- Cabbage Patch dolls
- Elmo toys
- flu vaccines
- whatever the latest and greatest video game/gaming system is
Q: What do they have in common?
A: At some point in time, there was a shortage of them. People took extreme measures to acquire them.
I have a certain fondness for those candle-driven centerpieces where the warmth from the candles spaced around the outside rises to the blades at the top of the contraption, which then rotate and turn the scene below.
My first one, with a religious theme, was a cast-off from my mother-in-law, who warned me it didn’t turn too well, but it was nice to look at. My father investigated the situation and surmised that a simple engineering adjustment would have that baby spinning like a top….and he was right! When we get her fired up the wise men and the shepherds are circling so fast they look a little nauseous. What fun! I found a second one, almost identical, at a yard sale. Our third one, found at the thrift shop, has a Santa’s Workshop theme.
Each of these has six candles around the bottom. And these candles are small (four inches tall, 3/8″ diameter), so they burn fast. When the decorations were all the rage it was easy to find the candles in stores.
But then the centerpieces fell out of fashion and nobody carried the candles anymore. At first I would run across them in thrift shops, where people were unloading them. It was great because they were dirt cheap. Then that source dried up.
I found some in Merchant’s Square in Williamsburg and pretty much cleaned out their stock, which cost me a pretty penny, but what’s a gal to do? My sister-in-law supplied me with some Hanukkah candles, which are taller and thinner, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
1. I am a shameless candle hoarder. Enough is never enough. I buy every one I can lay my hands on. And I don’t share.
2. I have become very stingy about burning these rotating marvels. Okay, we can burn it during Christmas dinner. But other than that, five or ten minutes at a time is all we can commit. None of this leaving it burning all afternoon while we watch the football game.