Thursday, January 10, 2013

"The Stars are Brightly Shining"

No one loved Christmas more than my mother.  She would begin getting ready for it in August by attending the New York Gift Show.

It was always a fabulous, yet exhausting few days away.  I can remember the year I was so lucky to go with her.  Early in the morning we went to Philadelphia and boarded the train.  That was where the fun began.  We were seated on velvet cushioned seats, but we soon moved to the dining car where we were served breakfast on fine china plates, with silver and crystal set on freshly pressed linen tablecloths.

Once in New York, we checked in to a charming small hotel.  Then it was off to the gift show.  My mother would be visiting and chatting with so many people she had done business with through the years.  Checking out new items that they were representing and looking for the perfect things to carry in her business.  These could be Christmas decorations for the window display, gifts to sell, ribbons, ornaments, candles, containers, cards, food items for gourmet baskets, home decorating items or whatever was new and different that she fancied.

Even though we would be exhausted,  she would make the evening a night to remember.  One night it would be dinner at a French restaurant, the next at Mama Leone's followed by Radio City and the Rockettes or to see My Fair Lady.

I can still remember looking with her into Tiffany's windows and admiring the display of gumdrops made to look like an ice cream sundae with a big ruby ring as the cherry on top.

At Berdorf's, she ordered me gorgeous Tiffany blue stationery with a my name engraved in a deeper shade of blue.

Once, all of the purchases arrived, she would begin getting ready for the Christmas season.

She would send out invitations and have a huge Open House for customers and friends so they could see what was new and sample the gourmet goodies with a little mulled cider or eggnog and begin their Christmas shopping.

I loved this weekend.  My Mom entertaining.  It was magical like the party scene from the Nutcracker with lots of people in their winter finery. I remember my friend's mothers, and the Deaconesses from my school attending, my family and my parent's friends and neighbors.  Everyone enjoyed this kickoff for the holidays.

From then until Christmas Eve, life was a whirlwind of activity. There was never a time to relax for my parents.  But, Christmas Eve came and life changed. The Holiday rush was over, now she could be with our family.   We would attend the candlelight service at our church.  To me, there was nothing more beautiful. The only light coming  from the glow of the candles in the candelabras lining the side aisles. We would sing "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful."  "Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem," "Away In A Manger", and "Oh, Holy Night".  Then at the most solemn time, "Silent Night", how my Mom adored that Carol!

This was her favorite time of the year, and Christmas day, the highlight.  This is when Jesus put his arms around her and, she followed his star.

                                         In the 60's, my Mom sent me this star from Guadalara, Mexico 
                                                   and it has adorned my tree every year since.

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