Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Excessive Christmas and the Ghosts of Christmas Past

There is an antique store that I drive by somewhat regularly when running errands in the western suburbs of Chicago. I have been meaning to stop in and browse for awhile, years literally, not because I'm really very interested in antiques, but because it looks like it could be a great place to take some unique photographs. I was finally prompted to stop in this holiday season because of a story I heard on the radio last week, about the place. When I heard the story, I knew exactly which store the story was about.

Apparently the store, Rosebud Antiques, was ticketed by the local government of Countryside, IL for an "excessive" display of Christmas decorations. The store owners were told that the displayed items can not include price tags and must remain within certain designated areas. The village claims that complaints have been made.

The story was also reported on local tv: http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/58443798-story.

Rosebud Antiques displays seasonal items outside and on the edge of the small parking lot throughout the year. Whether the display is considered attractive or not, it is always organized and orderly. In warmer months, old bikes are lined in a neat row along the store front window. I'm aware of the seasonal bicycle display due to my daughter's request for a new bike every time we pass by the store during the summer. Whatever the season, the merchandise is transferred in and out of the store on a daily basis by the two sisters who own the store. According to their reports, the effort takes two hours a day during the holiday season.

I don't know the origins of the initial complaints about the store's display or even the final outcome of the conflict between Rosebud Antiques and the Village of Countryside. One shoppers excess is another's delight, (just ask the patrons of the the new Countryside Hooters restaurant down the street from Rosebud Antiques). I do know that the story enticed me into visiting a location that provided the opportunity for some unusual holiday photos and an odd unexpected trip into my own ghosts of Christmas' past. The store contained more then a few items that could have leapt directly out of my own childhood Christmas celebrations.

And like the responses to Rosebud's Christmas display, I had my own unpredictable reactions (interested, amused and a little bit uncomfortable) to the items of Christmas past displayed at Rosebud Antiques. I expect you will, too.

Merry Christmas! May your holiday be delightful and a bit excessive!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Making Christmas Cookies with Friends

The holiday season reminds us to create, give and enjoy one another's company.

The Christmas season is so inspiring in so many ways. It is a great time to get together for simple, fun and often otherwise neglected joyful activities. Many of our holiday activities are unique to the season, singing carols, listening to specific music or watching special movies, others can and do actually happen at other times of the year, as well. Like baking for example, baking cookies can happen anytime, but Christmas brings out the over zealous baker in many of us. The best laid plans....

The holiday season can get so busy that it is easy to forget to allow time for the kids to plan and enjoy some celebration gatherings of their own design. My teen-aged daughter, like most young people, loves this time of year. Also, like many young people, she often has ideas that stretch beyond her family's resources. This one was easy though and I encouraged, then stayed out of the way. The resulting outcome was lovely.

Sometimes it's the process more than the product.

Inspired by the season and some online browsing, Adah wanted to organize a cookie baking party. She planned and shopped. She invited friends and gathered together all the parts needed to provide a festive time for herself and her guests. They baked and decorated, talked and laughed. Joy in creating together equals success and in this case a messy kitchen.

More successful events to come. This one's for the holidays!

When it comes to kitchen activities,
there is always a brother lurking nearby
looking for handouts.

                                           Just good friends, fun and lots of sugar!