Today’s Popcorn Stand is straight from the Associated Press in honor of Friday — National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day:
NEW YORK — Happy Falalala-llamakkah, one and all.
With Hanukkah and Christmas bumping together this year, a holiday theme for the ages is ready to go — llamas.
What do we mean? We mean cute and funky sweaters, T-shirts, holiday cards, wrapping paper and more showing off the cud-chewing pack animal for Christmas and Hanukkah, which begins the night of Dec. 24 this time around.
Oddly, the long-necked beast lends itself to holiday catch phrases for both: “Happy Llamadays” on a Christmas tree ornament with a little white one in a Santa cap, for instance, or “Fa-La-La Llama” on cards.
Online sellers from Amazon to Zazzle are awash in holiday llamas ho-ho-ho-ing it up with antlers and Christmas lights, wreaths around their necks and wearing ugly sweaters of their own.
For Hanukkah, they’re also in yarmulke, urging fans to belt “Llamakah, oh Llamakah,” like the holiday classic. The Paper Source is selling blue-and-white Llamakah gift wrap with the animals in scarves toting menorahs and wrapped presents.
So where does all this lead? Well, directly to Barry Sellers in Manchester, England, for one.
He’s a 34-year-old artist who used to do street graffiti under the tag “llamaphish” using llamas or a goldfish in an Army helmet, depending on his mood. Now, he’s selling a T-shirt of his own design in — count ‘em — 40 different colors with a goofy, bug-eyed llama as a Christmas tree itself, a topper star on his head, lights and garland wrapped around him, wishing all: “Fa lla lla lla llama.”
Why, Barry, why?
“To be honest I have no idea. I’ve always drawn llamas,” he said by phone Tuesday. “I think it’s their facial expression. They’ve got a really funny face, almost condescending, like they’re laughing at you.”
“They’re just a funny animal,” Sellers said. “Even the name. It’s one of those words that’s just nice to say. It makes you laugh.”