Friday, December 09, 2022

A Pig, A Dog, A Bear, A Mouse & Some Castles: Ornament Stories

Putting up the Christmas tree at the Jackson house is a big deal... over the years, we've added way more lights, gotten rid of generic ornamental balls in favor of a plethora of ornaments given to us during our 32 years of marriage, and (due to the smaller space we currently live in) we are actually having to move furniture into the foyer of the duplex to make room for the tree.

There's something about having the tree up that changes not only the traffic patterns in our house but also makes my mood more buoyant. Each morning, as the first person up in our house, I turn on the lights and watch them twinkle in the darkness. Then I slide open the drapes to share those lights with our neighborhood. (There's a sermon illustration in that somewhere... preacher friends are welcome to mine the story for all its worth.)

The majority of the ornaments on our tree have stories that go with them... and as I looked at the tree this morning, I realized I wanted to share some of them with y'all. (That's part of the joy of blogging... I get to send my random thoughts out into the world - and these are particularly random.)

Rowlf the Dog

I think this is the oldest ornament on our tree - it was given to me by my high school friends Gigi & Alea Fairchild. Yes, my Muppet obsession has been around for 40+ years.

The Pig

When I was a youth minister here in Nashville, our youth group mascot was - wait for it - a stuffed pig. Some of my wonderful youth gave me a pig ornament which still has a place of honor on the tree.

Want to know more about the Pig and his autograph book? Here's the story...


Also a gift from that same group of youth... a homemade Pinky & the Brain ornament. We cherish it.

Winnie the Pooh + Mokei

We have a lot of Winnie the Pooh ornaments... Shari has always loved Pooh Bear, so I think I counted 4 or 5 of them on the tree. This one is particularly special, as it was the Christmas of 2000 when Shari was pregnant with Braeden. 

Except... at that point, we didn't know if our baby was going to be a boy or a girl. So, we'd jokingly put the potential names together (Moriah & Keith) to come up with Mokei... which is what you see on the star. (Keith became Braeden's middle name - but that's another story involving Shari's cousin and her threat to name our child for us.) It was a gift from my Mom (and Dad)... and a really special memory.

Castles & Such...

We started a tradition of choosing an ornament to take home from our major Disney trips - as a souvenir, they are relatively inexpensive and actually have a place to be displayed on a regular basis (rather than being relegated to a dusty shelf somewhere or the bottom of a storage box). And, more importantly for us, they remind our family of the fantastic adventures we've had over the years. All of the castles are from Disneyland (celebrating our trips in 2003, 2007, and 2012) and the glass Mickey is all four park icons from our trip to WDW in 2019.

I've written a lot about those trips and about Disneyland (even with some spiritual stuff thrown in!) over the years... if you're interested, here's how to find some of the best of those posts.

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