It made perfect sense to Jake. Who would serve better than the one who illuminated his long dark nights? His guardian angel so to speak, faithfully stationed at his bedside warding off closet hobgoblins and long-legged beasties. With his warm red glow penetrating the night, no spirit dared stir in his light…
When our tree-top angel lost a wing, Jake shuddered at the thought of an undefended tree. What would prevent some mischievous imp from running off with our Christmas gifts?
Gazing intently at the naked tree top as my wife sought a replacement from our decoration box, Jacob suddenly sprang to his feet and scurried off to his room. Several thumps and a thud later, he emerged with his guardian in hand. Jake had wrenched the night-light figurine from off his lamp and brought it out to me saying:
“Here, Mickey will be the perfect tree topper.”
Mickey Mouse? The pinnacle of our Christmas tree had always been reserved for an angel or a star. Who would dare consider offering such a prominent position to a rodent? After much debate however, we yielded to a rather determined six-year-old and gave his mouse an audition.
The mouse looked good perched atop our Norway spruce with twinkling lights filling his blue caboose. He was just as Jake said, “A perfect fit,” and from that day forward Mickey Mouse became our official tree top adornment.
Our family has kept this custom for each of the past 33 years, barring just one.
Mickey’s not just an ornament; his seasonal arrival generates a warm sense of Jacob’s presence. After much searching, we located two identical lamps so his sisters could continue the tradition. Bittersweet tears filled their eyes when they each opened a box containing a mouse of their own.
Maybe Jake said it best in this poem he wrote a few years after that first Christmas with Mickey:
I can’t imagine our tree without Mickey Mouse perched on top…odd thing though…on more than one occasion I could have sworn I saw him sneak a wink at someone up above.