As the holidays approach we start thinking of decorating, not only the outside of our homes, but the interior as well. The tradition of reds and greens, accented with gold and silver, bring back fond memories of Christmases past and the excitement of making new ones. Growing up in Central Illinois on a farm, we always had a seven-foot fresh-cut fragrant pine with big multi-colored bulbs. We adorned our tree with lots of handmade ornaments, a few store bought glass ones, popcorn strings, colorful paper chains, and tinsel — lots of shiny silver tinsel. My Mom would hang a nice fresh wreath on the front door, and garland on the stair banister. And there were always red poinsettias.
On the red and white checkered tablecloth that covered the kitchen table, there was always a welcoming treat of mixed nuts in the shell — walnuts, almonds, hazelnut and Brazil nuts — in a festive bowl, accompanied with an old-school steel nutcracker to wrestle them open. Peppermint candy canes and old-fashioned mixed hard candy were a daily holiday treat. The smells of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and cherry cobbler wafted throughout the old farm house. It was almost like a Norman Rockwell scene waiting to be painted. I remember those days fondly, as a child, with my four brothers and sisters anticipating the arrival of Santa.
Okay, enough childhood memories of the sixties and my Mom’s red poinsettias. Fast forward 50-plus years, to my poinsettias of today: New shades, styles and textures of Christmases to come. Read More