use of drill bits. Also, I now possess a handful of endearingly hideous ornaments.