What’s the single most celebrated Christmas decoration at our house?
The tree, you might surmise. Or maybe the stockings? A valiant guess. Could it be one of the two hand-carved wooden nativity sets we humbly display? Or perhaps it’s one of the many decorative nutcrackers that have been a staple gift from Santa to the kids over the years? (The big guy tries to mix in a few wooden, traditional toys).
Surely, one of those holiday standouts that we parents hold in such high regard has become the favorite of our offspring, forming a foundation for fond memories of Christmases past. Certainly, it’s one of these titans of the holiday décor realm that causes the children to clap, parade and dance each year as it is revealed and ceremoniously displayed.
Based on our childrens’ collective reaction to the mix of various traditional garb and accumulated holiday tchotchke that we scatter through the house for little more than a month each year, the Christmas decoration they get most excited about is a bit less traditional, a little less wholesome, and not exactly an heirloom (yet). It’s an oddball, really.
But without a doubt, their favorite is the piano-playing Singing Snowman. Hit it.
That’s right. Each year I haul down no less than four ginormous boxes, each filled to the brim with garland, ornaments and heirloom-worthy trinkets. These items, some meticulously wrapped, are unveiled one-by-one, with trembling anticipation and utmost care by us parents, each to be placed on the tree, or the mantle, or the coffee table or another easily visible flat surfaces. And each year, as we partake in this annual tradition, with boxes half empty and newspaper wrappings scattered about our entire first floor, the question begins.
"Dad, where’s the Signing Snowman?"
A nervous silence falls over the room. Then comes the sound of newspapers rustling as the children overturn the paper wrappings, dive into the boxes and scour the partly-decorated landscape. Their voices eventually crest, in a high pitched whimper, “Where is he?”
This year, the Singing Snowman was actually missing. He was nowhere to be found, not in any of the giant boxes, nor the accompanying bags.
He must've gotten lost on packing-away-Christmas-junk day last year. But how? Did he hide out and find his way to the basement toy repository? Did he end up with the Easter box? Or, did I subconsciously discard our fluffy little Liberace? Did I bag him up “accidentally” with the yearly Christmas garbage, a collection of boxes, wrapping paper and tiny plastic harnesses used to keep dolls in their packaging, and take him to the curb? Could I do such a thing – even subconsciously. (Yes. Yes I could.)
But, alas. I didn’t.
Finally, in the attic, behind one of the box of retired décor – the one I consolidated on a particularly ambitious January day a few years ago and have refused to move since – the Signing Snowman was found.
Thank goodness. Christmas can happen again. And the children can sing, dance and parade around to a bad rendition of "Let It Snow."