Every year the Montpelier Valentine Phantom plasters the city with hearts. It’s lovely. Here are a few images of the historic downtown, heart style.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, however and wherever you celebrate! I hope your tree is trimmed, your hearts are full and you are all happy and healthy and with people you love.
Did you trim your tree? Here are a few classic ornaments that always find their way to the O’Shea family tree. These were my mother’s ornaments from her childhood. My sisters and I always think the elf is a devil!
And we have some of my grandmother’s ornaments, too. Sadly a bunch of them broke when our tree fell over – years ago. Our trees are so large, it sometimes happens! But we have a few survivors and the original box.
Merry Christmas one and all!
Do you have a favorite Christmas carol or Christmas song? Nowadays options are endless since every singer has his or her own version of Christmas songs. There is something timeless and comforting about Christmas songs; they sing of home, memories, nostalgia, love, tradition, snow, hope — all good things in life. When do you begin listening to Christmas music? Growing up, my mom wouldn’t let us listen until December 1. I say as soon as Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is fair game.
Here is a list of my favorite Christmas songs. Wishing everyone a peaceful weekend, filled with good thoughts, good memories and hope for a wonderful season and new year. What would be on your list?
(1) White Christmas (Bing Crosby)
(2) Have Yourself a Merry Christmas (Judy Garland)
(3) Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen)
(4) Little Wood Guitar (Sugarland)
(5) Christmas Song (Blues Traveler)
(6) We Need a Little Christmas (Angela Lansbury)
(7) Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives)
(8) Gold & Green (Sugarland)
(9) Step into Christmas (Elton John)
(10) I’ll be Home for Christmas (The Carpenters)
While the Christmas spirit is not about material items, we can all admit that a bit of visual Christmas cheer emphasizes that Christmas feeling. Whether it’s your small town Main Street decked out in lights and trees for the holidays or the city’s storefronts elaborately decorated, the sight of candy canes, or your own Christmas tree, we all have our favorite pieces of holiday elements.
December has long been my favorite month of the year, partially because I have dear memories of my childhood home turning into a Christmas wonderland. My mother has acquired many Christmas items over the years, enough now to redecorate every room for the Christmas season. Plates, framed photographs, snowmen, Christmas trees, candy canes, towels, wreaths, tchotchkes, snowflakes, candles, blankets, books — it’s like living in Christmas. Combine all that with our standard 12′ Christmas tree, and our house was and is always a welcome place for Christmas guests. My sisters and I love it, and Mom continues to decorate, with help from whomever happens to be home. The exterior is less complicated, but Dad has settled on lights and garland around the porch railings, nothing of the lawn ornament kind.
My Christmas collection is only a fraction of my mother’s, but I have a few treasured pieces. These featured below belonged to my great-grandmother Ethel. A few years back when my grandmother was still alive, I was visiting her around the holidays and I took out a basket of Christmas decorations. Included in that basket were a few ceramic figurines that hadn’t been displayed in a while. My grandmother began telling me that her mother always brought these out at Christmas, and she kept them because she always liked them (which is significant coming from a woman who never kept much). When my grandmother passed away, I made sure to keep these Christmas figurines because I knew they were important to her.
Now I proudly display these Christmas heirlooms, knowing that so many of my family members have seen them over the years. To me, knowing that something belonged to my family makes it significant. I’d rather have those heirlooms than something new. I’d rather add myself to the story of the heirloom.
What about you? Do you have a favorite Christmas decoration or any favorite family holiday heirlooms?
Though we all have much to be thankful for throughout the year, there is something special and comforting about paying extra attention and dutifully remembering to count our blessings each year about this time. Wouldn’t you agree? For what are you thankful, big or small, person, place, or thing, memory or faith or hope?
I am thankful for optimistic people and communities, for those that believe in themselves each other, for the vibrant main streets that get involved in the holidays and all seasons. Success stories of preservationists and non-preservationists, all working to improve quality of life and sense of place, can all have a positive influence. I am thankful to live in a country and an age when almost anything is possible.
