I know that Christmas is just days away, but I can't get my head around the sun, flip flops, 80 degree temperature and the season of a winter wonderland, snow,and Santa Claus. It doesn't seem natural. I don't and never have
celebrated Christmas, but I loved the decorations, going to down town Chicago to see the festive windows,maybe even snow and lunch at Marshall Field's Walnut Room with its huge Christmas tree. This was a tradition with our kids. We had a Marshall Field's in
Evanston, but going down town was so much more fun. In those days , you could drive down State Street , very slowly, and see the windows and the lights. How simple life was then. Our next door neighbor made Swedish pancakes, with lingonberry jam and whipped
cream and invited the whole neighborhood to come over. We lived on a street with mixed housing and at the end of our block was an apartment house. We were friends with a family who lived there, They had no fireplace and their daughter was concerned that Santa
wouldn't know how to get into her apartment. We helped out by letting her hang a stocking on our fireplace. Santa found her. My parents let me hang one of my Daddy's socks on a standing floor lamp. I got
an orange , and a candy bar called "Gold Brick". That must have been a huge concession, considering that I was raised in a religious Jewish home. I think that was just another way that my mother wanted so to be American. I think that I was 9 or 10 before she
became a citizen. She finally made it.