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The X-treme Approach to Christmas Decorating
If you take a look at weddings in the last few decades, you’ll notice a sizeable shift in the type of ceremonies that take place. Slowly but surely, more and more couples are going for nontraditional approaches to marriage: some have Viking weddings, some pirate weddings, some have zombie-themed wedding cakes while others roll down the aisle in rollers kates. Similarly, in the world of Christmas traditions, more liberties are being taken to make Christmas celebration fun, unique, and even a bit weird. Like the X-games, these “X-mas celebrations” are a bit extreme, but it’s all for fun, entertainment, and expression. And nowhere is that more obvious than if we look at the ever-growing selection of “X-mas” ornaments on the market.

If you head over to the “Christmas Gifts and Decorations” store, one of the things you may stumble across is a series of X-mas ornaments crafted around the theme of a cattle skull on a wagon wheel. Measuring 4 inches in diameter, the wagon wheel X-mas ornaments has a resin skull attached to a wood wheel, metal spokes, and a ribbon banner emblazoned with the words “Wild West.” These X-mas ornaments aren’t just random wild west ornaments—they’re actually built to resemble the wheel of a conestoga wagon, which was one of the heaviest freight wagons used during the westward expansion of the early 19th century. Perhaps these X-mas ornaments are meant to serve as a warning for American expansion?

If you’re X-mas ornaments taste runs a little less political and a little more humorous, you can always navigate your way to the glass pickle page. Hand crafted by artist Kurt Adler, these 4-inch long emerald green pickles aren’t just a cheap novelty item: they were actually enormously popular token of good luck in Germany. Every Christmas Eve when decorating the tree, a pickle would be hung on the boughs as a kind of good luck charm. Whichever child found the pickle was said to receive an extra present from St. Nikolaus.

If you’re crazy about technology and gadgets, then head on over to Geekware, a website that specializes in X-mas ornaments for the computer programmer in all of us. Taking old circuit boards, the artists at geekware cut them into traditional Christmas shapes: bells, hearts, Christmas trees, and stars. Then they thread some twine through the circuit board, and instantly you have punk-tech X-mas ornaments that would look at home on anything from a Christmas tree to a rearview mirror.

As you have probably noticed, a lot of the X-mas ornaments on this list are made by hand, usually by small artists and local craftsmen. But if you’re looking for something a little more warm and fuzzy in your X-mas ornaments, there are definitely artists that cater to you. Browsing through Nifnak’s online collection, there is a flurry of X-mas ornaments made out of wool, yarn, and felt which are absolutely adorable: sea creatures such as crabs, octopi, and fish.

But believe it or not, the X-mas ornaments tradition has grown to such proportions that now, even major chains are getting in on the action. Major cooking ware store Sur La Table has introduced a line of X-mas ornaments that are meant to realistically imitate food: everything from burgers and pizza to strawberries to cupcakes, all hand blown from the finest glass.

So if you’re looking for a Christmas tree that reflects your fun, outrageous personality, consider buying a few X-mas ornaments. After all, extreme decorations have to equal extreme fun, right?