Nighttime on December 26th has been reached. It’s a bit like crossing the finish line of the 2015 Christmas season. People may foolishly think that nighttime on the 25th is the end, but if they do, they will be frustrated and disappointed as the day after grind wears them down. The 26th is the time to take inventory of what you have, what you need, and what needs to go.
More than anything else, it is a day for reflection about what’s the good, the bad, and the ambivalent items. Allow me to offer you my own review of the must-have and mustn’t-have items of 2015.
- Star Shower Laser Lights – My wife, who is a lovely, classy woman and the eternal love of my life pulled a major boner this year (not in the good way). “I saw these lights on TV, and they look perfect for Christmas.” I went along ignorantly. What began with one light staked in the yard multiplied to 5 and two fried retinas later, we flipped the switch. These lights promise big, bold lighting of your home but only offer inconsistently dim, underwhelming beams. Plus, they make it so you cannot have any other lighting because any light pollution dissolves the strength of the Star Showers. Verdict: Going back within the week.
- Barbie Dream House – As the parent of a beautiful 4-year-old and an exquisite 6-year-old, I naturally hoped that they would fall into the degrading, objectifying world of Barbie. Why be an independent, free-thinking person when you can like pink? Because of this, I was again confused when my still-lovely wife told me about the Slickdeal for a Barbie Dream House at Toys ‘R’ Us. Sure. Why not? What harm could it cause? After about 75 minutes of construction ahead of Christmas, I was solidly on board. It seems interesting with engaging features, and surely something that will be enjoyed. Of course, it was a Christmas morning hit. On the 26th, I’m ready to whip it down the steps as the elevator string continues to come off the pulley. I fixed in 5 times today and retied the string to ensure a more snug fit. Verdict: It the elevator holds – Good buy. If not, goodbye!
- Powerbeats 2 – It wasn’t long ago on this very blog that I voiced my anti-Beats headphones sentiments stating that I could never be a slave to marketing. Then, something funny happened. It was a Black Friday Door Buster that led to a gift with my name on the tag. I’m no LeBron, but I do demand high performance from my electronics. After 24 hours, I’m impressed by the Beats. Incredibly light, great tone, surprising hold in the ear. I inadvertently triggered a spontaneous dance party with my daughters, my niece, and nephew while my powerbeats were synced to my Apple Watch. They couldn’t hear the tunes, and I couldn’t jostle myself enough to work the bluetooth buds out. For $200, these headphones would be an exercise in unnecessary extravagance. For $100, I found the perfect pair for my runs. Verdict: Lives up to the hype – So far.
- Wolvesey Bracelet from Anthropologie – With the pending June 2016 trip to Disney, there were to be no gifts exchanged with my growing-even-more-lovely wife (She reads this.) to scrimp and save, but I couldn’t be sure. Was this a trick? A challenge? A litmus test to prove my undying devotion? There was only one thing to do: Buy a present regardless. For her birthday, I bought her a bracelet from Anthropologie. A store that, as I picture it, is filled only with items that my wife would love. I figured I could go to this well again before it runs drys, especially since the Ray-Ban aviators I tried to purchase from Amazon were a huge failure. Go to Anthropologie.com, search ‘bracelets,’ pick one and hope for the best. She loved it – Loves it. Wore it Christmas Eve. Verdict: Anthropologie should only market to men looking for gifts for their wives.
- The Beatles – Like millions of streaming music fans, I woke up Christmas Eve morning to the Beatles. The boys from Liverpool began streaming on major music services and two of mine: Apple Music and Slacker. I really wouldn’t have known this was happening except for Slacker’s crazy-high level Tweeting on the subject. As a plus subscriber, I don’t see the value. Apple Music is a different story, though. As a member, I get access to the full catalogue that can be stored offline. What’s even better is the playlist option. So far, I found the “The Beatles: Art-Pop” playlist to be a standout. Twenty of my favorite Beatles tracks from across albums lumped together by theme. I look forward to what Apple Music can do with the discography and a little creativity. For the casual fan of the Fab Four, this is a great way to acquaint or reacquaint yourself. Verdict: Merry Christmas to me thanks to John, Paul, George, and Ringo.