Magazine article Sunset

The Season for Memories

Magazine article Sunset

The Season for Memories

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

There's one Christmas ornament I'm anxious to find each year. Made by my daughter in the first grade (she's 22 now), it's a slightly misshapen six-pointed star constructed of popsicle sticks, decorated with blue and red sequins, and studded, inexplicably, with plastic shark's teeth. This childhood relic has survived every insult: our long-gone cat's repeated attacks; the year the top-heavy tree crashed to the floor in the middle of the night; our cross-country move three years ago.

This beautifully bedraggled holiday treasure has come to sum up for me our family life and traditions. I love its goofy and utterly personal character--and the memories it helps me hold of Christmases past, younger children, houses and neighbors left behind but beloved.

As we put this holiday issue of Sunset to bed, we are surrounded by mementos of our building in Menlo Park, California, which we are about to vacate for new headquarters in Oakland. Some of the things we're unearthing from closets and storerooms are as wondrously weird as my shark's-teeth star. Creative director Maili Holiman has mounted rotating displays of odd finds from the growing giveaway pile (why on Earth do we have a Mr. …

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