Written by Cathy Stratton, my dear friend who spent most of her life in California:
If you know Emily, you know that she and I share the joy of a small business called Blue Moon Emporium. Emily became my friend after we met while working together at The Fire. Little did I now that this ‘woman of the world’ was really very in love with Northern Wisconsin, Appleton and CHRISTMAS!
I’ve been grousing around Appleton for the last four years talking and talking about my life back in California and how much better it was and how much cooler it was. Well, there are many things about Wisconsin that top California, but Christmas is the best. When I think of Christmas in California, I think commercialism and shopping and buying stuff. We used to have to turn on the air conditioner to get that Christmas feeling, some Christmas days were so depressing because there were Santa Ana winds and Fire warnings.
When I think of Christmas here, I think of driving far away to chop down a tree, trudging through the snow, having it fly off the roof of the car, and realizing its so big it almost doesn’t fit in our two story ceiling. (Much better than going to Home Depot and walking up and down the isles of trees with tons of other people.) I think of seeing my son and daughter so excited to watch snow fall for the first time. The first Christmas Parade I went to in Appleton was so exciting for me. I watched people bring their chairs down and set them up with a blanket or two all day from inside The Fire. The whole street was full of chairs and they sat untouched all day until families started claiming their spots. THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN in California. The chairs would be stolen, thrown, broken, and tossed aside for someone to get a better spot. I was in awe of the politeness and kindness of the people here. Not to mention Santa Claus! I think he is great, never seen a better Santa Claus.
I won’t bore you with more, but be grateful for what you have here in Northern Wisconsin, it’s pretty great!