Happy New Year and blessed holiday season, my friends!
It’s been a few years since I’ve written a holiday letter for my Oiselle bird buddies, and the last one I wrote had some content not suitable for publishing. (In case you’re curious, it was about hookers. I’m serious). Since then, I suppose I’ve just been waiting for some inspiration, for some topic to come along that really lit a fire in me and that might have a snowball’s chance in Minnesota of making it to press. And then that inspiration smacked me in the lower leg like a mile 24 marathon cramp:
OISELLE MADE LEG WARMERS!?!
I know, that isn’t the actual product name. Oiselle made Ankle Biters. But whether you call them soleus savers, calf kissers, Achilles keepers or gastroc gaiters… this blessed article of clothing I thought was buried with the 1980s and Jazzercise is BACK! According to the Oiselle website, a woman from frigid Duluth, Minnesota, suggested the idea. Duluth is one of the least habitable places on Earth, so I’m not sure how some cozy fabric wrapped around your calves can save you there, but I still owe this woman a debt of gratitude. These ankle biters aren’t merely saving that thin strip of exposed skin between my running tights and my little running socks from frostbite—they’re saving my SOUL!
Because I’m a thorough writer/researcher, I thought I should do some digging into the history and uses of the leg warmer. Naturally I looked up the entry on the Wikipedia site so that I could begin and end my research at one easy-to-read site. Among other fascinating tidbits, I was surprised to learn that leg warmers were also worn by BOYS… but apparently only in Berkeley. So if Oiselle markets an ankle biter for dudes, which naturally should be in camouflage pattern, I pray that no man outside of Berkeley attempts to wear them. I also enjoyed the disclaimer: “No scientific data has been yet collected to substantiate the claim that leg warmers prevent injury.” So beware, Oiselle, of making such a claim, as that would be a lawsuit just begging to happen. What the research did make clear was that leg warmers were worn for a variety of athletic endeavors in order to keep the calf muscle warm. I don’t think that they should be limited to athletics, though. As a Minnesota resident myself, I am ever in search of a fashionable yet warm accessory to wear during my typical daily activities. As I wrote to Sally and Sarah Lesko, these ankle biters are designed to transition from the boardroom to the ballroom. (I have rarely seen the likes of either, by the way.) And then Lesko added… to the bedroom! And as I found out one lovely weekend day, much to the horror of my friends and neighbors, they are so warm that a woman need not wear much else!
So without further ado, here are some uses of the patented Ankle Biter:
1. Decorating for the holiday season
Outdoor garland hanging and wreath displaying are a breeze when you have a trusty drill, a wobbly ladder, and some warm Ankle Biters!
Not all outdoor chores are as joyful and festive as hanging greenery. When the winter skies bless you with snow, get out there and take care of business… in style!
3. Grilling and chicken care (not to be combined, people—PLEASE)
Minnesotans don’t see grilling as a summer activity—we prepare our meals on the grill all year around! And when we grill, we like to keep our calves warm. It’s unclear why this is necessary, but don’t rain on my parade (or snow on my grill). And when feeding the chickens, avoid the painful ankle pecking by wearing these leg warmers as soft, fuzzy armor!
4. Indoor decorating
When it’s time to move inside, keep those Ankle Warmers on for maximum coziness and style. Whether trimming the tree and practicing your ballet moves simultaneously (it’s called multitasking), or whether pretending to play the piano, be sure to point your toes and look like a badass.
5. Kick back and relax after a long day
Work hard, play hard, as they say. After a long day of chores and chickens, isn’t it time to treat yourself to a break in front of a nice, warm fire? But there’s one more task to accomplish before you light the Yule log or the menorah or the Yankee candle or your cigar or whatever it is you light in your family! No judgment here! So put on some boots and go get that firewood and kick back in those Ankle Biters!
I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy holiday season and a New Year filled with outrageous goals that may or may not be realistic or attainable. Dream big so you can fly high, Oiselle friends! And may everyone have Ankle Biters under the tree, on the front porch, or on your cozy calves already. Here’s to 2019: let’s FLY!
Jungle Chicken (and her very patient photographer, MJ)