December 17, 2010 12:00 AM

Christmas Trees And Manger Scenes

For me, holiday decorating is like a yearly trip down memory lane. Two little red carved birds on a thread remind me of my early "Europe through the gutter" days, when I dropped into the tren dy Marimekko shop in Helsinki and bought the only thing I could afford. I hate tourist traps, but I couldn't resist the delightful German-style painted wax and delicately carved ornaments from the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas shop in Rothenburg. And the green and red skates with paper-clip blades summon up memories of my grandmother, who hand-knit them 20 years ago before her last Christmas.

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