Wednesday, December 7, 2011


“Share your Christmas with your neighbors. Give the outside of your home a glorious setting with lights of many colors, and yuletide symbols as lively and cheerful as old St. Nick himself.” Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas, 1954

My parents’ wedding anniversary is always part of my advent celebration. They married December 7, 1947. Daddy passed on just ten days short of their 40th wedding anniversary.

The front porch of our family home in Orofino was my dad’s inspiration for holiday decorating. With few exceptions he made all the decorations himself. He had sturdy wreath forms, plenty of lights, and skill with boughs. When mini lights (initially called “Italian lights”) came on the retail scene in the late ‘50s, he was only too willing to make the switch from the big colored lights, which drew a lot of electricity and became hot. For several years before mini lights became generally available, we would travel to Spokane (4 hours one way) early in the holiday season so that he could buy these new lights at the Crescent (department store).

Daddy did study catalogs and holiday magazines for ideas. The photo above, taken about 1972, shows a Santa he purchased, but he made the harp. He asked me to pose with Santa but I didn't bring much life to the concept.

Daddy’s passing on November 27, 1987, was just prior to the holiday decorating season. Grandson Shann (Nina’s son) continued the holiday decorating tradition for Mother until 1990, our last Christmas at the house. KW


Leah said...

What wonderful Christmas memories you have. Dorothy and Vance were very special parents. Their legacy continues into the future with Kathy's family blog.

Hallie said...

I like your coat in the picture. Shann must have done a good job decorating. I remember the house decorated, but I don't think I gave any thought to who did it.

Kathy said...

The first winter I was in Boston, I didn't have a heavy-duty coat. Mother bought me that coat the following winter when I was home for Christmas. I was still wearing it five years later. It was a double-breasted style with plenty of lap, so when I was pregnant, I moved the buttons over.

Shann helped Daddy in the last years, so he knew what to do. It was simple but effective.

Thank you for the kind words, Leah.

Chris said...

Happy memories of seeing your house all decorated. :-)