December 25, 2011
One little ornament.
It's not very big. It's not fancy. It's not fashioned of blown glass. Nor is it considered to be of much value... except by me. I remember this ornament. It's been a part of every Christmas holiday. For a very long time. As long and as many as I can remember.
The little ornament hung on many real trees and artificial. It hung under the shade of natural green evergreen needles and silver. It was on the tree when carollers came knocking on our front door. And when my Uncle Richard, dressed-up as Santa, scared the daylights out of me so that I hid under the kitchen table and absolutely refused to come back out to claim my gift. In 1968, this little ornament was on the tree as our tiny black and white television transmitted images of astronauts on Christmas Day, orbiting around the moon for the history-making first time.
It was on the family's tree the Christmas I opened my best space toy ever - a Major Matt Mason astronaut action figure and his Star Seeker capsule. It witnessed my first Hot Wheels raceway set, and then a super-charged Sizzlers set. It was already getting old when I received a toy Batmobile all shiny new. And a Houdini magic set. A Cookie Monster hand puppet. And then all those Star Wars toys that came later.
This ornament saw our family temporarily shrink in size after my sister got married and moved out of town, and then grow again with three nieces and a nephew. And it was hanging there for Junior's very first Christmas too.
It hung there, a silent witness through Christmases of both good times and rough. In sickness and in health, 'til death took some away. And since this ornament originally belonged to my Mom, she's in affect still decorating our family Christmas tree.
I wasn't even Five years old. I remember looking at this ornament in wonder at it's simple molded plastic detail. It told a story. Joseph and Mary and the new-born Jesus in the manger. And how well I already knew that story. It's the story of what Christmas is all about.
Yep. She may have not known it, but my Mom sure got her 10 cents worth out of that one little plastic ornament ;)