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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

No matter how hopeless, no matter how far

I'm looking for a star for my Christmas tree. Not a "star" per se, since these days that generally means a five-pointed job with lightbulbs and a plug. No, what I'm looking for, I discovered during a Google image search, is what's referred to as an "antique tree topper", which may explain the difficulty in locating one. It looks like a slightly squashed eye with the iris and pupil pushed in, with a spike on top and a cone beneath, and possibly more spikes to the sides. Nothing fancy.

It's not available anywhere that I've looked so far. This includes Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target, Ollie's, Big Lots!, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Kohl's, JcPenny's, Macy's, Sears, CVS, Spencer Gifts, a temporary holiday decorations store that sprang up at the Wyoming Valley Mall, and Dundee Gardens, the upscale overpriced gardening botique located inexplicably on the outskirts of Nanticoke.

Dundee Gardens was actually my best bet. They have thousands of ornaments there, most of them ridiculously expensive. One of the clerks told me that yes, last year they had many tree toppers in the style I was describing, but this year...wait, here is a two-foot long designer model made of hand-blown glass for $120, and here is another slightly different model for the same price, and oh, over there, there is a smaller one for only $65. Bear in mind that I paid $16.99 at Big Lots! for my six foot tall tree.

The strange thing is, ornaments in this style are easily available. Dundee Gardens had a tree covered exclusively in them, but no matching tree topper. Macy's had a bunch of "eyeball" ornaments, too. I did find a miniature version of a similar topper in an overpriced box of miniature glass ornaments, but the topper was designed for a one-foot-tall tree. A little small for me.

My mom pointed out to me that we actually have at least one tree topper in the style I've described. As she no longer uses the big tree from my childhood, this topper is likely going to hibernate in an old box of ornaments for the rest of its existence. If I can locate it, I can take it.

That will feel strange, but it may be the right thing to do. I wanted to find this on my own. But I have brought many new things into my new house, my grandmother's old house. Maybe it will be right for me to bring in something that is itself a little bit older, and help to establish a bridge to the past.

7 comments:

Ashley said...

I just got home from a trip to the world's largest Christmas store (Bronner's in Frankenmuth, MI). If I had known what you were looking for I would have looked for it there. Sorry!

D.B. Echo said...

I just went to their site (http://www.bronners.com/ ) and couldn't find anything like what I'm looking for. Maybe my qust really IS an impossible dream!

Anonymous said...

Well golly Ebay had four here and four more here and one here

Just type "antique tree topper" in your search.

Jennifer said...

There's a place out by Lewisburg that might have something. I don't remember what it's called, but it's along Route 15, if I remember correctly, by Country Cupboard. Maybeit's even called Country Cupboard, now that I think about it. Anyway, I think they have a lot of Christmas stuff.

D.B. Echo said...

dee, I think it was from eBay that I first learned these things are called "antique tree topper" and not "slightly different tree topper from what you can find everywhere." (That is, I did a Google image search, and the relevant images all linked back to eBay.) I've never bought anything on eBay yet, and I'm not sure if I want to start if this is actually available within driving distance.

Jennifer, I forgot about that place. I was actually there a few years ago - they have a great buffet. They might very well have this. I'm also thinking of a candle store on 611 near The Crossings, and of a year-round Christmas store near Bushkill Falls, not far from Odd Lots and the big open-air flea market. I may go to one or more of these places before Christmas.

betz said...

i like the idea of taking the one you grew up with...it will bring a piece of home into the new house.

D.B. Echo said...

The situation has been resolved in a manner that will need its own blog entry. With pictures.

Can you believe that once upon a time these things cost $1.29 at Sears?