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Christmas ornament question

Rick Ryckeley's picture

If you were a Christmas ornament, what would you be? A strange question, I’ll admit, and one that might take a great amount of thought before answering. After all, it’s not every day one is asked to be a Christmas ornament.

Our 6-year-old neighbor said he wanted to be the drummer boy. It’s the only ornament that can beat things with a stick and not get into trouble. It’s also the loudest ornament on the entire tree. His mom agreed, as we watched him run after his brothers – stick in hand – screaming all the way.

My 7-year-old niece smiled and said she wanted to be a ballerina. Hanging from a limb, she would spin around all day wearing her pink ballet slippers. She said, “Ballerinas are pretty, and never have to clean their rooms.” Then she twirled down the hallway and pirouetted into her bedroom.

The Boy, when asked, just grunted and walked away. My guess is he wants to be a pig. In Germany, the pink pig ornament is good luck. Who knew The Boy was so smart or that he’d want to be a pink pig?

A small, puffy white snowy owl is what The Wife said she would be, hidden safely, tucked way back inside the branches of our Christmas tree. From her perch she’d take in all the joys of the holiday season through soft blue eyes. Now, I know snowy owls have golden eyes, but she has blue. And a blue-eyed, puffy white snowy owl she will be.

Big Brother James was asked the question next. He chose to be an old ornament, one that had been cracked, glued back together many times, yet each year was still hung with care. Like many, he’s had a tough couple of years being battered and bruised, but he still remains in good spirits and in one piece. His loving family is closer together now than ever. It’s the old ornaments we treasure most.

Dad called the other day, and I asked him the same question. His answer had me laughing so hard, I thought I’d drop the phone. Without any hesitation, he replied, “I’d be the angel. So I can watch over everyone.”

I told him he would have to choose another. He can be anything else, but not the angel. That ornament was already taken by Mom. She raised us five kids, took care of Dad, and now she watches down on us from heaven.

When this article was ready to be edited, I asked The English Teacher what Christmas ornament she would choose, thinking she would want to be a red correction pen. Surprisingly, I was wrong. She wants to be a handmade ornament, but not just any kind.

Her choices were either a handprint, a photo in a small frame or a cut-out blue glitter snowflake. How a snowflake could be blue instead of white, I didn’t ask. She said, “Handmade ornaments give the tree a personal touch.” Blue glitter snowflakes would certainly do that. Much better than a red correction pen, if you ask me.

Last weekend, The Wife and I were in Tennessee. I asked the same question of a waitress at the Conner Cafe. After a curious look, she replied in a Southern draw, “Why, a gold record, of course! Y‘all are in Nashville, honey.”

And what ornament would I be, you might ask? Easy, I’ll be Santa’s list, and a mighty long list it will be. I’ll write down all that happens this coming year – all the naughty and all the nice – so you can read about it right here every week.

Merry Christmas from The Wife, The Boy, and me.

[Rick Ryckeley, who lives in Senoia, is in his third decade as a firefighter and has been a weekly columnist since 2001. His email is His books are available at]

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