You know it’s Christmas when that sentimental Folgers ad shows up on television. You know the one. Kid comes home from college early one morning before anyone is up, sneaks into the kitchen, brews up a pot of Folgers. Parents smell the coffee, come down the stairs, see the kid from college. Cue the tears.
At our house, it wasn’t Christmas until Winnie the Pooh made his annual appearance.
Let me explain.
Most years that we’ve lived in Mill’s Branch one home down the street erected a full-colored, life-sized Winnie the Pooh in the front yard. It had its own spotlight so you couldn’t miss that cute, yellow little bear with his bright red shirt. Oh, from time to time, the house may have had other Disney characters in the yard, colored lights, even a Christmas tree in the picture window, but cute little Winnie, emblazoned in the front yard, well, he outshined everybody.
Winnie began to be quite the conversation starter every Christmas at our house. We MUST get our massive lighted wreath up on the garage roof before Winnie makes his appearance on the neighbor’s lawn. We beat Winnie most years.
We were mighty pleased with ourselves last year. We got that massive wreath up on the garage before Winnie showed up.
And then we realized – Winnie wasn’t late. He never made it to the front yard.
I know you’re wondering what kind of conversations we have at our house but, really, we had quite a discussion and went into great detail about “What Happened to Winnie?”
We even talked about visiting our neighbor’s house to see what happened.
We don’t know this neighbor. I’m not sure we could tell you what this neighbor looks like unless we saw him/her carrying around a full-sized, wooden, full-colored Winnie the Pooh.
We rationalized to ourselves into believing that Winnie was taking a rest last year – or maybe getting a much-needed spruce-up.
So, here it’s December. Our massive Christmas wreath got its own much-needed spruce-up – new lights and a red bow. It’s glowing proudly every night from our garage rooftop.
But there’s no Winnie at the end of the block.
Oh, they’ve got festive lights around the door and a good-looking tree in the front window – but no Winnie.
On the other hand, I am happy to report that the peace sign is back on Kingwood Drive.
That’s another holiday tradition we cherish at our home.
Just like Winnie at the end of the block, we just knew it was Christmas when we saw the bright blue reflective peace sign hanging from the trees along Kingwood Drive right before Woodland Hills Drive.
And then, just like Winnie, last year – no bright blue reflective.
No Winnie and no peace sign. With two of our significant icons gone, Christmas 2015 was not the same.
But there is good news! Two weeks ago, driving down Kingwood Drive, I saw it. It’s bigger and brighter and very purple. It may even be lighted – but the Peace Sign is back. One of our special “signs of Christmas in Kingwood” is back and we are thrilled.
Now if only we could find Winnie.
Do you know what happened to Winnie The Pooh? Tell Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tom Broad
Author: Tom BroadEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columnist
Besides being a proud graduate of The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and, therefore, a Cornhusker, I am retired from Memorial Hermann. I am a correspondent and columnist for Lake Houston's hometown paper, The Tribune, as well as a director of the Lake Houston Redevelopment Corporation, a member of the board of the Humble Area Assistance Ministries, and Volunteer Extraordinaire for the Lake Houston Area Chamber.