Ziggy in the Christmas Tree

This was supposed to be a magnificent post about the power of the internet and how it opened the Pandora’s box of the Information Age…it turned a small intimate post about the dog in the Christmas tree.

Here’s the backstory.  I’m the eldest of four girls.  Three of “The Sisters” (that’s how we refer to ourselves when we’re in a pack) live in paradise, also known as British Columbia, while I live in Calgary, also known as the place where it snows in August.  I don’t see The Sisters as often as I’d like but we keep in touch over the internet, primarily through emails which circulate on a weekly basis.  These emails carry news of joy, pain, sorrow and the plain old humdrum of everyday life.  At Christmas time they buzz with details about who’s going to Mom and Dad’s place (also in paradise), when they’re going to get there and which of the semi-adult children will be with them.

Recognizing that I couldn’t visit the folks or The Sisters this year, Linda, the middle sister, suggested we share pictures of our Christmas trees.  Rose, the next eldest, sent a lovely photo of a traditional tree.  How she managed to string even one bauble, given the year she’s had, is beyond me.  Jo, the youngest sent a gingerbread tree—a stunning achievement considering the girl never cooks let alone bakes.

Then Linda sent The Photo.  It came in a jpg labelled “cat and tree”.  I scoured that picture for 5 minutes and couldn’t find that wretched cat anywhere.  I gave up and moved on to her note.  It was only then that I discovered there was no cat in the tree.  This comes as no surprise because (a) none of us has ever seen her wacko cat (it hates people and won’t come out from under the couch) and (b) Linda has always been, shall we say, a bit impish.

That prompted my photo—Ziggy in the Christmas Tree.  It’s a picture of my daughter’s dog, a 100 pound black and gray Bouvier des Flandres.  In order to find him think: Waldo (as in “where is…”).  You’ve got 10 seconds.  Go.  (For those of you with failing eyesight and no patience, the solution appears at the end of the blog).  

The sisters responded quickly.  Rose loved it and suggested Ziggy should be wearing reindeer antlers.  Jo came back with “I see Zoggy” (too much eggnog) and Linda thought we should just decorate the dog and skip the tree altogether (see what I mean about “impish”).

This delightful exchange, sparked by Linda’s “cat and tree” photo, reminded me of why I love the internet.  It allows us to compress distance (1000 kilometers) and time (12 hours by car) to be a family.

The internet saga doesn’t end with The Sisters.  My 84 year old parents shocked us all when Dad announced that he’d bought a second hand computer for $50.  My father wanted it so that he could record his golf scores.  The next thing I knew I received an email:  “hi susan”.  That was it.  I whipped off an ecstatic reply.  Nothing.  My mother went for help and found a Windows for Dummies book.  They argued for 30 minutes about how to reply to an email.  Is Dad replying or sending?  Mom said think about the computer as your secretary (he’s never had a secretary), you receive a letter and tell your secretary to send a reply.  (I’ll bet that cleared it up).

I’m not sure what happened but a week later Dad wrote to my husband:  “Hello Roy This is your Father in law calling to let you know I entered the Computer age.”  Yipee, we have lift off!  Enthusiastically I fired off “Ziggy in the Christmas Tree” with instructions on how to click on the jpg to open it and how to close it (take the arrow up to red X).  Dad sent a reply: he couldn’t find Ziggy, all he could see were photos of Jo in Hawaii and Rose in a Halloween costume (Huh??).

Luckily Mom and Dad have their own personal IT guy—Rose’s husband.  Thank god he really is an IT guy and is used to responding to questions like “where did all the icons go?”  Mom says Dad needs to stop hitting YES whenever he’s given the choice.  I’m awestruck.  If two eccentric Hungarians can conquer the internet anything is possible.

Right, it’s time to show you the answer to Where’s Ziggy?  Here’s an enhanced version of Ziggy in the Christmas Tree.  You couldn’t see him at first because you were dazzled by the Christmas tree lights and were searching for a 100 pound dog, but if you look carefully at the bottom of the tree you’ll see Ziggy’s head, his pointy ears and one soft dark eye looking right at you.  Once you’ve discovered how to see him, you’ll always be able to see him.  He’s like the internet, once you’ve discovered how to use it, there’s no going back.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad, Rose, Linda, Jo and their families.  And Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you and your families.

PS    If you have a photograph of your dog, cat, or goldfish in a Christmas tree, send it to me.

PPS  No Linda, you can’t photoshop Tigger into the tree.

