Oink-a-ments: A pig-themed tree

Published 8:09 am Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jennifer Garrett has an affinity for pigs.

You can’t really blame her. She and her husband run the Piggly Wiggly store on U.S. 231 in Troy.

And pigs at Christmas? Well, now that’s something to see.

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Last year, Jennifer decided to decorate a tree at the store with pig-themed ornaments. She found a few, but the choices were limited.

“You know, it’s hard to find pig ornaments,” she deadpanned.

So this year she turned to Facebook, asking her friends to go on a hunt for pig-themed ornaments for the tree.

“I put up a post saying I was looking for pig ornaments, and asked if anybody sees any for less than five dollars they buy the ornaments and I’d pay them back,” she said.

That’s when a friend sent a message back, suggesting she have a contest for the public to create pig ornaments.

“I have to credit to Jessica Helms,” Jennifer said. “She’s a stay-at-home mom right now but one day when her kids are grown up, she’s going to make somebody a terrific party planner.”

And in the meantime, she’s the creative inspiration behind the First Annual Pig Christmas Tree Oink-A-Ment contest.

Yes, you read that right. The Oink-a-Ment contest.

“It’s really a simple idea,” Jennifer said. “People can make a pig ornament and bring it in the store. We’ll choose winners from three different age groups to receive a prize.”

Oh, and it’s not just for the kids. “I hope adults will enter, too,” Jennifer said. “We’ve got some really crafty and creative people out there, and I’d love to see what they create.”

The rules are simple: Create a pig Oink-A-Ment, using any material you choose. It’s size and weight should allow it to be hung on a Christmas tree, and you should include a hook or ribbon so the Oink-a-Ment can be hunt directly on the tree.

Ornaments should be turned into the office at the Piggly Wiggly store on U.S. 231 with an entry form (available at the store of electronically from Jennifer). All ornaments should be bagged (they will be numbered at the store). All entries are due by 8 p.m. on Dec. 14.

The public will judge the contest. Shoppers will be encouraged to cast their votes in the store. One vote per person per day is allowed.

Categories include ages 4 to 9: Grand prize is a Piggly Wiggly t-shirt and three runners-up will receive gift bags; ages 10 to 15, grand prize is a Piggly Wiggly t-shirt and a three runners-up will receive gift bags; and ages 16 to 100+, grand prize is a $25 gift certificate and a Piggly Wiggly t-shirt and three runners-up will receive a gift basket.

The top four ornaments in each category become the property of Piggly Wiggly and all other ornaments can be picked up at the store the week of Dec. 26-30. Or, they can be left with Jennifer, who’ll gladly use them to decorate the store’s trees.

“I’ve had a lot of people talking about it,” she said on Wednesday. “I’m kind of excited to see what people bring in.”

After all, who can resist the opportunity to create an Oink-a-Ment?

Stacy G. Graning is publisher of The Messenger. Reach her via email at stacy.graning@troymessenger. To contact Jennifer Garrett regarding the First Annual Pig Christmas Tree Oink-a-Ment contest, call 334-770-7444 or email her at jcgpw@live.com