This is the owl that started it all. In 2006 I lived in a townhouse with two other girls. It was my first place on my own and I was determined to have a Christmas tree. Every time we went to Target, I would pick up ornaments, and this little guy couldn't be passed up. He was clutching a branch, and had the cutest feathers above his realistic-looking owl eyes. I was in love.
Unfortunately, this was a challenging love, one, the ornament was inanimate and therefore couldn't return the affection, and, two, everyone else thought he was the ugliest thing they had ever seen. (Yeah, I still don't get it.) He would frequently be moved to the back of the tree where no one could see him (the tree only had about eight ornaments at this point in time and it was a pretty good sized tree from a u-cut tree farm).
In 2007, our first Christmas together, we were so involved with the Christmas musical and preparing for a week in San Diego, that we didn't get a tree. This did not, however, stop us from collecting more Christmas ornaments (I highly recommend Macy's after-Christmas sale) or our friends from bestowing Target's 2007 owl, which even I had to say was a little less than cute. In fact, I saw it in the store and said, "Yeek!" So we were rather amused when it popped up in the annual gift exchange. This picture makes it look a little cuter than it actually is. In person, it looks like an ewok. Which is fine if you're into Star Wars, but we are not.
And now we have the 2008 Target owl. I really can't decide what his cuteness factor is. He's slightly beauty challenged, but has rather cute, tufty "ear horns". His spindly stick legs are a little creepy and I'm convinced the cats are going to get a hold of him and chew them off. (Gus has already had a tussle with ewok-owl, who doesn't have things sticking out from his body to break off.) But all and all, he's one of what is becoming an annual tradition - "ugly" owl ornaments. And that's pretty cool.