The Other Fantastic Mr. Fox

While shopping the other day, my wife and I allowed each of our kids to choose an ornament for our Christmas tree. Today, after a grueling haul up from the basement and a few choice words getting it all together and lit, the kids finally got to hang their ornaments on the tree. My son had chosen a Buzz Lightyear, a solid pick, while my daughter chose a Cinderella shoe. Yep, a shoe. Well, a slipper actually. I desperately tried to steer her towards a nice My Little Pony but she wouldn’t budge. She truly does not comprehend the gravity of making such a selection.

You see, when I was growing up, decorating the Christmas tree signaled the beginning of a fantastic but fleeting season of adventure with some of my favorite friends. I didn’t have many toys growing up, but fortunately, my grandmother was a sucker for collectibles, and each year she would send us several Hallmark ornaments. Some of these ornaments would provide me with my main source of entertainment between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please remember that I was an only child, so I had to amuse myself one way or another. My favorite two ornaments (toys) were Mr. Fox and Kermit the Frog, and both were on skis. We went on all sorts of adventures together; Foiling train heists, skiing the deadliest of slopes, and rescuing damsels in distress was all in a days work for this dynamic duo. Somewhere along the line though, Mr. Fox was lost, never  to be found again. Initially it was a crushing blow, but as I grew older, I eventually lost interest in toys anyway, just like Andy did in Toy Story 3.

Anyway, once the kids were all tucked in bed, I mused on the idea of what their Christmas tree memories would look like. My son has already broken in Buzz, so I’m certain that Mr. Lightyear will be accepted into the sacred brotherhood of ornaments, amidst the likes of Kermit and Old Wise One (my dad’s favorite childhood ornament, passed down first to me, and now to my own kids), to set out on new adventures.

Old Wise One

Then, just as I do every year, I thought about that original team-up of Mr. Fox and Kermit, and how they did everything together, much like Buzz and Woody. At that moment, after all these years, I sat myself down at the computer and Googled “Hallmark 1980s Skiing Fox,” and within a second there he was! Just a few minutes later I had purchased a 1983 Hallmark Skiing Fox ornament on eBay, almost assuredly for less than what my Grandma paid in 1983. THIS is why the internet is amazing!  A Christmas miracle has transpired! Now, for the first time in twenty-some years, the old gang will be together again, this time with a new recruit: The one and only Buzz Lightyear, space ranger. And, let us not forget, a Cinderella shoe.

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