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11 Responses to Ziggy in the Christmas Tree

  1. People have been asking about Jo’s gingerbread Christmas tree. Here it is. Home-made gingerbread dough, 6 point stars, piped icing (Jo said this was like squeezing caulk out of the tube without a caulking gun!) and those yummy silver beads. Martha Steward eat your heart out!

    Jo also sent a photo of her Grinch Tree. Can you see the Grinch? Think Ziggy or Waldo. Just kidding, there is no Grinch. I know I know, my credibility is shot, but hey, it’s Christmas, we all need a little down time. We’ll get back to the serious stuff next week but for this brief sliver of time let’s enjoy our family and friends. Hope your Christmas was as lovely as mine.


  2. Well, the gingerbread tree is a little crooked. Come Christmas day, branches started to be snapped off and nibbled on, hubby took off the top two layers so the star at the very top is really crooked, Both daughters love the Grinch Christmas tree and I have promised them that next year they will each get their own tree. My youngest daughter, really got into the spirit of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, because she was trying to figure out how she could stash the Grinch Tree in her purse and slink out the house unnoticed! 🙂 Merry Christmas everyone. Cheers to good health and happiness. Joanna

  3. Jo, sounds to me like you’ve started a new Christmas tradition in your house–Grinch Christmas trees for everyone! I’m sure you’ll remember this Christmas for years to come. It’s really nice to have a few moments to sit with the family, to eat, laugh and share stories before we all race back to our usual busy lives. Thanks for sharing your story (and your two lovely trees) with us. All the very best to you and your family in the new year!.

  4. My dear friend Liane asked me to post this comment on her behalf:

    “Not only was I totally unable to see Ziggy in that first photo (although I have been known to be able to find Waldo after five hours of searching, at times…..) but I was just roaring with laughter at your description of the internet antics of your parents, who are light years ahead of my in-laws. They weren’t able to get that far and just gave up.

    I remember us trying to teach my mother-in-law the double-click. “Again, Mom – no, faster this time, right after the first click…arrgh!” My dad, on the other hand, has been using his for years. Only thing is, he is so busy watching his pennies he won’t get high-speed so if anyone sends him a photo it takes about three days to upload! And about three years ago he sent me a book report to read, one that he was preparing for his group meeting – six documents because he would close it up each day and then when he’d go back to it the next day, he didn’t know you could open it up and continue – thought he had to start a new document.

    Anyway, your tale was so funny and I just loved it. I hope you’re having a good Christmas and holiday time.”

    • Liane, thanks for the delightful stories about trying to ease the folks into the Computer Age. I don’t know what it is about double-click but we went through the same thing with my folks; they defaulted to one of two extremes — either one-click, huge pause, another-click, or clickity, click, click, click. Neither works worth a darn!

      Although we chuckle at the old folks, I’ll be the first to admit that I too am internet challenged. I got an iPad for Christmas. My daughters helped me load everything–right up to email which balked. Turns out I need to connect to Shaw’s webmail 2, but I can’t connect to Shaw’s webmail 2 because so many of us got iPads on Dec 25 and tried to connect to Shaw’s webmail 2 that it had a “meltdown”, which according to Shaw is not the same as a “crash”(uh huh). You’d think that Shaw would have anticipated a surge in demand for webmail 2 at Christmas time and plan for it, but hey, what do I know?

      Liane, I hope you and your family enjoy the rest of the holiday season and have a glitch-free happy new year!

      • Liane Sharkey says:

        Sounds typical of the service we’ve come to expect! Now that you have an iPad we can play Scrabble – Howell just got that uploaded on his iPad!

      • Welcome aboard Liane! As for Scrabble…given that you’re a “champion” (17 points, more on a double or triple) it is highly unlikely I will every try to take you on via iPad! I have enough trouble holding my own against my daughter with regular tiles and the 15 X 15 board. She graciously allows me to blame my poor showing on my reading glasses (can’t see properly!) but this doesn’t stop her from killing me every chance she gets.

  5. My daughter. Eden, (not the one with the famous gall bladder but the one who drove the one with the famous gall bladder back and forth to the hospital), sent me this photo of her cat, Greta Garbo, in a Christmas tree. The cat isn’t really called Greta but you can see by this photograph that she “vants to be alone!”

  6. Pingback: Merry Christmas from the Soapbox Family | Susan on the Soapbox

  7. Pingback: The Traditional Christmas Blog | Susan on the Soapbox

  8. Pingback: The Soapbox Family’s Christmas Tree | Susan on the Soapbox

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