Christmas in Mineola
On this Christmas Eve, 2018, a little Christmas reflection…..
Christmas has always been a big deal in our household. Early in our relationship, it became obvious that it’s Susie’s favorite holiday, and one that she waits all year for. Indeed, because of her love of the holiday, it was on Christmas Day in 1978 that I asked her to marry me, and she said yes! Talk about giving…her saying yes was the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten! So from our first Christmas in our apartment on Firwood Road in Port Washington, just months after we were married in 1979, we have always gone all out to decorate and celebrate the holiday!
Every year, when the kids were small, sometime in early November, we’d journey to Lancaster, PA, for a weekend in Amish Country, and every year, that’s when the D’Elia Family started listening to Christmas music! Indeed, our selection of Christmas music grew over the years to the point that when we cleaned out our 100 CD changer, close to half the CDs were of Christmas music. Now we’re all digital, with music stored on the Amazon Cloud, but Christmas music still makes up a large percentage of it!
Our Ocean City house became ours at the end of January 2005, and when the next Christmas rolled around the decision was easy…we were going to decorate two houses! That first year we got a table top tree and bought ornaments, and house decorations on the cheap from Big Lots. It wasn’t as grand or beautiful as we did on Long Island, but we even had a small Manger we’d gotten at Big Lots, and lots of outdoor decorations.
Over the years, more and more items were added to both our Mineola house and to the Ocean City house. A year ago, on November 9th, we sold the Mineola house, and made Ocean City our permanent residence. That meant we now had to meld two Christmases into one. Think that wasn’t a hard job? Well, the fact that we had to make 3 trips with a fully loaded SUV to transport our Long Island Christmas decorations, to the shore, and the fact that our Christmas Decorations then took up fully half of our rented store room, may give you an idea about the scope of the job! Last year, the consolidation started, and it’s continued this Christmas too!
First things first…the Christmas Tree!
From our first 1979 Christmas, a live tree was the only way to go for the D’Elia Family. We did the “cut your own” version, but the kids got kind of tired of that after a couple of years, and after one year of doing it ourselves, Susie and I tired of it too, so it was a yearly trip to Hicks to pick out a tree! That lasted till we started going to Ocean City and realized when we got home the beginning of January, the tree was severely dead, and we’d missed a lot of it’s life. The next year the first artificial tree made it’s debut in the D’Elia’s living room!
As I said, for our first Christmas in Ocean City (2005), we bought a 4 foot tree at one of the craft stores, and put it by the front door, on top of our porch table, and we decorated it with ornaments we’d purchased at the Big Lots in Somers Point. We continued for a number of Christmases in Ocean City with that table top tree and the our Big Lots ornaments. In 2012 we bought a new artificial tree for Long Island. It was our 2nd “fake” tree, was much more lifelike and sophisticated, prewired with lights, and all the set up we had to do was pop the three sections together and it was done and wired! Of course, the next Christmas we decided to get a thinner version of that same tree for Ocean City. When our last Christmas on Long Island was over in 2016, we decided to take our bigger tree to Ocean City, move some furniture in the living room for the holidays, put the big tree in a new location, and enjoy more room for presents under it! It was worth it.
Mineola Ocean City
Of course, the Mineola Manger won out over the Big Lots version. The Manger scene that graces our Ocean City home now, has been with us since that first Christmas in Port Washington 39 years ago. Bought from a long defunct Long Island department store, (A & S), with additional pieces purchased at a 5 & 10 on Plandome Road in Manhasset, it moved from a table near the front door in Mineola, to the top of a book shelf in our living room in Ocean City!
Mineola Ocean City
For a number of years, Susie put up a huge Department 56 Snow Village display in our Dining Room on Long Island, but furniture and styles changed, and the Snow Village went bye-bye. Susie has always loved Snowmen (and women), and with a desire to go in a new direction, she did a Snowman display on the top of our entertainment center on Long Island, with a smaller version in Ocean City. Of course, now her big production has moved to our corner cabinet in the living room, that transforms from a bar to a winter wonderland during the Christmas Season.
Mineola Ocean City
And that’s but a small part of the Christmas Displays at our home during the holidays. Over the past couple of years, we have weeded through lots and lots of ornaments, bows, house decorations, Hallmark animated displays, and hundreds of Christmas items, big and small, cheap and expensive. It hasn’t been easy. We know that when we unloaded our storage room into our garage this year (2 trips with the CRV fully loaded), we realized we still have too much Christmas “stuff,” and perhaps this year, we will be able to part with some items. But there are regrets….like the two snow globes we had, one from Susie’s Mom and one from my Mom. These globes graced our living room in Mineola for many years, but sadly when we decorated in Ocean City last year, they were nowhere to be found. Did we make a conscious decision after Christmas 2016 to let them go, or did we put them in the wrong box, and it got left behind? We’ll just never know, but every Christmas, we will think about them, and wonder what happened to them.
There you have the story of our Christmas dilemma and how we tried to solve it. Let’s just say, it’s a work in progress!
As we share our Christmas this year with Family and Friends, near and far, just one last thought. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!