Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 Christmas Fallout!

October has come and gone, Halloween is over, the Turkey has been carved and Christmas is already a few days old.  Where in the world did the time go?  For a site that claims to love and celebrate the "holidaze," you sure wouldn't think so based on my inconsistency and lack of commitment to the blog.  While in the midst of what was sure to be my best Halloween Countdown yet, real-life and work once again reared their ugly heads and forced me to but junk food and cereal on the back-burner.  To be perfectly honest, after missing out on sharing my trip to Disney World, Halloween Horror Nights and Salem, MA, I basically shut the site down for good.  It's not easy gaining traction and acquiring traffic, especially when so many awesome writers have most of this stuff covered better than I do, so I turned my attention toward social media and settled for much more entertaining, self-serving, and meaningful interaction with like-minded nerds.  Is The Holidaze done for good?  Possibly, but when asked by my buddy Chad to rise from the ashes and present my 2015 Christmas Fallout with a bunch of other cool guys, I was honored, excited, and simply couldn't say no.

So, on a weird site that features a 2015 Halloween Countdown header above a 2015 Christmas Fallout banner, I'm bringing it all together and closing out the year with a celebration of materialism and selfishness.  Yep, here's what Santa brought me for being such a good boy all year long!


Anybody who has ever read The Holidaze or follows me on Twitter knows that I am a huuuuge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan.  I favor the old school toon more than any other incarnation, but I'm a sucker for it all.  What Star Wars is to a lot of you geeks, TMNT is to me.  I grew up with it and so many of my Christmas's as a child were centered around Sewer Lairs, Party Wagons, and green plastic.  So when Santa dropped off this ceramic TMNT bank, I knew we were off to a good start.  I basically throw my loose change wherever it may fall, so this gives me an opportunity to actually save up some extra dough and feed Raphael in the process.  It may not be pizza, but all these pennies will do the trick!


Ever since we moved into our new place last year, I've been collecting glasses more and more.  I can probably count how many times I've actually used them on one hand, but a drink is always more special when I do.  That Cranberry Splash Sierra Mist tastes a whole lot better when coming from glass wrapped in Universal Monster graphics, so I can only imagine how great my beer will taste next Monday Night when I'm drinking from these new WWE steins.  The way the product has been lately, I may need more than just a few refills, but it's the only way to make Ryback entertaining.  As for The Walking Dead glasses, they'll stay packed until the series returns, but I'm very happy to have them in the growing collection.  These were very cool additions to a shelf that will one day fall and have me stepping in more glass than a Wet Bandit.


I own an Xbox One for two reasons : WWE 2K and NBA 2K.  They're the only games I play throughout the year so by no means do I consider myself a "gamer."  If I played Call of Duty or any other shooting game with you, I'd be dead in less than 30 seconds.  But give me wrestling and basketball and I'll be cooking.  I already own WWE 2K16 and have been playing it more than any other wrestling game in recent memory, so I knew NBA 2K16 wouldn't disappoint.  With work, I've yet to pop it in my console, but I can already envision New Years Eve being one of those days.  It'll most likely include beer, basketball, a giant ball, followed by The Honeymooners and a hangover.  It's an annual tradition.

Of course, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you already know how much of a die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan I am.  You may even know that I once worked for them in a previous life.  Well, for as bad as they are and as sad as I am to be a losing fan, I always support my team and these new hats will show my pride.  I just need to take those stickers off and bend the rims so I don't look too ghetto fabulous.  Do the kids still say that?


Now we're getting into the good stuff!!  When I was shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve like the procrastinator that I am, I stumbled upon treasure in Khol's.  I instantly tweeted and texted my Fiance who was finishing her shopping and said "Hey, I know the cashiers are going to think you're a weirdo, but there are awesome Halloween decorations on sale and I want them for Christmas!"  I'm sure she thought I was kidding, but oh no!  The older I get, the sooner I begin planning the next Halloween.  Whether it's decor, events, or traveling, I now pretty much schedule out my year and work things around the greatest season of all.  These additions, among others not pictured, will stay nice and safe until they re-emerge in September of 2016.  Okay, who am I kidding, it'll probably be August.


This one was a nice surprise!  I usually never have to tell my Fiance.. um, I mean Santa.. what I want, but we usually exchange lists anyway just so we don't end up wasting money.  Well, I can't deny it this year, she totally blew me away.  I thought I bought her some pretty cool things, but she set the bar high for next Christmas.  I missed out on the original NECA 8-Bit Jason when it went up for sale online during Comic-Con.  I tried ordering every time it was available, but was beaten by you vultures every time.  When I read of a re-release that played the classic NES theme when the flap was opened, I figured this one would be even harder to come by and didn't even bother chasing it.  Thankfully, Santa rewarded my lack of greed with plastic pleasure.  Eileen found the last one, by odd occurrence, at an FYE going out of business.  30% off.. Awesome find!


Okay, sensing a theme here, now?  The spooky season was the name of the game this Christmas and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  I genuinely enjoy Halloween and all that comes with it so I was happy to have my two favorite holidays find a way to intertwine themselves.  The sounds of Rankin Bass specials while opening up a Frankenstein throw blanket?  That equals success.  It's not often that I find a cool Halloween throw, especially in December, but Spencer's usually doesn't let us down on the horror front.  This one is going to look awesome laid across our couch next year.  


