The Little Lights Aren’t Twinkling

Decorating in the 1960s

The Holidays, Mad Men Style.

Looking right off of the Mad Men set, my Dad and Grandma were styling in this holiday picture. Although we didn’t have the wet bar in every room, I’m sure there were cocktails all around. Like many young couples my parents didn’t have many ornaments for their Christmas trees. This Charlie Brown tree wouldn’t make it in Better Homes and Gardens, but it stood tall and proud in our living room.

My husband and I didn’t have many holiday decorations either when we first got married. Preparing our tiny walk up apartment on the far northwest side of Chicago for the holidays was not on our to do list. For the  first few years I performed a last minute reconnaissance for a tree and the cream of the crop had long since been sold. I ended up stuffing whatever tree would fit in to the back of my 4 door Saturn from a local grocery store lot. The needles stayed in the car for years.

Now the tide has turned. With our own kids in the picture, my husband has made it his personal mission each year to fill  the season with traditions and ritual much like Chevy Chase in “Christmas Vacation.” It begins today: the day after Thanksgiving. Not only do we now have enough ornaments to fill up our tree, we have bins full of holiday decorations in the attic. Each year we buy four new ornaments from our travels; one for the family and one for each kid. The idea is that they will have a ready made kit when they leave the nest.

Along with decorating, we get to pull out the Christmas movies and music. From now until January 1, Bing Crosby will be belting out “Baby It’s Cold Outside” on our sound system or Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen will be dancing across our screen in “White Christmas.” We put cider on the stove with mulling spice and begin the process of stringing lights outside. The kids love to climb on the roof for this once a year opportunity to see the entire neighborhood from a new perspective. This is also the time of year I get to pull out my winter, cranberry Mojito recipe and see the neighborhood from a new perspective as well.

The little lights aren’t twinkling.” Happy Decorating Everyone.  Bobbi

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