Meaningful ornament donated for the Updike house tree

They say good things come in small packages. Surprising things, too. When Updike house Director of Education Maria Lester opened a package recently, she found a smiling John Updike ornament. On the back of the ornament: “Ho Ho Ho! Casting off of J.U.’s gravestone in Plow Church cemetery.”

It was from Michael Updike, a slate sculptor who carved the marker for his father’s Plow Church cemetery gravesite.

“I know the ornament competition is for children but somehow I couldn’t resist,” Michael wrote. “Hope this isn’t too creepy and gives small children nightmares.”

Unless the little ones have been walking through that cemetery in Plowville, all they’ll see is a smiling face on a tree that suggests it really is the most wonderful time of the year. And from now on, this ornament will be a part of the annual tree-trimming tradition at the Updike house.

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