At the risk of revealing too much about myself, I am, again this year, going to share another one of my holiday traditions with you. Our holiday traditions help to make the holidays special and the annual tradition I mentioned in an earlier column of dancing each season with my daughter to the song It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, is indeed one that is very special to me; however, one of my traditions, my misfit tradition, borders on the insane.
The tradition began when my daughters were young little angels and I have continued it each year. It’s not Christmas in our house until this task is done and it must be done each year by the time my girls come home for the holidays. It is required and expected.
Well, here it goes. Since I was a kid I have always had a love for and a sincere fascination of the original Claymation presentation of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer and in particular, the misfit toy characters.
Thirty-one years ago, as a seasonal promotion, a national retail store sold stuffed versions of each of the Rudolph and misfit toy characters. And after quite a few trips to the store, because the store did not offer them all at once, I collected each and every one.
Each year the holidays officially arrive in my house when I unpack the collection and organize the characters for their annual holiday display. The display and presentation process is an art and it comes with requirements.
First, and foremost the narrator, Sam the Snowman, aka Burl Ives, has to be placed in his required place of prominence, higher than all the other characters; and of course, Santa, Rudolph and Clarisse, Rudolph’s belle, must be placed in the center of the display. Flanked to each side, I place the rest of the characters. To the right and above I place Comet the Reindeer Coach, Herbie the Elf Dentist, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snowman, the Tall Elf, the Boss Elf, and yes, those are their names.
Above Rudolph and Clarisse, I place the misfit spotted elephant, the misfit doll, the Charlie-in-the-box, the cowboy that rides an ostrich, the misfit train with square wheels on its caboose, the misfit plane, the misfit squirt gun that shoots jelly and finally King Moonracer, the Lion King of Misfit Island, is placed on his regal perch, on duty for misfit toy protection.
The displaying is a process, and again this year, my dog Maggie provided added excitement because some of the characters, in her opinion, looked like her favorite squeaky toys, and she kept absconding with her favorite selections.
My living room is now aglow with the bright colors and perceived personalities of each of the characters in my holiday presentation. The display is complete for another holiday season and the tradition is alive and well.
In a few short weeks, when my daughters Kaylee and Caroline and granddogs Dexter and Brody, arrive home from Brunswick and Atlanta, Maggie and I will be there to welcome them with open arms, and so will Rudolph and all his friends.
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