I turn the ornament over in my hand.
Hard, cool, smooth.
I look down at the figurine – Donald Duck dressed in a light blue robe with small white wings attached to the back. As though stolen from a chaotic Disney Christmas pageant, he has a wire halo on his head, rope tied around his waist that he’s holding on to with one hand, and happily tooting a golden horn with the other. You can almost sense the disaster that is surely going to happen as soon as he continues on down that long brown rope, and I can’t help but laugh at the thought of it.
I don’t know what draws me to this ornament, but for as long as I can remember it has been “mine”. Even if I’m not home when they decorate, this ornament is left out for me to hang on the tree. I honestly can’t tell you when or how this tradition started. There is no writing or date on the ornament, so I don’t even know when I got it. Or if it was even mine in the first place.
I think part of the reason I like it so much – at least now, who knows what my original reasoning ever was – is because it shows a softer, lighter side of Donald Duck. I always saw Donald as kind of a grump. He tended to have a bad attitude or a general negative outlook on situations. Though I’m sure he is in for some frustration and unintelligible squabbling when his rope inevitably snaps and he lands on Mickey and Minnie (who are playing Joseph and Mary in this fictional Nativity scene I made up), at this moment he is just joyously blowing his horn, enjoying the air flowing through his feathers as he proudly plays the ever-important role of the angel.
It’s just one of the many traditions I have at Christmas time, one of the many things that is the same every year that brings back a flood of memories and an overwhelming sense of joy.
I love the Christmas season. I love everything about it. I love that people are thinking about other people, I love that everything is sparkly and colorful, I love that it doesn’t matter how old you are, I love the music. I love that even sad Christmas songs are happy. The song “Last Christmas”? Not really a happy song, in general. Yet, that song makes me happy.
I’m very excited for the month ahead.
I put a new hook on Donald; it looks shiny and bright in comparison to his light, slightly faded colors. Still, he swings on, rope in his hand and glee in his smile. I gently place him on the tree, right in the middle, and take a step back. He looks so perfect, nestled among the colored lights.
Know how I know the Christmas season has officially begun? Because Donald Duck told me so.