In the year we’ve spent making Deranged Crafts, we’ve utilized hot dogs several different ways. We transformed them into octopi on a bed of green ramen, made them into toppers for a very meaty wedding cake, turned them into mummies in a spooky graveyard, and, of course, styled them as various Disney princesses. Van Gogh had his oil paints, Winslow Homer had watercolors, and Anne Geddes her babies, but our favorite artistic medium is the hot dog. It didn’t feel right to wrap up the year with a post that didn’t incorporate some sort of meat stuffed in a tube. And everyone knows that the true meaning of Christmas is hot dogs. Lots and lots of hot dogs.
A hot dog nativity scene seemed too detail-oriented for us, and hot dog Christmas stockings, while adorable, felt a little too straightforward. But then we found a hot dog Christmas tree and, reader, it was just right.
Want to spice things up at your company holiday party this year? The great thing about the hot dog tree is that each hot dog nub is positioned onto its own respective toothpick, making the experience of snatching said nubbin and depositing it into your smiling little maw as easy and delightful as possible. Make your hot dog tree special with a luminous garland of cocktail onions and capers, then add a soft sprinkling of parmesan-cheese snow. While you’re at it, go ahead and sprinkle everything with parmesan cheese: your colleagues, your intern, your boss. ‘Tis the season!
4–5 Styrofoam cups
+ aluminum foil
16 hot dogs or veggie dogs
+ white American cheese
+ ketchup and mustard
+ parmesan cheese (the powdery kind from the canister)
1 bunch parsley
+ pearl onions
+ needle and thread
1. Stack 4–5 Styrofoam cups on top of each other so that they vaguely resemble a cone. Wrap that up with aluminum foil.
2. Slice the hot dogs or veggie dogs (we used veggie dogs) into fifths. This is strangely soothing.
3. Use a toothpick to secure each hot dog slice to the Styrofoam cup tower at a slight angle. Leave about 2–3 inches between each hot dog. Reserve 2 hot dog pieces for your angel topper.
4. Make an angel by sticking two hot dog chunks on the toothpicks. Then make wings by cutting a slice of white American cheese and use another toothpick to secure them to the angel’s beautiful hot dog body. Give her a face with ketchup and mustard, and stick her on top of the tree.
5. So now you should have a sort of terrible foil cone covered in hot dog bits. Tuck sprigs of parsley in between the hot dogs until the foil is no longer showing through.
6. Time to decorate the tree! First, thread capers and pearl onions, alternating between the two, on a piece of string. This will make for a beautiful garland. Put it on your tree like a nice tree necklace.
7. Use ketchup and mustard to add more garland. Just go nuts. It’s fucking Christmas.
8. Make it snow by sprinkling cheese all over your house. The holidays are just so magical.
9. Lower the lights and cue “Silent Night.”
What we learned:
Styrofoam cups covered in aluminum foil are remarkably structurally sound whether you’re doing a fourth grade geography project or an adult hot dog project. Ketchup and mustard seem like they would make great “garland,” but really you will just end with some festive squirts here and there.