From The Archive-The originals-No Ordinary Ornament(Episode 157)

Episode 157
10m | Dec 23, 2023

Today’s story is an original story that I wrote, inspired by the ornaments my neighbour’s little child was hanging so lovingly on his Christmas tree.

Do you know the significance of each of the Christmas ornaments? Or do you think it’s just for decoration? Well, enjoy the story “No Ordinary Ornament."

Free activity sheet available at

Send your artwork to


It was late November, little Rhea watched as the movers carried luggage to the apartment next door. She was excited that finally, she would have neighbours. She crossed her fingers and prayed that the new family would have kids who could be her companions. She kept peeping out of her window now and then to check and get an update on the move.

It was around noon when she heard the kids and rushed to the door. To her delight, she saw three kids walking toward the next-door apartment. Seeing Rhea, they came to meet her and introduced themselves as Tim, Kelly, and Ryan.

Well! What followed was days of playing, chatting, and sleepovers. In fact, a strong bond of friendship developed among them. They all celebrated Rhea’s birthday together on the 20th of December, which Rhea claimed was the best so far.

All the kids were excited that the Christmas holidays were round the corner and, on the first day of the holiday, Kelly invited Rhea to her house to put up their Christmas tree. Rhea had seen many Christmas trees in the malls and schools but never helped someone put one up. So she was thrilled.

Ms. Brown, the children's mother, brought the big fir tree in with the help of the children. Mr. Brown unpacked the boxes filled with all the decorations from previous years.

“This is going to be my first time decorating a Christmas tree!” said one very excited Rhea with a twinkle in her eyes.

Taking out the lights from one of the boxes, Kelly replied, “Let's put up these lights first. You may then unpack the bells that my father wraps so well every year so they don't break.”

“But why do we put these bells?” asked Rhea innocently. Kelly glanced at the two siblings looking for an answer. And they in turn looked at their father for the answer.

 “Children, bells are rung in the church after the mass. When you go to the church you hear the bells right? And that’s why we also put bells on the Christmas tree,” answered the father.

“That's interesting,” Tim nodded as he started to open the next box. “So dad, why do we put all decorations on the tree; the candy canes, the bird in the nest, angels, etc. Is it for decoration or is there some significance that is there?”

“I’ll take this one!” mom replied, taking out a candy cane. “I’m glad you asked. This is the staff of the Shepherd. And the wreath is for...” before she could finish Tim jumped in, “Sprucing the front door!”

“No dear, that represents the thorns worn by Jesus, and the red berries represent the blood.”

Holding a rabbit in one hand and a fruit basket in the other Rhea asked, “What about these, aunty?”

“The rabbit symbolizes peace with nature and the fruit is so we always have plenty to eat and to remind us to be generous.”

“Mom, Dad, how come you never told us about this earlier?” Kelly inquired.

“I was waiting for you to be inquisitive enough and ask yourself,” mom said lovingly hanging the bird ornament on the tree, “and this bird in the nest reflects happiness and joy.”

The tree was already looking beautiful.

Ryan opened another box and asked, “Hey mom, this frog must be from Kelly's toys!”

“Ha, ha! The frogs traditionally are symbols of good luck. Frogs can’t move backward or side to side.”

“You know,” father jumped in, “They always move forward suggesting we all achieve our goals and accomplishments.”

“Mmm… I will be like the frog from now onwards, moving ahead to achieve my goals,” Rhea thought to herself.

Ryan took out the teapot, “Now this for sure has no meaning!”

“Dear Ryan, you serve tea to guests in the teapot. This teapot ornament symbolizes hospitality,” Ms. Brown responded.

Rhea said, “I have seen angels being hung. Do you have them?”

“Oh, of course! Open the box marked ‘angels and stars’, right over there,” Mr. Brown replied. “Rhea, angels are a must, for through them we ask for guidance in our lives.”

“But what about this house ornament?” questioned Kelly.

“That symbolizes shelter and protection for the family. And the star that we perch on the top represents the stars that led the three wise men to baby Jesus,” the mother helped the children understand. “Now I'll ask you all a question. Why is there a Christmas tree during Christmas in the first place?” asked father.

Kelly, Rhea, and Ryan looked puzzled but Tim yelled out, “I know, I read somewhere, it's because the evergreens would always keep the away from the evil spirits away! Isn't it?”

“You’re right! The Christmas tree is to keep evil spirits and illness at bay,” Mr. Brown patted Tim.

Everybody stepped back to look at the Christmas tree. It looked gorgeous, adorned with all the ornaments.

Then Ms. Brown announced, “Rhea join us on Christmas Day morning to find the Christmas pickle ornament.”

“Pickle ornament?” one very confused Rhea asked.

Kelly excitedly said, “You know, it's a Christmas tradition to hide a pickle ornament in the tree, and the first person who finds it gets an extra present and has a year of good fortune.”

“I'll be there for sure! Thanks, uncle and auntie, for letting me be a part of your Christmas traditions and I learned so much today,” Rhea said.

“So did we!” said the siblings unanimously.

Audio Player Image
Story Prism