Sherryl continues to do well and has an appointment with her radiology oncologist on Wednesday. The purpose of this appointment is to prepare for radiation treatment that is scheduled to begin after the first of the year. Sherryl's spirits are good, and she remains mindful of striking a balance between having more energy and getting plenty of rest. She is truly enjoying the holiday season.
As our gift to you this holiday season, we thought we'd share some of the holiday traditions and special Christmas moments we remember from our childhood. Following is Part 1 in a series called "The Colors of Christmas."
Long before Martha Stewart was gilding poinsettias and in the days when Bill Gates used windows to catch a glimpse of Santa and his sleigh, Mom and Dad were making Christmas. As an officer in the merchant marines, Dad traveled 7 - 9 months of the year. Mom lived for Christmas year 'round and the loving and giving that is all a part of that season was central to Mom and Dad's life.
Beginning the day after Thanksgiving each year, our home was transformed into a winter wonderland. Sequins, felt, and little gold bells were prominent in our south bay home in the early 1960s. We had a white snowman wall-hanging, a gold banner of angels, and five red and green felt stockings that bedecked our fireplace.
When we moved to Marin, our decorations were lost in our spacious new home so our decor gradually yet steadily grew to fill the space. Mom had a lot to do with increasing the collection, but it seems those little rascals may have multiplied on their own between January and mid-November. After all, there wasn't much to do in those storage boxes during the off season.
Eventually there were so many Christmas decorations that the standard year-round wall and surface items were packed away and replaced by the growing collection of holiday delights. The conversion was quite the production as it took the entire Thanksgiving weekend for the transition to be nearly completed. Nearly, that is, because the trees were not included in the Thanksgiving weekend transformation.
Wreaths adorned mirrors, garlands framed doorways, and ceramic masterpieces crowned tabletops. There were shadow boxes that contained nostalgic Christmas icons, handmade beauties that reflected Mom's talents, and a lovely creche that topped our piano. Lest we or any visitor thought a private moment could be stolen in our home, a mouse, elf, reindeer, or angel was spying from every nook and cranny. Santa certainly knows how to plant his helpers. And so did Mom.
In any given year, we had as many as three Christmas trees in our home: one in the living room, one in the family room, and one in the master bedroom. Each was trimmed to compliment the decor of the room it adorned.
Remember those aluminum Christmas trees that were popular in the early 1960s? We had one. Far be it from our parents to not have the current trends that appeared on the pages of "Look" magazine. The silver foil branches were decorated with ornaments mom cleverly made from -- of all things -- curtain hooks and resin crystals. She recruited us to help her and, with a little glue and some time in the oven, these hardware store items were converted into little stained glass renderings of angels, candy canes, and Santa himself. Dad bought one of those revolving color wheels that, when placed in front of a flood light, changed the hue of the tree to blue, then red, then gold, then green. Our 1960s Christmas tree reflected back to us the Colors of Christmas.
To be continued . . .