Monday, November 16, 2015

Decking The Halls Is Not Just for Christmas

By nature, I am a decorator. I love to decorate my house every opportunity I get. Unfortunately, the first eight and a half months of the year just don’t provide quality holiday-themed decorating opportunities. But come mid-September, it’s time for autumn.

I love the colors of autumn; warm oranges, deep yellows and golds, rich reds and some shades of brown thrown in for contrast. To me, it’s like a painting and probably the prettiest season in Warwick. During apple picking season, my “fall-wear” comes down from the attic. In the early stages, there are a few jack-o-lanterns, witches, ghosts and spiders included for Halloween, but on November 1, Thanksgiving is the star of my show. And never under any circumstance does Christmas overlap!

However, once the turkey is finished and leftovers bagged; dishes done and company returned safely home, I’m ready for Christmas. Yes, I am a "Black Friday" shopper. I get up at a ridiculous hour and drive in total darkness to my annual mall of choice. When my kids were babies, it was a rare opportunity to shop without them, but now teenagers, they come too! After shopping and a very early breakfast, we go home for a nap before removing the autumn decorations and pulling out the Christmas d├ęcor.

I get all my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday because I love everything having to do with celebrating Christmas and don’t want to waste a moment of it in the mall. I love getting hot chocolate and watching the tree lightings and carolers. I enjoy seeing all the houses lit up when driving around at night and the beautiful floral decorations adorning our village by day. I watch holiday movies ad nauseam and actually enjoy writing Christmas cards. I go to the local holiday performance of The Nutcracker and always make sure to schedule at least one trip to “see the tree” in New York City. I love the holidays so much that several years ago I went to the Hanukkah Menorah lighting and enjoyed it so much, I go every year and I’m not Jewish.

But my favorite holiday memories always involve our Christmas tree. Growing up, my mother insisted live trees were dangerous and we had artificial trees. When I got married, my husband would have none of that and each year, since our first Christmas in 1992, we went out to find that year’s perfect tree. We’ve had great ones and awful ones, but each and every year, the day we go looking for “our” tree is my favorite memory. So, what's the consensus: artificial or live tree?

Elisabeth Mayer

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