Holiday time offers us the opportunity to get in touch with our happiest memories and feelings. I think that is why we all continue to make a monumental effort each and every year to uphold the traditions of decorating, shopping, giving and baking. We all get to be children again for one magical time of year and we take the occasion to provide our children with the same joyous feeling.
My parents had been frugal with me and my siblings when we were young but Christmas was a time when the stops were pulled out and we were indulged. We would start the season by taking a trip to the local department store Gertz to have our picture taken with Santa and then walk through the Christmas Village that showcased animated mannequins of Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Elves in various scenes of North Pole life.
Properly inspired by these visions, the Christmas season was officially underway and we began decorating the house inside and out. We all had saved our allowances for presents for each other and our parents so we were taken on shopping trips locally to accomplish our gifting goals.
Years later I carried this happy feeling to my stores The Chocolate Goddess and The Gourmet Goddess in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. People came, as they told me, to get the Christmas Spirit themselves. I was their Gertz since I had every inch of the store decorated and I too had animated figures!
Now that I am writing cookbooks, I still allow myself to return to my childhood at this time of year. I start decorating right after Thanksgiving. I showcase different moods and feelings throughout the house. I have areas that offer an elegant air of enchanting nostalgia. I have a tree and village that conjure up Christmas in the Dickensian sense. I think though my favorite part is my gingerbread village that really brings out the child in not only me but everyone who sees it. Let us all enjoy visions of sugar plums of one form or another this Christmas Season!