I Won’t Give Up the Antlers

Did you have a Merry Christmas?

Mine was wonderful. The days leading up to the 25th were a delight, as well ~ largely due to a silly, impulsive purchase I made at Claire’s in early December.

For those of you unfamiliar with Claire’s, it’s a small mall boutique targeted to girls and teens, ages 3 and up. If a pink elephant ate a bunch of disco balls, flamingoes, powder puffs, unicorns and Justin Bieber, and then threw up, you’d have Claire’s.

Claire’s is a guilty pleasure. Allow me to explain….

Raggedy_AnnWhen I was a little girl, marketing to children was not nearly the machine it is today. Pink was decidedly for girls, but had yet to pop up on anything besides basic textiles. Gifts and surprises were generally reserved for Christmas and birthdays, when crowns were cut from paper, then painstakingly colored with Crayolas.

The power of “product placement” had yet to be discovered, too. Until then, true cross-merchandising could not be birthed. We kids cuddled up with Raggedy Anns and Teddy bears, and amused ourselves with neighborhood kickball games, Lincoln Logs, Chinese checkers and Play-Doh.

archiesAside from a very occasional Crackerjack novelty (usually some stupid boy-themed tattoo and never the coveted mini magnifying glass or faux pearl ring of urban legend) or cereal box premium (a cheap, plastic character “spoon sitter” or a back-of-the-box 45 record featuring “Bang-Shang-A-Lang” or “Sugar, Sugar” ~ all quickly collected and squirreled away by my older and faster sister, by the way), there was a whole lot of nothing. Even McDonald’s, which was grinding out burgers by the millions in the late 60’s and early 70’s, had not yet conceived of the “Happy Meal.”

I remember watching with surprise (and maybe just a touch of envy) as my much younger brother enjoyed the first small toy tie-ins to favorite Saturday morning cartoons as well as the first very detailed and fully movable Star Wars movie action figures.

pokemon_cardsLife goes on. You grow up and move forward, focussing on The Next Thing. Before I knew it, cartoons were airing on days that weren’t Saturday and at times that weren’t morning; and pink PVC playhouses were popping up in backyards everywhere.

The munchkin marketing machine was in full swing by the late 80’s; but I did not understand its power until a full decade later, as I witnessed my young nephews fervently and maniacally collect all things Pokemon and Pikachu. Whoa.

Just into the Oughts, I became a Girl Scout leader. When my darling charges began to show up for parties wearing cool, sparkly, diamond-cut polymer Cinderella tiaras, I felt the first pangs of bonafide jealousy.

PrincessJennyOf course, I had my own impressive diadem collection. Mr Wonderful has, for years, been gifting me genuine rhinestone-encrusted crowns to mark the passing of each birthday (I’m officially “pushing fifty” and Mr W and I will be celebrating 25 years of marital bliss; you do the math). Oh, but to have had access to such fancy headgear when I was in single digits….

And that’s about the time I discovered Claire’s. I was drawn in by the feathers and fluff; I stayed for the 2-for-1 jeweled headbands. For pennies, I could indulge my inner child ~ who, it turns out, is quite the diva.

What girl doesn’t need a sassy pastel purple feather boa with sequin accents? An aurora borealis-covered coin purse? Or an adorable Hello Kitty beret with bedazzled bow?

anters_christmasLast month, I decided I simply had to have the small, clip-on reindeer antlers with golden thread accents and tiny Christmassy pom poms. I fastened them to my cornsilk locks right there in the store, never imagining the cute little clip set (regularly $6.50, on sale for $4) would become one of my favorite things this Season.

I wore the antlers everywhere. I wore them to the grocery store. I wore them to the library. I wore them to the dry cleaners. I wore them in the car ~ going to the grocery store and library and dry cleaners. I was so happy to wear them! And others seemed happy to see me in them.

Best moment? When a fussy toddler in a carseat one lane over glanced up at me and broke into a wide, giggly grin. I also enjoyed the big conversation I shared with a precocious little boy called William who wanted to know if there was a “North Pole connection” (his words; not mine).

The horns were a huge hit at Christmas parties, concerts, and plays. Their diminutive size made them somewhat believable; and there were more than a few double-takes. I could not resist uploading an antlered avatar.

Though I’ve managed not to wear the antlers since New Year’s, I have yet to update my avatar. It still makes me smile….


And now Little Christmas has arrived….

I’m aware that the Epiphany marks the true end of the Holiday. But here’s my personal epiphany: Life is short. And, if I want to keep the antlers, I shall. Because when something gives you joy, it’s a definite “keeper.”

Wishing YOU joy in 2014 ~ and beyond!
Jenny Allen


  1. Lynn says

    Awesome. Just awesome!

  2. wassamatta_u says

    Some people just naturally antlerize better than others. It’s a gift!

  3. Jennifer says

    Heavy are the heads that wear them, Wassa! 😀

  4. tigs says

    i think we’re twins. . . i own a Hello Kitty beret with bedazzled bow – and matching phone cover and coin purse. . .

    (sometimes, a girl needs the softer kitties in life. . .)


a peep out of you