Is it just me, or are people diving into the holidays with extra gusto this year? More than one of my friends confessed, with a definite air of asking for forgiveness, to breaking out the tinsel and Bing Crosby before Thanksgiving. (They shall remain nameless…FOR NOW.) My day-job officemates hung lights before I even arrived at work on Monday, and keep them lit despite the specter of blowing various circuits in our electrically dubious building. I even realized earlier this week that, if I don’t cool it, I might be sick of my favorite Andy Williams rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear?” before it’s actually time to hear what Andy hears. What is going on here? Is it because Nordstrom wouldn’t decorate early? Whatever it is, apparently we all need a little Christmas, right this very minute. (If the New Christy Minstrels just popped, fully formed, into your head…well, you’re welcome.)
If you’re feeling the Christmas spirit this first day of December, well, you’re in luck: get to know this pile of classic Austenacious Christmas cheer! And if you’re not yet in the groove, what are you waiting for? Pull your Action Jane off the shelf, turn up your preferred version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and consider the month ahead. After all, you only have twenty-five days to explode from holiday-induced stress/joy. Better get on it.
- Looking for the perfect gift for the Austenite in your life? Check out our 2011 Jane Austen gift guide! Still looking for some inspiration and maybe some Etsy stores to peruse? See previous gift guides here and here.
- Everything you can do, Jane can do better: Action Jane’s Christmas!
- There’s no combination like Jane, classic holiday ballet, and a short-story contest: Jane and Mrs. Fitzpatrick take on The Nutcracker.
- Looking for a Christmas craft with a Jane twist, or just need something to put on top of the tree? Make your Action Jane into a Christmas tree topper!
- For your holiday cheer and possibly a nice outing for the fire extinguisher: How to make plum pudding!
- From the English countryside to the north pole: Play the Letters to Santa game, Jane Austen style!
Readers, we know how fond you are of your Action Janes. We know you’re pals. We know you’ve bonded. We know you all take your Janes everywhere, sharing every confidence and frolicking in fields of flowers together, or whatever. (Just us?) But as the holidays approach, we also know that Action Jane can serve a vital purpose in holiday-ifying our respective homes: with her open but relatively narrow skirt and semi-movable legs, Jane makes an awesome and unique Christmas tree topper/instant conversation piece.
So if you’re in possession of an Action Jane, but not of something to stick on top of your tree—or if you have both, but like the idea of Winged Jane and her Feather of Holiday Goodwill—we think you’ll love these instructions for your very own Jane Austen Christmas tree topper:
1. Crank up your favorite holiday tunes. No skimping on this, you hear? Otherwise you will surely be black of heart and devoid of cheer, and Jane will know. Jane always knows.
2. Draw and cut out the angel wings of your choice. This may take a couple of tries, as you realize that the birth of Jesus was not actually presided over by a fairy.
3. Cut a narrow strip of aluminum foil a few inches in length.
4. Shape the aluminum foil into a tiny halo for Jane; if you prefer a slightly elevated “floating” halo, cut another piece of foil and shape it into a support piece. Wrap one end around the seam of the halo and leave the other end straight.
5. Tape the wings to Jane’s back; either set the halo directly on top of her bonnet or tape the support to the back of her head.
Voila! Stick Angel Jane on top of your Christmas tree—arranging her legs as necessary; we won’t speak to modesty—and revel in the way she oversees all festivity and merriment. Jane was made for festivity and merriment.
But, you know, some of us have bigger Christmas trees—the kinds of macho trees that won’t fit underneath Jane’s slinky skirts (ooh la la!). Some of us can’t get enough of the decidedly un-Regency hoop skirt look. And some of us just like making things more difficult for ourselves. For these special classes of readers, we have Action Jane Christmas Tree Topper: The Advanced Class, with an extended and arguably more angelic-looking skirt and the opportunity for extra craftiness. If decorating angel skirts sound like your cup of tea, read on:
1. To make wings and a halo, follow steps 1-4 of the basic instructions.
2. Using a square piece of paper, trimming two diagonal corners as shown by the dashed lines—this will be Jane’s skirt.
3. Decorate as you see fit. Tiny stars, tie-dye, applique poodles, whatever. The skirt is your oyster.
4. Roll the paper into a cone-shaped skirt around Jane’s tiny waist and tape in the back—once at the top and at least once farther down.
5. Proceed to Step 5 of the basic instructions—tape the wings to Jane’s back and secure the halo to her head.
Ta-da! Action Jane saves the day once again, poised for any and all Christmas hijinks you might throw at her. Now, get on with the drinking of mulled wine, or whatever it is we’re doing to celebrate.