Mostly whimsical reflections on life
If you are like me, you struggle to think of clever, fun and useful gifts to give at Christmas. Play-Doh has solved my problem.
Actually, Play-Doh hasn’t exactly solved my problem. But it has inspired me. I have a much better idea how I could idle away my time and forget that I was stumped on what to buy for Christmas.
Play-Doh’s seminal contribution to this breakthrough moment is a series of Play-Doh sculptures making important (or at least time-consuming) events in 2014. Such as the mind-blowing sculpture of the Polar Vortex, which looks like how Vincent Van Gogh would draw a weather map.
Another favorite is the ice bucket that commemorates the domino-tripping, head-dripping, spine-chilling Ice Bucket Challenge.
The sculptures go beyond mere events to earth-shaking, life-altering trends, such as the ubiquity of the Selfie and the resurrection of the wristwatch as the smart watch.
I have no illusions, based on my early-life experience with Play-Doh, of recreating anything as superb and recognizable as these works of art. My elation centers purely on how much time I can waste trying.
After all, Play-Doh was created as a diversion. When our children acted up, we said, as if programmed in our reptile brains, “How about making something out of Play-Doh instead of tearing down the curtains in the front room?”
Most of the time, kids, including us as kids, complied. We dug into pots of Play-Doh and pretended to be sculptors, while our parents, teachers or babysitters pretended to be art critics and praised us for our handiwork. It was a harmless pretense that spared frayed nerves and furniture.
So you can understand my child-like delight in “rediscovering” Play-Doh for adults. Unlike children whose imaginations run wild, think how long I can spend dreaming up something like a Play-Doh sculpture of a Polar Vortex, without ever having to get my hands all icky handling the stuff. A daydreamer like me couldn’t ask for a better holiday digression from reality. If you don’t actually spend any money buying Play-Doh, it’s cheap, too.
Chances are good that my lifted spirits for imagining Play-Doh masterpieces will put in a better mood to go Christmas shopping. Who knows, I might even imagineer the perfect gift in my Play-Doh musings.
Putting actual Christmas presents under the tree will result in a lot more rewarding holiday cheer – and perhaps a kiss and a hug – than if I tried to mold a masterpiece with Play-Doh that generated guffaws, eye rolling and medical emergencies for dropped jaws lasting more than four hours.
I owe it all to Play-Doh. I’ve wasted time thinking about wasting a lot of time, which caused me to come to my senses and get started on Christmas shopping. The first gift was to myself – an enlarged photograph of the Play-Doh Polar Vortex. It will look perfect in our bedroom hanging next to the print of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
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