You all might take this as a cautionary tale, but Anne Calhoun is another of my writing friends who I stalked after reading her books and
forced coaxed into being nice to me. And look, she wrote this lovely story below, too. It reminds me of her novella, Breath on Embers, which is the one that made me fall in love with her. Christmas window displays figure heavily in that story, also, in an equally heart-wrenching way.
I’m going to burst your bubble right now. There’s nothing in this blog about the following:
- The number six
- Geese of any sort (Silly, fat, golden, the kind herded in fairy tales, etc)
- Laying of eggs or geese or… the other kind that’s probably still only featured in porn and hasn’t made its way into erotic romance. Yet.
It’s just a Christmas blog, okay? Bear with me. I’m giving stuff away.
Last night I took my son to the Midtown Crossing shopping district to look at their inaugural display of Christmas windows. The idea was that the windows would be similar to the more famous ones at luxury department stores in big cities, but while Omaha has many, many fine features, luxury department stores aren’t thick on the ground here. So, in a twist that’s really quite characteristic of a city with a strong focus on community engagement, the windows represented 21 of Omaha’s creative non-profits. The display is called Miracle on Farnam, and runs along Farnam Street’s shopping and dining district. Just to make things interesting, you can vote for your favorite window. The winner gets a $3000 donation.
The competition got my son solidly behind in this outing. Bundled up in hats, gloves, and warm boots, we looked at all the windows. Using our open-minded, reflective communicator learner profiles, we discussed each window and pronounced some “a good example of risk-taking” while others were much more engaging, with a clear message of the organization’s creative efforts.
We spent rather a lot of time making funny faces in the cameras placed in one window, strategically placed to get a clear shot right up my son’s nostrils (always amusing to a nine-year-old boy). We took off our critic hats and put on our hot dog eating hats for dinner, then retraced our steps, narrowing the field to two choices. Over dark chocolate peppermint ice cream, we settled the matter of which window got our vote in the most fair manner possible: we threw for it. I lost, but really, we both won.
This is the first time for this particular holiday outing, but it won’t be the last. During the holidays I get nostalgic for the old standbys: making my grandmother’s shortbread, driving around to look at Christmas lights, putting up the tree. I also like finding new traditions, blending a bit of our pre-kid history in Manhattan and San Francisco with our settled suburban life.
Do you have any new traditions, something you’ve blended as a family has come together, or something you’ve happened upon that’s just new to you? Comment for a chance to win books and some Ghiradelli chocolate!