There is always a little more sparkle at Themes & Flowers during the holiday season. We are welcomed into our work day by the scent of fresh pine and the site of beautiful red and green hues. There is something so cheerful about our work and it is only enhanced by the holidays!
This week, we wanted to wish all of you a "Merry Christmas" and share some of our favorite Christmas traditions and memories with all of you! We hope that your holiday season is filled with special quality time with the ones that you love.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? My favorite tradition of the Christmas season is celebrating advent. The four Sundays before Christmas, my family gets together to have a meal, read the Christmas story and do a craft with my kids (although, most of the time, all the adults are just as invested into their own craft creations! ). I love that we can get together throughout the Christmas season instead of just one day. Each member of my family takes a turn planning an advent week. I always enjoy seeing what each person planned. We have collected handmade ornaments and crafts over the years that hold such special memories.
What is the best Christmas gift that you've ever given to someone? Christmas Day 2011 was a very special one. I had so much excitement and anticipation about the gifts that I had brought for my family. As the gifts were nearly done being opened, I sat nervously with 3 Christmas cards in my hand. I gave one card to my Opa and Oma (Herb and Polly), one to my Aunt Kina and Uncle Mario, and one to My Aunt Mel. I told them all to open the cards at the same time. Inside the card was a copy of my ultrasound photo. I was expecting my first baby! Everyone burst into tears, squealed with excitement and gave me hugs. It was a very special moment for me!
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Well, I love my advent calendar. Now that our children are out of the house , Herb and I like to treat ourselves, so we put See's candies in our calendar to open in the days before Christmas. I also really love our "Nicolaus" tradition on December 6th. It's a German tradition where you brush your shoes clean and leave them out by the door. The next morning you find little goodies in them! I always think that it's a fun tradition!
What is the most interesting gift that you ever received for Christmas? The craziest gift that I ever received was an expensive white fox fur coat. Every year, Herb and I would go to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to watch a concert. He gave me the coat so that I could wear it to a concert that year. For anyone that knows me, they know that my style is much more practical. The coat didn't exactly scream "Polly" or match my personality, but I was all fancy and decked out for the show! I still have the coat to this day.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? In our home, we decorate with a lot of beautiful candles. Some of our candle holders are over 100 years old and are very special heirlooms from Germany. For many years now, I've been the "candler-lighter". Every year, I quietly get up from the dining room table while the rest of the family finishes their meals. I light all of the candles before everyone comes into the living room to sing songs, read the Christmas story and open the gifts under the tree.
What is the best gift that you've ever given someone for Christmas? The best gift that I ever gave was the first Christmas gift I ever gave my wife, Polly. We were not married at the time, not really dating officially either. In fact, we were thousands of miles apart. When I stayed in Berlin, I had dated a few ladies but, when I returned to the U.S. in the fall, I decided I would send a gift to one of them, Polly. I sent her a gold ring with a pearl in it. Little did I know, Polly had also decided to send me and my family a gift. She made a beautiful hand-made Christmas tree for our home and shipped it all the way to the states. It was meant to be! We were both thinking of each other for Christmas.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition? I always enjoy watching the performances from the little ones in the family. As kids, I was always performing at Christmas with my three sisters and as the years have gone by, it is no nice to see the next generations carry on the traditions. We have always recited Bible verses or sang a Christmas song or reenacted the nativity scene. It's great! Then we all join in together and try and sing.
I love all of the things that make Christmas Eve warm and cozy. I love picking out our cups to have hot tea. I love that all of the lit candles. It's just nice to be with family and enjoy all the festivities of the night.
What is the best gift that you've ever received for Christmas? When I was in grade school, we had a fundraiser where we had to sell wrapping paper. One of the prizes for the top-seller was a scooter. I was so determined to sell the most wrapping paper so that I could win it! When we had the school assembly, I was announced as the 3rd place winner in the entire school, but was crushed when the 2nd place winner chose the scooter as their prize. I was so sad and disappointed. On Christmas, I was given an awesome purple Mongoose scooter! I was so excited and surprised. The scooter has stayed in the family over the years, my nieces and nephews have all loved it!
We hope that all of you enjoy the holiday season!