Monday, December 13, 2010


Some Christmas preparations go more quickly and smoothly than others. I think “available time” is probably the determiner. And this year, since I was in Los Angeles last week helping my daughter’s family after her scheduled surgery, I could tell that decorating was going to take a back seat. I hate stress and had enough of it with the worry of Kerry’s surgery. So I had made my peace that I would do what I could at my little apartment and be satisfied with that! More important, of course, was Kerry’s healing.

Kerry finally came home yesterday, and with her husband off work to care for her I was able to come back home. To be honest with you, I didn’t have much energy left; the worry one has over one’s children, regardless of their ages, takes much out of a body. But I figured I had enough left to do a little Christmas decorating.

As our apartment is quite small, we have foregone a big tree and now have a tiny little pre-fab lighted tree, complete with tiny decorations, from Michael’s Crafts. Oh, it is so easy to get that tree up. We simply set it on a small end table and plug in! We do add a few small decorations that we’ve accumulated over the years. It wouldn’t win any beauty prizes but it’s ours and we’ve found it to be quite pleasing.

Next to come out of the closet is the old Jingle Bear that we have had for at least 30 years. This fuzzy white bear was a promotional item at the old Broadway Department Store. As I recall it came free to people who bought $25 dollars worth of merchandise. Our family has always been partial to that bear! During the year our old friend resides in a big trash bag in the corner of our closet. Nevertheless, he is next in importance in our Christmas decoration scheme.

Out he came yesterday, and I temporarily set him in front of the curio cabinet while I took a phone call. As I was talking I glanced at Jingle Bear – and he looked far more worn out than I was. In fact, he looked so woebegone I had to laugh – and then explain my laughing to the person I was talking to. Poor Jingle Bear. But poor me, too. I’m sure that is how I looked to him, too.

The bear wasn’t too crazy about getting his picture taken in that position, but I felt it was one I wanted for posterity – and for today’s blog. After the phone call ended I took him into the kitchen, washed his button eyes until they got some sparkle back in them, situated his hat a little better, and propped him up in front of the tree table, where the table leg, hidden behind the tree skirt, would correct his posture. I took his picture again, a much better one, this time. Then I re-combed my own hair and touched up my own makeup. Both of us felt considerably energized once we knew we looked better.

For the most part, Jingle Bear and the little tree are the extent of this year’s Christmas decorating. It cheers up the house a bit and gives a boost to my spirit. Kerry’s recovery has been the best gift one could receive this season. The tiny tree reminds me of the large trees and abundant gifts surrounding them that we had in the past. Jingle Bear reminds me of all the things he has seen as the Christmases have gone by with the kids growing up, grandbabies coming, and then the downsizing that went on after we retired – all part of the life cycle that happens to all people.

The Christmas Season is full of special memories and special moments. It doesn’t take a whole lot of tinsel and icicles around the house to bring back those memories. A tiny tree, a few well-loved and treasured items, along with a couple of poinsettia plants on the walkway leading to our apartment (which I shall purchase today) and the knowledge that my kids are all well, the grandkids are happy, and my dear Jerry, as well as Jingle Bear, are still celebrating with me -- these are as much as I need to consider myself thoroughly blessed!


Caryn - San Diego said...

Love your comments... I have had my Jingle Bear since I was probably 17 or 18 years old. "Santa" via my Mom, gave me my Jingle. I am now almost 48. Every year, I take Jingle out and say "Hello Old Friend". I give him a big hug (my kids are looking at me like wth?) I even read the story card that I still have (it has my mom's handwriting on it - she has passed). I fluff his fur, fix his mittens, make sure he's cozy, all with the biggest grin on my face. After Christmas, he goes back in the original bag that he came sleep until the next Christmas. So much love and memories wrapped up in our Jingle Bears. <3

Bobby Dobbins Title said...

Caryn, in case you read this, your comments made my day. He's just a wonderful companion for Christmas and I love hearing that you know exactly what I mean!

John said...

Bobby & Caryn,
I am really jealous that you both still have your Jingle Bears. My sister and I brought him up at a recent family dinner while trying to decide what we wanted to do for Christmas. We were with some family friends and no one knew what we were talking about, also didn't know what Broadway was. When I was 10, my mom surprised my sister with a small Jingle Bear and myself with the GIANT Jingle Bear. I'm not sure if you two remember but it was a Jingle Bear literally 5 feet tall and weighing about 50 pounds. I have no idea how much my mom paid for it but it was a sure conversation starter for the next 12 years until my parents downsized and we had to give him away. The recipients have subsequently given him away so I'll sadly never get to see my friend again. We also have no idea what happened to the smaller jingle bear. Anyways, my sister found your postings and forwarded it to me. It was great to see Jingle Bear again, thanks so much for posting a picture of him. Really made my day. Bobby, all the best to your daughter and may she have a quick recovery. Merry Christmas everyone!

Steve F said...

Your Jingle Bear article brings back so many memories, I really enjoyed it. We have 3 different Jingle Bears that we purchased back in the 1980's and early 90's from the Broadway Department Store as part of a Christmas promotion. Even though all of our 3 children are now grown and live on their own, my wife and I still put the Jingle Bears out at Christmas, they still bring us such joyful Christmas memories. Our grown kids when they come over at Christmas time still say how much they enjoyed when they see them out.