I know. Shocking, right? All this time, and I've never even mentioned my birds.
Well, here they are:
Oh, yeah, and an elf. That's Cha-dee. Don't mind him.
So, what's the story? Well, I am going to use this post as a bit of a confession: I absolutely hated these birds when I was a teenager, and even into my early 20's. Especially the tree topper. Let's talk about that.
It's all styrofoam inside. Green velvet on the outside, and golden glitter eyes, beak, wings, and tail. And it has some red rhinestone eyes. Yeah. My dad called it the "Christmas Dove" like it was something special, and he'd lift me up each year to put it on top of the tree. It was the last ornament, always the crowning glory.
And, then, let's discuss the Christmas Dove's friends. Those white and red guys with the wiry plastic tails. And the way they sit on the branches? You have to wrap a gold wire around and around and around each branch. Totally old school, right?
As a youngster, I just thought they were weird. Even though I was an animal lover inside the womb, all I wanted atop the Christmas tree was a glorious, fancy angel like all my friends had. I felt like a classless Christmas nerd for our green velvet bird tree topper. And I wanted to replace the little red and whites with expensive glass orbs. There were even a few years that I didn't put those guys on the tree. But my dad always snuck a few on. I rolled my eyes, time and time again.
The year my father passed away is when I realized their value.
He passed away in the late summer of 2002, just weeks before our wedding. My mother passed away in the summer of 1984, so my dad was my everything, and his passing was hard to take. The following Christmas meant a lot, in terms of ornaments. I adorned our first tree as a married couple with the ornaments my parents put on their first Christmas tree together. They were married in 1971, and that's when the birds first appeared on the tree, and so it was every year after, despite my shallow hormonal protests. My dad made sure of it.
So I'm making sure these ornaments stay on our tree every year. And now it's my husband who lifts our children up to place the Christmas Dove atop the tree.