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Decorating for the holidays was always a big deal in my family. My father made the decorations while my mother added the appropriate seasonal elements - from pumpkins to Poinsettias! But, of all the holidays, Christmas was my favorite. I loved watching my father make the wreathes and fill the stockings with candy while my mother got busy changing the table linens, adding candles, crystal dishes, fruit centerpieces, pine cones and flower arrangements. Every detail was considered, even our home's aroma. The delightful smell of orange peels and cinnamon sticks boiling on the stove filled the air. This was my mother's version of Potpourri.

A photo of the dining room showing the candles, fruit centerpiece, table cloth and poinsettias. The chandelier was also decorated with tinsel and bulbs.

Our dining room table with all of the pies and cakes my mother baked from scratch. Her highly-coveted German Chocolate cake was missing, but I know it was somewhere as she had to bake one for my sister and me for Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes New Year's Day. We had an unwritten contract! LOL

An exterior photo of our home showing the lighted wreathes my father made and the lights in the garage windows.

A closeup of the front door with the wreathes my father made. In subsequent years, my parents would plant Poinsettia's in pots and place them on either side of the front door for a truly welcoming entrance.

My sister and I also got in on the decorating action. We loved to help our father put up the Christmas tree. Although the tree was fake, it looked and even sounded amazing thanks to a chirping device that was hidden on one of the tree branches. We got a good laugh whenever our guests asked where the bird was.

Once we finished decorating the tree, we'd complete the look by placing a nativity scene underneath with several empty boxes that had been wrapped by my father to give the illusion of a bountiful Christmas. You can imagine our surprise when we first discovered that Santa had not been THAT generous to us on Christmas Day!

The decorated tree. Notice the piano was covered with a red cloth and red candles were placed on top...details!

Another photo of the living room with the tree and stockings that my father made hanging over the fireplace. He decorated the mantle and the chandelier with garland and tinsel.