As you'll see soon down below, I am obsessed with Funko Pop figures.  I don't collect any that can't also be used as decorations, but the Holiday, WWE, and Horror lines are must haves.  My collection isn't quite yet complete, but it's getting there.  Their size and cuteness make them perfect for home decor and, as my Instagram will show, stupid little pictures of them standing near cake that has gone to waste.  Well, now Funko has released a line of T-Shirts depicting these awesome characters and this one pays homage to our trip to Halloween Horror Nights this past October.  Celebrating Freddy vs Jason, I think I'll keep this one packaged until we (hopefully) make our return in 2016.


When I purchased my Ecto-Cooler Candle from Horror Decor a few months ago, I was a bit skeptical of the scent's authenticity.  I thought maybe it was just a quick way to cash-in on a popular brand and wave of nostalgia.  But when I received it and popped that baby open?  Whoa!  Instant rush back in time and one of my favorite candles EVER!  I love having the house smell like it's supposed to throughout the different seasons.  In October it's Pumpkin Spice and Ecto Cooler.  In December it's Bayberry and Gingerbread.  Well, next Halloween it's going to be Ghoul-Aid and Marshmallows because they're joining the fleet of fantastic holiday odors.  These are two of my favorite gifts this Christmas and are highly recommended!


I may not have won the Crystal Pepsi contest, but Santa traveled all the way back to 1992, anyway!  This was a very cool surprise because I assumed the price for one of these bottles would be astronomical.  When they first started popping up on Ebay, I saw them going for $150.  Outside of Ecto Cooler, I don't think I'd ever spend that type of dinero on a limited-edition drink.  But amazingly, they dropped without my knowing and Eileen was able to snag one just in time for the big day.  I immediately put it in my fridge and waited until it was ice cold before taking that first sip.  I hadn't had Crystal Pepsi since at least 1991 when I was only 4-years-old, but I remembered that I honestly wasn't a big fan.  However, in 2015, that's all changed.  Maybe so has the recipe, but I really enjoy the new Crystal Pepsi.  It tastes a lot like regular Pepsi, but feels less carbonated and without that sugary aftertaste.  It still has that bitterness that reminded me why infant Cliff didn't like Crystal Pepsi, but then I questioned why infant Cliff was even drinking all that junk at that 4 anyway and this whole blog started to make much more sense.


Ohhhhh man!!  These were all I wanted for Christmas, man!  When I first saw these coming up on my Instagram feed, I was pumped!  I've been hoping for these figures for years, but never expected them to see the light of day.  I really didn't think there was much demand for them, but I was sorely mistaken.  Then I found out these were Disney Park exclusives and knew they'd be that much harder to come by.  On Black Friday, I had a guy pick these up with money I sent via PayPal, only to hit nothing more than excuses as to why they couldn't be shipped.  I think the truth was he saw how much their resale value was and decided to chase a bigger profit.  I got my money back, but figured I had missed out on these amazing figures.  But, because I have the greatest girl in the world, she worked her magic and found a way to pick up 3 hitchhiking ghosts and 1 grim grinning  hatbox ghost and bring them to New Jersey.  These not only celebrate my love for Disney World and this attraction, but also our engagement in Disney in June and our 3rd trip there for Halloween in October.  Like I said, this Christmas truly brought everything together in the most commercialized way possible!


Last but not least, I was given one final surprise - two tickets to see my Nets take on the Warriors in Brooklyn from the third row in section 31.  Having worked for the Nets, I've been on that court over 100 times and have met almost every NBA player in the league, but nothing beats sitting back, next to a hot girl, with a few beers for 48 minutes of basketball.  We went the day after Christmas for the 4pm matinee game and it was just a fantastic time.  Whether you're a sports fan or not, we can all appreciate the moments that come from days like this and that's why this one meant so much to me.

I hope your Christmas went better than it did for this random Santa I found in Bayonne.  He was obviously naughty and punished for his sins, but I can't say the same for myself.  I had a very fortunate holiday and was able to celebrate with the ones that truly mean the world to me.  2015 was a roller coaster year for me and my family.  From my Father overcoming a heart attack, to my Aunt beating Cancer, and so many extreme highs and lows that are just too personal to share, I can't begin to explain how much this Christmas meant to me.  But not because of what I found under the tree on Christmas morning, but for who I had around it and the dinner table later that night.  We are all very much aware of how commercialized Christmas has always been, but it's never been the reason for the season.  There's a much greater importance placed on that day and whether you're religious or not, you'll always find your own meaning if you look hard enough and in the right places.

I truly hope you all enjoyed 2015, I hope you overcame the obstacles placed before you and kept the eye of the tiger when things seemed a bit too tough.  I hope 2016 treats you even better and wish each and every person who reads this the absolute best.  Until I write again, Happy New Year.... Make it great by following me on Instagram and Twitter @HolidazeBlog ;)

And don't forget, all my tweeps are joining in on the fun of Christmas Fallout, so go check out their hauls and be jealous!

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