Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas has come and gone. There were gifts and giggles aplenty, even some happy tears (thanks Mom and Dad!) but just like every Christmas, the morning did not pass without a comment about this:

That is our tree and that is our Christmas duck on top.

Yes, a Christmas duck.

And yes, I will explain.

A long time ago, before I was around, Husband's niece Chelsie gave him that duck for Christmas. Her mother had taken her to the Dollar Tree so she could purchase a gift for her beloved uncle with her own money. And Chelsie's eight year old self really felt that he would love that ugly plastic duck.

Amazingly enough he did love that duck, because he is a good uncle and because he thought it was kind of a funny gift. Remember when cordless phone bases had those super long antennae? Right. The duck resided there for a very long time, like it had been dive bombing the phone and became impaled on the antenna. When I moved in, I let the duck remain. I loved that he loved his niece so much that the duck was part of his permanent decor.

So our first Christmas together came and we went to Apple Hill and chose and chopped the perfect tree. We brought it home and decorated it with the most eclectic mix of white lights, niece and nephew made ornaments, childhood ornaments, Mickey Mouse ornaments and colored ball ornaments from Michaels.

But no tree topper.

Because we cannot agree.

At all.

I wanted a star. My parents always had one of those weird peak things on the top of our trees and my whole life I had wanted a beautiful star.

But no, he wanted an angel. He grew up with angels on his tree. He had an angel (it's ugly, of course) and why get something else when he has an angel already?

"Because I want a star. Stars are pretty."

"But a star has no meaning for you. I've always had an angel."

"A star would be a new tradition for our family."

"Why spend the money? I already have an angel."

So this continued for DAYS into the Christmas season; him wanting that ugly angel and me wanting a pretty new star. Until finally I had had it and said:

"I'd rather put that ugly plastic duck on top of the tree than that stupid angel."

Up went the duck. Plain the first year; the next year we tied a bit of Christmas garland around his skinny little neck and some Christmas ribbon around his birdy legs.

He resides in a bin 11 months of the year now, but for the glorious month of December when our Chelsie's fantastic gift to her uncle has a special, permanent place in our Christmas traditions, right on top of our tree.

And that is the story of our plastic duck tree topper. I like it. It makes me feel happy to know that we have such a unique tradition. Chelsie is married now, with a husband and a home and a Christmas tree of her own, but I love that she is always with us at Christmas time; by way of the duck, the most unique and awesome tree topper ever.

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