A Bizarre Christmas in the Bronx!


I’m so glad that I made this Christmas post under the wire here because nothing would give me more pleasure than to ruin everyone’s New Years festivities by subjecting you all to the most bizarre Christmas display humanity has ever known! Our Holiday season would not be complete without Mamma Biscuit’s annual pilgrimage up North to the Boogie-Down Bronx to see the insane Christmas display at the Garabedian Household in Pelham Bay. Located on a small plot of land (painted entirely in Pepto Bismol pink) on Pelham Parkway North in the Baychester neighborhood of the Bronx sits this average, two-story home (inhabited by the most amazingly insane Armenian-American family) that comes alive with the biggest display of Christmas fuckery on the planet—all of which can be viewed from Thanksgiving until the Epiphany (6th) in January! That’s when we Italians celebrate the arrival of La Befana—our version of Santa Claus except she’s a damn witch who flies from home to home on her broomstick to deliver Italian cured meats and cheeses! Yeah, and you thought receiving a pair of socks when you were a kid was awful, thank goodness La Befana skipped your American household in early January! Anyway, my own personal history with this hidden treasure in the Bronx began when I was 15 years old and I was dragged there by a friend and his family. Stunned and amazed by what I saw, I obviously became hooked on the insanity and therefore made it a point to make this Holiday pilgrimage every single year after! Of course I dragged Tommy to see this display when we first began our relationship (never worrying that my love for this Christmas display would somehow be a turn-off) and now we’ve made it our very own tradition together along with Mamma Biscuit by our side! Speaking of Mamma Biscuit, you know you’ve got one special pug on your hands when the crowd of onlookers who have shown up to view this mess pay more attention to her rather than this insane display in the background!


Now what can I possibly say about a life-size, movable Nativity scene overlooking a hodgepodge of hypersexualized mannequins of celebrities like Cher, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Diana Ross and Michael Jackson? It’s as if Madame Tussauds Wax Museum purged an entire lot of celebrity wax figures that were deemed too sexual for the viewing public and somehow, the Garabedians got their bloated hands all over them with their own ideas for a Christmas display! Something tells me that Mary and Joseph are extremely unhappy with their room at this inn! Serves them right, they should have booked a room through Expedia.com. Surely they must have known how hard it is to book a good hotel during the Christmas season! Now they’ll have to suffer as Mary gives birth right next door to this Sodom and Gomorrah after-hours party—and I’m sure she’ll be calling the front desk with a plethora of noise complaints between her contractions!


Honestly, this whole display would leave even the most eccentric person you know horrified and as someone who knows a thing or two about decking the halls, that’s exactly how you would want your viewing public to react to your display. In fact, whenever I bring a new friend or two along with us during our visits, I make sure they take several shots of vodka, snort a line or two of cocaine and drop a few Ambien pills to take off the visual edge!


Umm, is that Paris Hilton playing the violin behind the King of Pop? Oh the insanity of it all!


What fascinates me most is just how boudoir the overall vibe is within this display. Male and female mannequins propositioning one another for sex decked out in faux Dior gowns and showcasing plunging necklines that only Heather B. from VH1’s Rock of Love with Bret Michaels would dare to wear. You know, just because you clasp a double-C logo brooch in diamonds to a gown does not make it Chanel. In fact, these dresses are more Bob Mackie than Chanel or Dior but I do applaud the Garabedians interpretation of high-fashion.


This massive Christmas display features more than 170 mannequins, 50 cherubs, 10 hooved animals—be it reindeer or horses—many celebrities, fairy tale characters like Cinderella, Mickey, Minnie and Donald Duck from Disney and one baby Jesus—all rotated for display throughout the years. I’m utterly sad and disappointed to report that yet again, I did not see one damn Madonna in this blasphemous mess! NOT ONE! The King of Pop seemed so lonely without that hag standing next to him in a Blond Ambition cone-bra corset—after all, she is the Crypt-keeper of Pop and she will not go quietly into her coffin! I guess they would rather feature other girls from the material world but if they decide last minute to put Lady Gaga in place of Liberace at the empty seat in front of the piano, I’ll scream louder than Mary giving birth without an epidural!


So what about this family, who are they? Well, the Garabedians have been working on this display since 1973, when matriarch Nelly Garabedian, a former seamstress, decided to “give back to the community” and started this visual assault on everyone’s good taste! Gary Garabedian (Nelly’s son), his father and his two sisters decided to carry on the tradition that started when Gary was just 7 years old. Can you believe it? Nelly started hoarding Christmas paraphernalia when Gary was 7—I envy these people! The theme that Nelly wanted for this display was to make it look like the movie stars were coming to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and boy have they succeeded in that—10 fold! In these tabloid times, I’m surprised there isn’t a Miley Cyrus mannequin twerking by the three wise men while rolling her tongue out like Mamma Biscuit waiting to receive a handful of peanut butter treats! I said it many times before and I’ll say it again, Miley stole Mamma Biscuit’s look and that bitch better find a new gimmick before I have our lawyers contact her!


Gary has gone on record to say, “Every free moment we have during the year we are working on this display, we learned how to make our own fiberglass and now create our own molds for the mannequins during the summer. Then we buff them, prime them, paint them and clothe them.” They do all of this and then store many of the figures at his brother’s house upstate during the off-season. Click here to watch a short snippet of Gary explaining a bit of the process while sporting a tight, Weird Al Yankovic hairstyle and giving us a major lisp! I love this man, he’s a hero in my book. I envy these Christmas over-achievers because honestly, they make my Christmas display at the pug palace seem like a low-budget Christmas at a Jehovah’s Witnesses’ household!


I don’t ever want to be caught complaining about how exhausted I am from the Holiday season in front of any Garabedian family member because their maintenance routine for this display makes me look like a Christmas chump by comparison! The male mannequins stay outside permanently during the holiday season, covered by large plastic bags when it rains or snows, but each evening at 5 p.m. the Garabedians haul out the female mannequins, which each weigh nearly 45 pounds. Then, when the crowd dies down, around 11 p.m., they bring the females back inside to store overnight so their gowns, furs and boas are not ruined by the weather. Yeah, now that’s commitment!


Anyway, Mamma Biscuit somehow garnished herself some attention in front of this massive display of moving dolls! The crowd loved her just as much as they loved looking at a set of religious statues looking down on a brothel of sexy mannequins—and that made our visit all the more memorable! To conclude this post, we implore you to watch Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” music video which was partly filmed right in front of the Garabedian house back in the day. If Mariah Carey has given this display her stamp of holiday approval, than you know it’s something to see for yourself!

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

This entry was posted in Holiday, Just Because . . ., NYC Life, Oddities. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Bizarre Christmas in the Bronx!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *