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Places We Go : Christmas Among Friends, 2022

Last year, I wrote about forgoing a Christmas tree. I was looking for low maintenance decorating. Lots of you reached out and I'm glad to know I'm not alone at what was to become our 2nd Covid Christmas. Sue (Surprise, AZ) has a 3' tree. After Christmas in 2020, her husband said he wanted to try something. He literally shrink-wrapped the decorated tree and took it to the garage. Last year, he brought it in and unwound the shrink wrap. The tree was still perfectly decorated. Easy Peasy. Sue's friend stores her decorated tree in an unused walk-in closet. Every year, they roll it out, fully decorated. Who knew? Ellin (Portland, OR) has pared her decorations down to fit in a cupboard when not in use. How envious I am of her ability to only keep the best stuff. And above is a photo of Ruthann's mom's old bike. Ruthie spray-painted it red for outdoor decor in Sisters, OR.

This year, I asked for your decor photos. Thank you for sending me such beautiful displays. Let's take a look.

Kimberly's mother died this year, leaving her with lots of gorgeous handmade ornaments. Some are finished, some are not. Kimberly has put them in baskets and bowls all over her house in Hayward, CA.

Kimberly uses her Christmas collection of San Francisco's own Mary Frances handbags as decorations when not going out on her arm. This one is called "Holiday Bloom."

Wouldn't it be fun to go to a party escorting the "It's a Wrap" handbag?

Mary Frances' "Golden Gift" has a cool New Year's Eve vibe to me. So creative!

Ruthann found this collection of singers at the old Howell's Crafts in NW Portland. If you're a Portlander, you'll remember the crafts store was such fun to explore. In the 1960's, it was in downtown Portland on some upper floors of an office building. Then, they moved to NW 10th. Ruthann remembers that the place was so rickety, you almost felt like it was falling in on you. Now, that Howell's has moved to NE 112th, it's all neat and tidy and nearly not so fun.

Perhaps Ruthann's best treasure is this plastic tree given to her mom in the 1950's. About 15" high, the original star is long gone but given it's history, that's not a big deal.

Sent in the original box, this little tree kept Ruthann's brother company when he fought in Viet Nam in the late '60s. Both Bob and the tree made it safely home.

The Christmas tree at Connie and Andy's Oregon City home is a true Christmas story. Every year, Andy and Connie cut down a tree from their expansive "back yard." About 15 years ago, when they moved to a new house, they brought with them a few 1-foot Spanish fir seedlings in gallon buckets. Those little trees grew about one foot per year. This year, they decided the Spanish firs needed to be thinned so they cut an 11' one for their living room tree.

That weekend, Mother Nature added to the ambiance.

Norman Rockwell

And now to their real life "Trimming the Tree" story.

First, Andy topped the tree with their traditional angel. Then he added lights to the upper part and Connie took over the lower half.

Here's Connie with their magical tree, complete with Norwegian flags making their annual appearance. Connie told me the tree is a lot of work but I bet it makes a wonderful Christmas for their young grandsons.

Connie sent this photo of a "practice salad" for the Christmas lunch she's having tomorrow. Isn't it beautiful, complete with Christmas colors? After the salad and stuffed chicken breasts, she'll serve Norwegian Krumkake and other Christmas treats. Yummy!

As for me, I realized I was also into Christmas colors at lunch yesterday - a grilled cheese sandwich (with Alameda's kalamata olive bread) and good old fashion Campbells tomato soup. Also yummy! Here's to good company, food and decor this holiday. No matter how you're celebrating - have a wonderful and merry Christmas!

top photo : Ruthann's mom's old bike sprayed red for the holidays in the yard in Sisters, OR.

for a mary frances handbag of your own, check out


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