Up goes the Easter Beagle! Decorating my Easter tree with five pop culture ornaments – Tigger, Snoopy and Woodstock, Bugs Bunny, Taz Devil and Charlie Brown

I have an Easter tree!

Yes, that is a little unusual to most people but dig down into the community of fervent Christmas tree decorators, of which I am a happy part, and you will discover that decorating for the festive season twice a year (yes, Christmas in July is most definitely a thing now) simply isn’t enough.

We need more occasions to keep our decorating muscle working and that now includes, along with Halloween, egg-stastic Easter celebrations and of course, what is decorating for Easter without a fun tree to make a real statement.

I actually started decorating an Easter tree about a decade back when I discovered that (a) Easter trees existed (thank you to the sale at Bed Bath and Table!) and (b) that there were decorations to go on them!

“How hard I missed this?” I mused in wonder.

I did pop culture-ify my Easter tree straight away but as with anything I do, it wasn’t long before Snoopy and Bugs Bunny and Winnie the Pooh had made their way to my tree, joining the fabulously coloured eggs that are the go-to look for this particular holiday.

So, here are five of the ornaments that adorn my tree and which make my decorating heart glad as I chomp down on Easter eggs and hot cross buns and enjoy four very well deserved days off from the daily grind.

TIGGER

Tiggers are most definitely wonderful things.

I’ll be honest – I probably gravitate most closely to Tigger out of all the Winnie the Pooh characters because I am in so many ways, a Tigger.

True I don’t have bright orange and black striped fur, nor a fabulously bendable tail, but I have that same joie de vivre, that bouncy sense that life is an amazing, captivating thing even when the darkest of times might suggest otherwise. In fact I was often referred to as Tigger growing up, with pretty much everyone I knew agreeing I was the human personification of A. A. Milne’s creation, who first saw the light of day in 1928’s  The House at Pooh Corner.

However the version of Tigger most familiar to people would be the one brought forth by Disney, who in 1961 acquired the motion picture rights from A. A. Milne’s widow Daphne, and other rights such as merchandising and TV from the widow of Stephen Slesinger, who bought them from Milne in 1930. Since 1966 their take on Tigger, with a rambunctious personality and an infectious love of bouncing (“Bouncing is what Tiggers do best.”).

Tigger’s impossible not to like and he will always be my favourite, especially with all those eggs in his possession!

It makes sense – after all, he’s FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN, FUN!

SNOOPY AND WOODSTOCK

Snoopy and Woodstock, two of the most beloved inhabitants of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, have been friends ever since the diminutive and sometimes irascible little yellow made his first appearance on 4 April, 1967.

Granted he didn’t officially get his name until some three years later on 22 June, 1970 – named after the 1969 Woodstock festival in case that’s where your mind was going – but he quickly became Snoopy’s bestie and sidekick, the avian personification of everyone’s favourite beagle’s obsession with birds, which Wikipedia notes, started in the early 1960s when “Snoopy began befriending birds when they started using his doghouse for various occasions: a rest stop during migrations, a nesting site, a community hall, or a place to play cards.”

It was good that Snoopy got such a lovely if hilariously tempermental friend because while he was popular in the neighbourhood, much to Charlie Brown’s often friend-less chagrin, he didn’t really have a close pal for some 17 years after his debut on 4 October 1950 and let’s face it, even flying aces get lonely.

Seeing them together in this ornament, as close as friends can be, warms the heart, and beautifully captures the spirit of their now long-standing friendship and of course, evokes Snoopy’s garrulously generous role as the Easter Beagle!

BUGS BUNNY

I think what made me fall in love with Bugs Buggy first was his cheeky ballsiness.

Growing up in a Christian household which, while very loving, didn’t tolerate speaking out of turn or pushing the boundaries too much (and certainly not exercising the kind of sass that Bugs uses routinely), I found Bugs Bunny’s overweening confidence every bit as thrilling as it was intended to be.

Here was a character who refused to toe the line, who pushed back at every turn with the sort of wisecracks and subterfuge that confounded everyone who took him on. Regardless of whether it was Daffy Duck, or Elmer Fudd, or pretty much anyone else, Bugs who first appeared in 1940 and soon became known for his brash New Yorker accent and catchphrase “What’s Up Doc?” (with carrot in hand), always bested them and did so handsomely.

He was devilishly clever, able to thwart everything thrown at him no matter how capable his opponent and I love the way he managed to come out on top every time.

He was all the things I wished I could be, and acted in the way and says all the things I wished I was able to, and for that reason he became my hero.In a world of constraints and maddeningly binding rules, he did as he pleased.

I can’t say I have quite reached his level of insouciant devil-may-careness but I am still trying, and yes I would love to paint Easter eggs with his artistic je ne sais quoi, please.

TASMANANIAN DEVIL aka TAZ DEVIL

It’s hard to think of a world without Taz Devil, officially Tasmanian Devil in it, but the fact of the matter is that this much-loved character, described by Wikipedia as being “generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, carnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience”, only appeared in five shorts prior to Warner Bros Cartoons being shut down in 1964.

Voiced by Mel Blanc from 1954 to 1983, he is most memorably paired with Bugs Bunny who as you might imagine doesn’t tolerate any of Taz’s chaotially hilarious revelry.

Given his name in the 1957 short, Ducking the Devil, which put him together with Daffy Duck, he is calmed by almost any music BUT bagpipes which do a comically efficient job of getting him all riled up again.

Thankfully Easter eggs also seem to make him happy which reminds me that I’d eat my stash way out of his sight so I don’t lose them all in a chocolatey tornado!

CHARLIE BROWN

We all adore Snoopy but Charlie Brown is the undisputed heart of Peanuts.

Referred to a “lovable loser” who never quite gets the girl or the football or the undying devotion of his dog, Charlie Brown is the kind of character with whom I readily identified growing up.

Like him, I had a comfortable, in many ways happy middle class upbringing but also like Charlie Brown, I didn’t have any real friends (though you could argue he really did) and was terribly bullied and never ever one of the gang.

I saw a lot of myself in Peanuts’ lead character, and while I wasn’t around to witness his debut on 2 October 1950 when the first Peanuts comic strip was published – his name was officially first used on 30 May 1948 in the Schulz comic strip Li’l Folks – I grew to love him as soon as he did cross my path and Charlie and I have been sufferers of a similar strip ever since (though I have yet to have my bald head painted as an Easter egg by a beagle!).

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