I was 14 when my Daddy bought me my first Snoopy Christmas ornament.
I remember unwrapping it on Christmas morning, a little unsure why I was getting a Christmas ornament like that.
Careful not to break it, I pulled it out of the box, waiting on my instructions.
It was the character Linus sitting at his Baby Grand Piano and that faithful pup Snoopy standing on top of it, his nose and toes pointed as if he was going to jump right off the piano and dance.
“Push the button,” Dad told me.
Linus’s head moved back and forth and Snoppy twirled around, all to the beat of the famous theme song.
As a child, Daddy would sit down at Mama’s piano and play the Charlie Brown theme. I would find a place nearby and make up my own version of the Snoopy dance.
Dad and I have always had a connection like that. Even now, when I call home, in the background I can hear the famous jazz sounds of that theme song echo from Mom’s piano.
I don’t have that many Snoopy ornaments on my tree, only seven, maybe eight, but I hope that in the future I’ll have one tree devoted only to Snoopy.
So far this year I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many of the fine Christmas trees in the homes of county residents. Last week, while taking Christmas card photos for a lady at my church, I sat and listened as she and her husband talked about their tree, the one standing tall in the living room with priceless Christopher Radko ornaments hanging on each branch.
Together, Jason and Amy Skipper could tell me every place they purchased a Radko ornament, including the ones that were given as gifts and the ones that were “pre-children.”
Listening, I couldn’t help but think of my Snoopy ornaments and what they've meant to me all these years.
I have a couple or ornaments that depict Snoopy and a group of Woodstocks, each one decked out in Boy Scout gear and working on some type of project or participating in an activity, like canoeing.
There’s also the one with Lucy ice skating and Woodstock riding a zamboni. A few mini ones commemorate the gang’s quest for mounds of candy on Halloween.
I also really like the single ones of Snoopy where he’s dressed as the Statue of Liberty and as a mummy.
Mom called me last week and said, “Just listen.” Then she played the “Christmas Time” song from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I’d been eyeing this Christmas ornament for many years, one that featured the entire Snoopy gang. Mom and Dad thought it would make a great little graduation gift for me.
Just something else to add to my tree, I suppose.
This year I’ve also let the kids from church pick out an ornament they like for my tree. So far, one corner of the tree has an oversized green and teal butterfly on one of the branches, a choice from Megan because it “sparkled and was pretty."
The cats are convinced it’s a real butterfly, though. On more than one occasion I’ve watched Miley bat the fake butterfly with his paws, meowing at it as if it will talk back.
No one bothers the Snoopy ornaments and thankfully I’ve not come home to my tree either tumped over or a kitty cat sleeping in the branches.
My tree is making it, full of my favorite ornaments, each one telling a story about my childhood, my teen years and now my twenties.