Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Minimal or Martha for Christmas Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Minimal or Martha for Christmas Season

Article excerpt

ON YOUR MARK. Get set. Go!

They're off and running, those people who are not Martha Stewart and never will be Martha Stewart and don't even want to be Martha Stewart but this time of year suddenly turn into something frighteningly like Martha Stewart.

To wit: My friend Linda decorates seven Christmas trees to set about her lovely home. She makes two big wreaths for her two big front doors. (She has five big blisters from the glue gun even as you read this.)

Linda hangs handcrafted stockings over the fireplace, she places her collection of assorted snowmen and women on the mantel and she sets up a ceramic village of little lighted houses.

Evergreen garlands are strung everywhere garlands possibly can be strung. Fragrant candles flicker in every room. Christmas music plays on the compact disc player.

All this, and that's if you just happen to drop by this time of year. There isn't space here to describe what she does if she invites you over.

My friend Judy invites people over - about 120 of them. Each year before the party, she goes into her kitchen and prepares 25 or more appetizers, all different from those prepared for parties past.

Judy's lovely home is full of handmade Christmas decorations. She made many of them, back in her "I could make that" days.

For years, whenever Judy and I would go shopping and see some splendid Christmas wall hanging or tree skirt or mantel decoration, Judy would quickly size it up and say, "I could make that."

Then she would go home and make it.

Now, with a house full of handmade decorations, she sends out those 120 invitations and makes those 25 or more appetizers instead.

My friend Ken decorates his lovely home and invites 120 people over for an open house and prepares 25 or more appetizers, but he also makes his guests do some of the work.

If you show up at Ken's annual "Holiday Mega-Party," you must bring a gift for a needy child between the ages of newborn and 6. …

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