In the middle of COVID lockdown, I put 5 new pop culture ornaments on my #ChristmasInJuly tree

(via Shutterstock)

It’s not looking like the most festive of Julys at the moment.

A combination of complacency and Australian Federal Government ineptitude with quarantining returning overseas travellers and the vaccine rollout mean Sydney, where I live, is deep in the midst of a fortnight lockdown, that may yet get extended by another week or more.

So, in the face of not a lot of happiness and cheer, though fortunately I am an indoorsy person so spending time writing, reading and streaming TV shows and movies is no great hardship as long as I can exercise in the morning, there’s really no choice but to put up my Christmas in July tree.

It is, mid-year festive truth be told, just the Easter tree re-purposed but throw on some red tinsel, a few silver sequin baubles and some ornaments – the rule is they all have to come, bar the new ones, from the one tub so you take it whatever’s there – and hey presto, there’s a bright piece of fake arboreal cheer right where and when it’s needed!


Yes, I already own a couple of Chip n’n’ Dale ornaments and no, I likely didn’t need this Disney Sketchbook one.

BUT, and yes, there’s always a rationalising “but” when it comes to more Christmas ornaments, there was something so cute and Christmassy about this piece, which shows the 1943-created Disney characters, whose names are a play on “18th-century cabinet maker and furniture designer Thomas Chippendale” (thank you Wikipedia!), in customary mischievous mode that I just had to have it!

It helps, of course, that they are in a hollowed-out acorn since if there’s one thing these guys love, and which Donald Duck knows to his cost, it’s acorns.

Lots and lots of snow-topped acorns and so this ornament is an entirely fitting addition to the tree.


Can it really be over 25 years since I first saw the emotion-filled animated wonder that is Toy Story?

Indeed it can, it seems, with the film, which came out in 1995, ushering in a compelling new era in animated feature films, celebrating it’s 25th anniversary during the first year of COVID-19, a major milestone which garnered it it’s own Disney Sketchbook ornament.

Granted I am a year late adding it to my collection but it’s here now, reminding why it is that I love Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Bo Peep (Annie Potts) and Rex (Wallace Shawn), and naturally the rest of the toyroom, so very, very much.

What I love about this ornament is it captures these friends in that perfect moment between inside and outside, ready for adventure and but safe and sound for now with the people they love.


Thank you A. A. Milne!

In 1928, when the original Winnie the Pooh story collection was released, The House at Pooh Corner, you gave us a bunch of adorably memorable characters.

While I of course love Winnie the Pooh, Pigley, Rabbit, Kanga, Owl, and yes even the Heffalumps, the enduring love of my Pooh-reading life, is bouncy, flouncy Tigger who is so much like me, or I am like him, that he is one of my nicknames.

I don’t mind a bit since who doesn’t want to be jauntily vibrant, happily alive, excitable and devoted to his friends.

He is pretty wonderful and so is this ornament showing Tigger in full festive mode, something I love being in whenever the season allows.


“And I’d have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”

Alas for you and hooray for us, you had the Mystery Machine team on your tale and there’s no way Velma, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo are going to let you get away with terrorising people for your nefariously evil ends.

Launched in 1969 in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! by the Hanna-Barbera writer team of Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, Scooby-Doo and the gang always finish an investigation with a grand unveiling of the true identity of the supposedly supernatural entity who’s scaring people so much.

It’s right up there with Jessica Fletcher laughing at the end of an episode of Murder, She Wrote and this ornament captures it perfectly, Scooby-Doo triumphant and the baddie, well, not, which is as it should be.


Whether he’s Joe Cool or a World War 1 flying ace atop his Sopwith Camel, or even a writer frustrated at the myopic outlook of rejecting publishing companies, Snoopy is everything I love in a comic strip character.

He’s pleasingly quirky, funny, highly original, ready with a quip when needed and capable of diverting you from any troubles at hand by being idiosyncratically fun to be around.

While Charlie Brown is ostensibly at the heart of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, it is Snoopy, who first debuted in a strip on 4 October 1950, who has my heart.

This ornament captures him beautifully, his kennel done out in fabulously gaudy overstatement, Christmas taken to the over-colourful max which is the way to do it and happily, the only way Snoopy attacks anything.

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