Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Christmas Tree Tradition: Dedicated to Sherry, 
Christmas Decorating Queen of Northeastern Colorado

The Year of the Cardinal

I can’t say that I have been putting off writing the last few weeks because I have been busy finishing up the semester at the University of Northern Colorado. My work is done now. I can turn off my mind for a few weeks. Let the decorating begin. Let the celebrations follow. It seems that once I have grades posted I spend the days up until Christmas getting ready for Christmas and once the day has passed I spend the days undoing Christmas and getting ready for the next semester.

Today’s post is inspired by Katty’s Cosy Cove and her beautiful pink Christmas tree and her article on the history of the Christmas Tree.

I dedicate today’s post to my dear friend Sherry, the Christmas decorating queen of Northeastern Colorado and her Christmas tradition: A new theme each year.

My dear friend Sherry does a different Christmas theme every year.  Sherry, a retired nurse, began her twenty years of Christmas over 20 years ago. Each year she created a new theme: angels, teddy bears, gingerbread men, crystal, cardinals. I can’t remember them all. Each year she would go all out starting from scratch. I was always amazed at her creative, imaginative ability to do really beautiful Christmas design, new and fresh every year. She always said that she would start to repeat her themes once she retired from nursing. For her sadly that retirement came much too soon and most unplanned. Troubled with back problems since she was 18, one day she stooped over to pick up a sack of dog food and life for her would never be the same. After dozens of surgeries on her back, she now has a quality of life that allows her to do pretty much anything that she enjoys: gardening, scrap booking, cooking, decorating. She has to take her time, rest, and not over do, but she always gets things done. Sherry surely is an amazing woman-- steadfast in her faith, creative in thought, loving, nurturing, inspirational, and the best friend. She is not particularly as sentimental about her decorations as I am; she is more in tune with her creative side and being different, always looking for new, more interesting ways decorate to make her home a peaceful, beautiful sanctuary. I, on the other hand, stick to the same stuff year after year.

A couple of years ago we made gingerbread houses. 

She had enough stuff to make a village.

Sherry's finished gingerbread house (made out of graham crackers)

Mine -:(

We have spent Thanksgiving week-end the last 8 or 9 years with our good friends since they moved from Northern Colorado to Northeastern Colorado, about 90 miles away. Her husband's family farms over 10,000 acres of wheat and corn. On Black Friday, my husband and I drive to their home, taking the dog. G and the dog may do some pheasant looking or  G. and Dave may take a trip to  Cabella's (a huge sporting goods store in Sidney, NB), while Sherry and I shop Sterling, CO when I make my annual trip to Walmart,  Barb's, a great little gift shop, Ace Hardware, any other little shops that call to us. 
And we have lunch. There aren't many little shops left in Sterling; the recession has taken its toll on the America's main streets, especially those lovely little speciality shops. 

Some years we help her put up her tree, and we end the week-end with her prime rib roast. We leave our friends having eaten too much, shopped just enough, laughed a lot, and in the spirit to enjoy the holidays.

Next year: The Year of the Teddy Bear. 

Merry Christmas, Dear Friend. 

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