We always go down to my grandparents' place for Christmas Eve. It's an Italian thing, La Vigilia... the vigil, for laymen. It's a religious tradition, the vigil being for the baby Jesus, but the only thing I really know about it is that we eat a lot of fish. We used to have all manner of things, but as time has gone on, and I've become more of a seafood fan, everyone else down that way grew up not being a huge fan. Still, we get the fried salt-cod and scallops and shrimp and my favorite, the pasta with the fish sauce. I presume it's sort of like the Lent fish thing... I don't really know. I'm not really up on my religious tradition.
Point is, when I was younger, my family insisted we could see Rudolph from my grandparents' picture window. We sat by the window, and holy fuck! I totally saw his nose blink! How convenient that there was a radio tower within view of the house... not that I was about to figure that out, but even as I started piecing things together, I'd still check for "Rudolph," and without fail, he'd always be in the area, just waiting for us to get home and go to bed. It was one of those images that always makes me think of the real magic of this season.
It's with this in mind that I chat up Springleap this last day before the day. The boys down in South Africa have finally got their printing back on track, it seems, so for those of you who might be wary of those seemingly lengthy spans of time between pre-orders, pretty much anything you order that's out now should be in stock and ready to ship within the next month. Personally, I've already spent some of my holiday cash before getting it. My sights are on Warholbot's Rein Dance, My Deer, September's big winner. There seem to be a lot of layers to this one... there's the rain dance itself, and the reindeer, but how it combines is interesting. The deer itself is entangled in the rain and clouds, so it could just be a play off the words, but with it clad in gold bands and a crown, it feels there could be a deeper undertone... maybe the deer is a rain god. More attractively, it might be an interplay between how important both the rain and the deer would be to the dancers below... the deer is accented in gold because that is how respected both elements must be for the sustenance they provided. And of course, the art ain't shabby either... it's powerful where the designer is more often odd, but that allows him to show his skill with details and texturing... the deer looks almost glossy under his pen, and otherworldly against the rest of the scene. It's a distinctly wintry deer, but with a palette making it suitable for any day, which makes this shirt perfect both to write up now, and to buy up for later.
Tomorrow, I -should- be around to toss together a Contest Watch, but as you might not be around to read it, I hope whatever you do on your holidays is awesome. This last week of December should be replete with daily posts as well, so definitely check back, because there WILL be post-holiday sales to report, and I, for one, cannot wait.