Christmas Yard Decorations!
My dad was big on outdoor Christmas Decorations. I can vividly picture our house on Kitrridge Street in North Hollywood, and him climbing on the roof to place the lights on the peaks of the roof. And then finding a stuffed Santa to attach to the chimney with a spotlight on the highest peak. Now that I think about it...that was a lot of engineering! I think Robert is following in his footsteps, and for me, there could be no greater compliment.
We had lights everywhere, on the roof, around the windows, in the planters, on the porch. And the neighborhood followed suit. Everyone on our block had lights, and it always felt festive and warm around Christmas time. When I went away to college, (not too far, I went to Loyola Marymount University, but I lived in the dorms there) and would come home for the Christmas holidays, I remember the joy that I felt driving up to our house, with all the lights and the tree in the window, Ray Conniff on the record player, and my parents waiting for me at the door.
My dad was a big gadget guy at Christmas too. One year we had a snow machine on our Christmas tree! I remember that dad placed our fresh tree in a large concave cardboard receptacle, and then attached a pole with a Santa on top to the trunk of the tree. The pole had a tube which sucked up minuscule foam balls up the trunk of the tree, and spit them out at the top, where they would drift down and land in the receptacle only to be sucked up the tube again and come shooting out once they reached the top. All the while the Santa rotated around the top of the tree with his reindeer. The effect was magical. We had snow inside the house on our tree! It would continuously snow, and Santa would continuously rotate as long as the device was plugged in. The only downside was that it was pretty noisy!
Most years we had bubble lights, which had a mesmerizing effect, and of course, lots of tinsel on the tree. We had Shiny Bright ornaments, tin cut outs, glass icicles, and even strings of popcorn and cranberry some years.
It was definitely a simpler time. Homemade Barbie dresses. The Sears Christmas Wish Book. Delivering spritz cookies to our friends. Watching mom make Christmas kolaches. Sparkly sequined Christmas stockings. But always, always, lots of love, and lots of Christmas spirit. To me as a little girl, it did feel like the most wonderful time of the year.