In the spirit of the holidays, I’d like to step aside from business and share sentiments of holidays past.
My upbringing in northern California was one of diverse geography; beaches, cliffs, a fertile river valley, and even desert-like terrain. A rich landscape that provided many adventures for my older sister and I.
In retrospect, I take you to Christmases when we were little. With all the holiday decorations at both our home and our grandparent’s home, it was like having two full-size Christmas celebrations in one day.
Every year my father would bring out the wood crates from storage filled with decorations, and we would put up ornaments and trimmings that had been collected in the family for years, many of which survived cats, kids, dogs, and moving.
One of the big items was our Lionel Train. It was set up piece by piece each year around the entire base of the tree. I remember it had connectors to the metal track, and you had to plug the electrical box into the wall outlet and flip the switch to get it to move. It even had speed options to control how fast you wanted it to go. Yes, my sister and I ran it off the track ‘overcooking the ovals’ more times than I could count. We would also put small 2 x 3” gift boxes in the open-top cargo cars so they would fly off the track as well. Fun!
Tree tinsel was made of metal back then. My father made my sister and I hang them one strand at a time, carefully and thoughtfully, as “throwing” the tinsel on the tree was never allowed and you could lose tree decorating privileges if you continued, once warned. We then removed it one by one to be stored again for the next year.