My family hasn’t had good luck with Christmas tree toppers over the years. We’ve been searching constantly for just the right thing to put up there, and somehow we just keep ending up with duds.
For the majority of my childhood, we had this groovy 70s tree topper that looked like it was made out of hair. It was a circle of hair with some little multicolored lights interspersed with the hair. I guess it was vaguely star-like. I actually have fairly fond memories of the circular hair star, but I think it must have broken or gotten squashed sometime over the years because I don’t even know where it is anymore, or if and when we got rid of it.
My parents really wanted an angel to top the tree, and for several years we purchased and subsequently returned a veritable smorgasbord of angels who, ultimately, all turned out to be all wrong for our tree. They were too fussy, not fussy enough, too big, too small, too musical, or, worst of all, too animated. My family has a strong aversion to animated Christmas tree decorations, and having a moving robot angel on top of our tree was just too creepy. This does not, however, explain the sudden appearance this year of a gigantic silver ball ornament that sings “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” in a vaguely Asian accent when you get too close to the tree. That ornament has a face, and it is scary. Anyway, so we kept getting angels, and the angels always sucked, so we’d fall back to the circular hair star.
For a while when I was in high school, we had a truly fugly tree topper that was a fake wreath of fake poinsettias with three fake candles in the fake middle. It looked like it came from the dollar store, and I take full responsibility for that hideous monstrosity because I’m pretty sure I picked it out. We’ve had a few other ugly stars and other various toppers with similar suckitude each time.
I can’t for the life of me remember what we had on top of the tree last year, but whatever it was kept taking a dive. It was thoroughly uninterested in staying on top of the tree and tried to commit suicide multiple times each day. Dad tried a few things to force it to stay in place, with no luck. At best, it would droop dangerously forward or to the left, looking all dramatic like it just couldn’t summon the energy to stay upright for even one more minute. Bah, humbug, and such.
And now this year we have a sock monkey tied to the top of the Christmas tree.
Because of allergies, we must always use fake trees. Last year in the after-Christmas sales my parents picked up this tree – our first-ever pre-lit tree – for 75% off or something crazy like that. We’ve started to call it the Diet Tree because it’s not as full as trees we’ve had in the past. It also came prelit with white lights, which is a departure from a lifetime of colored lights. And it’s got glitter, and these frosted branches, and it’s just…I don’t know. It’s not the tree we grew up with.
I’m not sure if last year’s tree topper got lost or what, but when it came time to top the tree, my mother looked at the sock monkey ornaments she added to the mix this year and decided to tie the big sock monkey to the top of the tree as a joke. And they liked it so much they kept it there.
In order to keep the sock monkey organized and non-flaily, they tied his front paws together. Between that and the tie around his waist holding him to the tree, he looks like he’s being held hostage up there. It may look strange, but it’s certainly no stranger than a decade of suicidal tree toppers, and besides, my family has a thing for monkeys and so I guess it was only a matter of time before a monkey topped the tree.