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The Guardian



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:

IMG_1848 (1)

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.


6 thoughts on “The Guardian

    • Thank you Shelli, that is so sweet of you to say. We have a number of Disney ornaments on our tree bought when we took our granddaughters there a few years ago. Enjoy your vacation!


  1. Gene, I love this mouse story. It’s absolutely beautiful. I love the heart of your son and his desire to have a guardian over the tree and gifts. What a beautiful heart he had. I’m sure it was nurtured by you and your wife. I love that we do’t have to have the perfect tree. But when our tree reflects our family, our memories and our joys . . . well, that’s the perfect tree in my mind.

    Have a wonderful Christmas, friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gene, this made my eyes blurry. Parents never know what moments will top their memory tree–do we? Good job saying a yes you don’t regret. When my daughter was 4 or 5 she bought our tree angel at Awana with shares she had earned through memorization. (She’d be rich if she could cash in on the wonderful memorization skill she has.) So of course it’s been our tree topper–until this year. This year my artsy teen wanted to use something else. I hesitated and then rallied; I don’t want to stifle her creativity. And I love the new topper.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s the personal contributions to our holiday traditions that help make the celebration especially warm and loving. I’ll bet your new artsy tree topper will have the same effect for years to come. Blessings

      Liked by 1 person

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