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Contest winner: You're all invited

When we saw the first entry in our "create a new holiday" contest, we were tempted to award it first prize then and there:

"I hereby propose a holiday honoring one thing we all have in common, and something that, without which, we would not be here. The placenta. So let's have a happy Afterbirthday! The traditional celebratory decoration calls for water balloons."

Here's the thing, though -- the more we got to thinking about our first Afterbirthday Party, the more we were plagued by visions of Tom Cruise at the buffet table and worried about excluding potential non-mammal guests. What to pick instead? Should it be "Make Love Not War Day," on which sex is encouraged, or "Malthus Day," on which it's taxed? Perhaps Sunday Punday, "where you can only speak in really bad puns and cliches for a day?"

Finally, we settled on a holiday we could really enjoy, partly because we like drinking mead and marauding, and partly because it gave us a chance to link to our very favorite Joel Veitch animation -- Adrienne's "Viking Day."

viking.gifCelebrate the people who really discovered North America (or Vinland). We'll drink mead out of tankards, wear horned helmets and blonde braids. Prizes will be given for the best mustache (Ben Davidson and Sam Elliot can judge), most lutefisk consumed, funniest Ole joke, and at the end of the day, instead of a Burning Man, we'll set fire to a boat and have a true Viking funeral for the end of summer vacation. ... The holiday should be observed on August 21: two months after Summer Solstice, four months before Winter Solstice, and one month before fall begins. Minnesota will host the main celebration but each state will have its own festival. Part of the fun for the Minnesota Viking fans will be lining up in Duluth, finding Green Bay fans and "doing the Braveheart:" mooning the Cheeseheads across the border.

We're sad to report that our party-planning for this one also hit a bump: We had our costume all ready and then we discovered that Viking battle helmets didn't actually have horns. But we're going ahead with it anyway (Adrienne, send us your contact info so we can invite you and send you your book!). We sure hope there are no problems with our plan to signal that it's time for guests to leave by having a fat lady sing.

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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