Unpacking my Christmas swan obsession

I have a fondness for collecting. Since early childhood, I’ve loved mermaids so my mermaid collection is vast and unruly, spanning multiple rooms.

I have also loved skulls for decades, so I have a pretty considerable skull collection, too. I’ll have to blog about this one sometime!

Some years ago I became enamored with unicorns all over again (a return to childhood, I suppose?) so people began gifting me with unicorns.

And I guess you can call my tattoos a collection – I certainly have enough of them (and more planned in 2021!)

But my latest object of obsession is kind of bizarre and extra, even for me. You see, a few years ago around Christmas time, I spotted two plush, feathery and sparkly white swans at a local crafts store and I fell head over heels in love.

Last year, I bought a little plush pink swan I saw on a rack of Ty Beanie Boos. This year, I added three more fancy Christmas swans from another local craft store, doubling my collection.

I guess it’s time I admitted it out loud: I’m in love with Christmas swans and I don’t care who knows it!

But why am I so crazy about Christmas swans – and how did it suddenly hit me out of the blue as a (relative) adult? I thought this was worth a little reflection and digging. Here’s what I’ve discovered: three main reasons why I love Christmas swans.

  1. Christmas swans are as extra as Mariah Carey, and I love MC.

If I’m honest, what first attracted me to Christmas swans is that they are fancy, frivolous and over the top. All the Christmas swans I’ve seen just have such a lovely, luxe look to them. And by “all the Christmas swans I’ve seen,” I mean “all the Christmas swans I’ve bought,” because I’ve bought every one I’ve ever seen. I have it bad! I truly love pretty things.

2. Christmas swans are as English as I am.

When I started researching how Christmas swans became a thing, my fixation only grew more intense. I thought that it was a Victorian era connection, since that’s when Christmas first became such a fabulous, over-the-top, ornately decorated affair. It turns out that’s not necessarily so – although modern day recreations of Victorian Christmas decor do often include fancy swans.

Truly though, swans are a Brit obsession in general, just like the royal family. The Brits have always loved their swans. The most obvious connection between Christmas, Brits and swans is the “seven swans a-swimming” reference in the traditional 12 Days of Christmas song. Bottom line: swans have always represented wealth, aristocracy and royalty.

3. Turns out, I actually love wild, living swans too – and have since childhood.

It took writing this blog post for me to realize that I actually have an affinity for living swans, too. I can’t believe I didn’t know this about myself – but now that I’m thinking about it, I have always gone out of my way to see, feed and photograph swans when given the chance. They remind me of romance (swans mate for life, after all), of childhood and of England.

I even love the book The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White and Roald Dahl’s terrifyingly creepy short story, The Swan, both of which I read as a kid and they’ve stayed with me all these years.

And now that I know this is all actually part of my childhood, cultural legacy and heritage, it sort of legitimizes my need to have every single plush, sparkly, pretty Christmas swan I lay eyes on.

The question is: do I stop at seven swans (which I am currently one swan away from) – or do I just let myself go hog-wild and ultimately end up with an all-swan Christmas tree or mantel or room at some point in my life?

Please weigh in on this dilemma. And while you’re at it, tell me if you were familiar with this Christmas swan thing or if this is the first time you’re hearing about it. I think Christmas swans are a low-key trend in the US too, but perhaps not as popular as in the UK.


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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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