For several years, Kristine Moulton and I were neighbors in Grand Junction, but more importantly, close friends. Today I was tidying from the holiday open house party the other night and as I was placing the leftover cookies just so on the festive table covering and filling the little sleigh with napkins and plates to be used during the rest of the season, it suddenly dawned on me where I got these ideas.
Anyone who knew my mother, will tell you I did NOT get these ideas from her. My mother’s idea of Christmas decorating was helping with the tree and maybe tossing some little silver icicles over the Denver Broncos clock. No. Decorating was never my mother’s forte. I could not count how many times I would try and rearrange the ornaments on the tree after everyone else went to bed. It always proved difficult to make the tree look full of ornaments since mom always insisted on getting trees that had a foot of space between the branch layers because it was easier to hang the ornaments. Seriously? I could have hung our stockings on some of those trees and they would never have touched another branch! This is not a photo of our tree, but it may as well have been.
Now, Dorothy Moulton (Kristine’s mom) knew how to spread Christmas throughout her house! I loved going over almost anytime in December to see the large portrait of her dad replaced by the same size portrait of Santa. The outside of the home was never Mrs. Moulton’s focus. But the inside … even walking through the back door and into the kitchen there were little vignettes in the dining area and the living room consisting of tea sets of hot tea and cookie trays on glass dishes and not the Melmac plates that our family with six kids used. Hot chocolate seemed to be always waiting and ready for any guest to enjoy. I was always fascinated by the little offerings and bits of Christmas decor here and there and tucked into little corners where you would least expect. And all throughout the living areas you could smell the cinnamon and the chocolate. It was heaven!
And those memories are always in the back of my mind when I set out decorations and holiday treats. And when someone comments and admires any of my Christmas decor, I kinda silently thank Dorothy Moulton. The Sassy neighbor lady with the blond hair professionally piled atop her head; with the pure golden soprano voice; with the impeccable flair of dresses and high heels and jewelry. Thank you for the inspiration, Mrs. Moulton! And Merry Christmas wherever you are.