Friday, December 21, 2012

Top 10 Decorations and Traditions You Can't Live Without

1. The Christmas Tree, ah the tree in all its splendor. Will it be live just before you chop it down, or are you going polyvinyl chloride this year? Both can be made to look elegant with the right materials and creative eye.

2. Lights can attract a lot of attention and sometimes distraction. There is no need to light up the night sky.  Subtle illumination at Rittenhouse Square sets the mood.

3. Christmas displays and shows are often a must do "family tradition" and something that should be passed down. Do you think this one is a little over the top?  Every child should see this.  It is the enhanced (LED lights now) original John Wannamaker Christmas light show in Center City, Philadelphia.  The building now houses the Macy's Department Store and Macy's has kept the display and tradition alive that brings back so many fond memories for children of all ages. You can see it in their eyes.

4. Wreaths are placed every where with acceptance, on the door, in the window, hanging in the center of a mirror,and  used as a centerpiece.   One of my favorite holiday looks is a simple wreath placed on a door with a spotlight highlighting it.  I have a simple wreath but no spotlight. Did you know the circle of the evergreen wreath symbolizes eternal life and rebirth?

Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park

5. Candles in the window, I love the look year round, it is simple yet elegant.  This display of candles in Rittenhouse Square was in recognition of Hanukkah.

6. Christmas balls come in all shapes and sizes and colors, so there has to be one that will make someone smile if only for a memory of from where it came. This display was at the Christmas Village in Love Park.

7. The Nativity Scene, doesn't this get disputed somewhere every year?  It doesn't belong in the center of town.  No room at the Inn.  Nothing has changed there. What is this holiday and all the hoopla about anyway, right? First off, the creche should be kept on display until after the Epiphany, that is just the rules. Another tradition, observance or practice, someone turn me on to is. after the season and while you are packing up the manger place all the Christmas cards you have received that year inside for safe keeping and additional prayers for those listed throughout the year.  You are placing them in good hands with top management in the prayer department. I am fond of this tradition.

8. Gift exchanging.  My thoughts here, once you stop believing all gifts are out, which means you might not get anything.  I'm a Believer and no one in my house is allowed to open a present until Christmas, house rules.

9. Trains are something I just love but they do take up additional room. I try and enjoy the displays that are available for the public to see but I do open that box up in the attic every year.  This display was a new one to me at Reading Terminal in downtown Philadelphia.

10. Cakes, cookies and sweet treats are abundant this time of year.  How can you pass them by?  I simply choose to take a picture so I can review when I have those visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. They all look delicious.  Perhaps I should follow the sign and just take a number of them.  I select the package decorated cake, I don't care what flavor it is, and the carrot cake above it, the bottom two rows of cookies in the center case and I will not separate them, give me frosty and the two tiny reindeer. I am living the dream! You can too at the Reading Market.

I feel snow is essential to the perfect Christmas but you don't always get what you want. Someone else is in control of those decorations.  Once every one is safe at their destination, I think it is a special treat to wake up in a blanket of snow just enough to decorate the trees and a slight ground cover. Comcast Center in downtown Philly uses a soapy mix to make snow at their Holiday Spectacular.  It's cool.

There are lots of things to see and do in Philadelphia, check out Maureen's list that is what we did.

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