I am thankful for my family and friends and our collective strength and love, and to be able to see them for the holidays, a rare time of year when we are all together under one roof. I am thankful for our home, good memories, and for our Point Lookout house that survived the storm and will recover. I am thankful for good communities, personal and professional to know and to work with as we all make our way in the world. I am thankful for my health. I am thankful for little things like a good cup of a coffee, a cuddly cat, sunny days, snowy days, sitting by the fireplace, baking for the holidays, my grandmother’s necklace, and frivolous things like pink nail polish (of course).
And of course, I am thankful for readers of Preservation in Pink and the growing community around this blog. Thank you everyone. I wish you all the best holiday, safe travels and time to reflect on what is good in your life.
Preservation Burlington hosted a walking tour through Lakeview Cemetery last weekend, just in time for late fall weather and Halloween. After three years of wanting to explore Lakeview Cemetery, this event was just the reminder I needed. On the tour we learned about famous Burlington residents who are buried in the cemetery and how they connect to Burlington history. Built in 1871, the cemetery was designed like a park, with fountains and winding roads and views looking to Lake Champlain. The headstones and monuments do not match throughout the grounds; instead, there are many different styles, plot boundaries and layouts. Read this article from the local paper for more history.
I didn’t see any ghosts, but then again it was a sunny morning. Happy Halloween!
Preservation in Pink turned five years old on May 28. Five years ago was the debut of the very first (short) newsletter and this blog address served only as a placeholder for newsletter issues throughout its first year.
The newsletter ran for six issues, while this blog continued to develop and grow, starting as a regular blog in spring of 2008. The early blog days began with oral history anecdotes, field school lessons and subjects that I found to be preservation inspiration. As it turns out, once I started writing, I couldn’t stop! From community related issues to roadside America to national preservation concerns, landscape, transportation, historic architecture, graduate school, all things flamingo and coffee, these 900+ posts have been near and far.
Although PiP has evolved over the years, it remains true to the original purpose: to encourage communication between preservationists and non-preservationists, to keep us all inspired and enthusiastic, and to explain the benefits and relevance of the field to everyone.
To see the growth in Preservation in Pink is humbling and inspiring, quite frankly. To know that more and more people are reading about preservation and making the connection from one field to another says to me that we are all making a difference and people are becoming more aware and in touch with their built environment, communities, and heritage.
Perhaps understandably so, it is hard to remember my preservation life before Preservation in Pink or a time when most people I know did not associate me with every flamingo they saw. Without being too sentimental, Preservation in Pink has always been and continues to be a true joy in my life. When a post resonates with a reader (a preservationist or not) and that person can make a connection to the field, it warms my whole heart.
Thank you readers, longtime and new, regular or passersby, for your support, interest, conversations and comments, emails, word-of-mouth publicity and of course, for the flamingo links and photos. You are a wonderful bunch (dare I say flock?), and I learn from you constantly.
Happy Birthday to Preservation in Pink!
Some of My Favorite Posts Over the Years, New and Old
Grandma’s Pyrex Mixing Bowls (April 2012)
You Do Not Have to be a Historic Preservationist (March 2012)
How to Photograph a Bridge (February 2012)
Anatomy of Preservation Guilt: HGTV (January 2012)
I Am A Historic Preservationist (January 2012)
Preservation Grammar: Historic v. Historical (December 2011)
If Someone Offered Free Vinyl Siding (October 2011)
The Upside of Interstates (May 2011)
Preservation Basics – Series (April 2011)
I Wear A Hard Hat (January 2011)
My Ode to Derby (January 2011)
My Road to Preservation (September 2010)
Vermont in Pictures (August 2010)
Gold in Them Thar Hills: Part Three (June 2010)
More of Carl’s (June 2010)
The Kitten Who Studied Architectural History (December 2009)
Landmarks Shaping Me (December 2009)
Right Place at the Right Time (July 2009)
Why They Don’t Let Me Outside (February 2009)
The Time Warp Effect of Home (December 2008)
Concrete v. Asphalt (December 2008)
Five Stages of Small-Town Preservation Induced Grief (August 2008)
Why Do All Preservationists Love Flamingos? (August 2008)
South Carolina Road Trip (July 2008)
My Ode to Oral History (May 2008)
Nebraska Schoolhouse (October 2007)