Making a Christmas Tree Story

img_1281As a kid, three of my favorite Christmas tree ornaments were: A wooden castle, a small wooden sled and a wooden airplane with a tiny propeller that spun if you flicked it just right. I would meticulously hang the ornaments on the tree so that it told a story…in my mind. The plane was hung towards the top of the tree, because planes fly. The castle was placed in the middle because it was built on an a hill (or a cloud). And the sled was hung towards the bottom. The story would change from year-to-year, or day-to-day, but essentially a hero would fly to the castle, do something heroic, and then escape on the sled in a dizzying action scene that Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg would be hard-pressed to recreate in a movie. Imagine the speeder bike chase from Return of the Jedi mixed with Die Hard and seasoned with the first twenty minutes of Temple of Doom.

Those three ornaments were lost somewhere, but I still create stories for my Christmas tree. Glass balls are planets, metal snowflakes become magic portals, the spaceship is…well, a spaceship.

The idea of creating Christmas tree stories was part of the inspiration for the new Pencil of Stories. This Power Pencil comes with six wooden ornaments that (may) spring to life as you use the magic pencil to tell tales of adventure and pterodactyls. What’s the story behind the girl, the yeti, the jetpack werewolf and the goblins? You tell me.

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I may have lost my wooden airplane, castle, and sled, but I can replace them with new ornaments. The story continues!

The Pencil of Stories and all six ornaments (and a Goblin pencil!) are available now as one set! Click here to visit the store and start writing new, weird, wonderful stories!

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100 Safe Conversations Topics for Thanksgiving (That Are Not Political)

family-fightThis Thanksgiving is gonna be a rough one. Avoid bringing up politics by using any of these topics.

100. What’s more important: Glass or Rubber?

99. Ben Affleck the actor vs. Ben Affleck the director vs. Ben Affleck the person.

98. Prussia.

97. Who’s your third favorite Beatle?

96. “My friend saw Slenderman.”

95. Did the person who invented the high-five know what he was doing? Or was it an accident like penicillin?

94. Whatever happened to the pilgrims after Thanksgiving? Are there still pilgrims? Did they die out like dinosaurs and leprechauns?

93. “Ssssssuper Moon!”

92. [Just start quietly singing TLC’s “Waterfalls,” until everyone joins in and starts dancing around the table.]

91. Internet lists.

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