The lights: little twinkling beams. The music: jolly, with a touch of mourn. The plush, dancing antlers: whimsical, as plush, dancing antlers are wont to be.

It was love all right, there in the aisle, just Bag Lady and Shopping Siren and the “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” trucker’s cap.

Holidays were made for novelty wear.

Sure, they’re kitschy. A little embarrassing. And you wouldn’t be caught dead donning one any other time of year. But truly, it isn’t a proper holiday without some accessory that lights up, sings or otherwise makes a spectacle of itself (and you).

Which is why we thought it would be easy to find Santa slippers that shout “Merry Christmas!” and garland-patterned ties that play “Deck the Halls.” Easy! This is the Christmas season, after all, and if you can’t find snowman earrings that sing “Frosty the Snowman,” then when can you?

Apparently the answer is never. Never, ever. We were alarmed by the dearth of novelty sweaters, ties
and jewelry in the Twin Cities. We tried multiple stores — even Kohl’s, which advertises a very cool, tree-patterned musical tie online — but we couldn’t lay our hands on even one silky “Silent Night.” Where’s the kitschy Christmas spirit?

We didn’t strike out completely. (Kmart. Who knew?) While we love what we found, we would have loved to have found more.

• Light-up musical, stuffed, animated trucker’s cap, Kmart, $19.99
Plush antlers stick out the sides of this cap. They light up and jitterbug when the cap plays “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer.” Seriously! It’s joy in a hat.

• Light-up antler headband by Holiday Time, Walmart, $4
Ears and antlers attached to an easy headband, comes in either authentic reindeer brown or red felt, with six LED flashing lights. Also authentic. (It’s a little-known fact that most baby reindeer rub off their LED lights against tree bark before they’re a year old.)

• Elvis Musical Hat by Santa’s Best, Kmart, $14.99
More blue velvet, sequins and rhinestones than ought to be legal — and it sings Elvis’ “Blue Christmas” with the touch of a button. Exactly what every office Christmas party needs. (Along with vodka and somebody’s cheeks on the copier.) Pair with:

• Elvis Blue Christmas stocking, Kmart, $19.99
A-freakin’-mazing! It’s a white satin stocking with a flared leg and too much embroidery, a la Elvis, and it, too, sings. Unlike the other things on our list, it’s not easily wearable — or, sure, designed to be worn — but no one would blame you if you just wanted to carry it around for a while. Or, tug one on each foot and walk around very carefully but stylishly.

• Animated Christmas tree hat, Kmart, $19.99
It’s a hat! It’s a tree! It’s a statement on the mass deforestation of evergreens throughout New England! Um. Or not. This Christmas-tree-shaped hat lights up and boogies, appropriately enough, to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” It strongly reminded Shopping Siren of the sorting hat in Harry Potter. Except, you know, no sorting. (Unless it’s sorting you from the sad, jealous party-goers who don’t have a rad dancing tree hat.)

Best find: Musical holiday ties, WildTies.com, $17.95. For the first time ever, our best find is online. Unable to find musical ties in L-A, we hopped on to the Internet, Googled and found (drum roll, please) WildTies.com! Choose from holly, Christmas tree and snowmen-holding-American-flags patterns. The designs are subtle but lively. Want to be extra festive? Squeeze the bottom of the tie to hear holiday music. Granted, the site doesn’t specify what holiday music you’ll hear, but we assume it’s something fun and fabulous and eminently appropriate. Unlike:

Think twice: Light up holiday pins, Spencer’s Gifts, $2.99
Little pins that offer such holiday gems as “Bite me,” “Santa’s #1 Ho,” and “Nice package.” Need we say more?

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who hate the plush reindeer antlers occasionally forced on them, and not because they don’t light up) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]


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