December 23, 2010

An Ornament of Friendship

A few months ago, I met Christopher Radko. I've learned a lot about him through our conversations, but also through his crisp descriptions and observations he writes about in the Huffington Post. I don't think he realizes I share a similar opinion of snow which you'll see below and knows exactly what he's talking about as I grew up on a farm. When asked to help me out with this Christmas Eve/Day blog entry I think Christopher feared all I wanted to talk about was Christmas ornaments (he sold the company that bears his name in 2005). I assured him that there was a lot more to talk about during the winter holiday season ... he agreed to help.

Q: In your Huffington Post articles you have this great description of fall that I really enjoyed reading. What do you love about winter?

For winter, I love the going within time... Time to recharge my batteries and prepare for the new year's cycle of spring... The shorter days give me time at home to catch up on projects, repairs, renovations and such, and also to cozy up to a good book with a glass of red wine...
[note, click here to check out Christopher's article at the Huffington Post's website]

Q: Does your border collie like winter?

Kyla, my ace border collie, who came to me as a thank you from the NYC FireDepartment after I had created a commemorative ornament for them after 911, loves all seasons. She loves the snow and digging in snow drifts to try to find the frisbee I just tossed... I love snow too, for the quiet it brings... but neither of us like shoveling...

Q: What is your favorite holiday tradition growing up?

My favorite tradition has to do with incorporating traditions from other cultures and from my ancestors into the basic American ones.. so 7 courses of fish on Christmas Eve, poppy seed and barley stew on Christmas Day, carols in French, Polish, and German... things like that, along side Rudolph and Frosty...

Traditional, seven-fish-course Christmas Eve fish dinner
La Vigilia di Natale, or Vigil of the Holy Night, when only fish and no meat is consumed.

Poppy seed and barley stew.

Q: When entertaining for the holidays, what do you do to make the time special?

For any holiday entertaining, I think a welcoming enthusiasm is key. Good drinks help, so do great decorations and food, but if your heart is not in it, it's just not as much fun.

To all my readers of Design Guy University™, thank you for a wonderful 2010. I'm off to a warmer climate for a few weeks but will return by visiting Chicago in mid-January meeting a friend from Toronto and some fellow designers in the windy city. I'll also preparing for a new set of my Design Guy University classes in the Spring and Summer in other U.S. cities (more later). I already know 2011 will be fantastic.

Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, and to all a Happy New Year!