The Christmas season has always implied family, traditions and memories. I can recall the best two best gifts ever left under the tree: my Barbie light box and Barbie dream house - of course, two different years! Now those gifts from Santa are old and dusty and not that pertinent to my life today.

I barely remember my Grandma Sladky - except a snapshot memory of sitting with her in her blue-and-white bedroom on the shore of Rowley's Bay, Door County, WI. In this room was a white book case with three music boxes from Germany. My favorite was this adorable rotating wooden mushroom, with elves taking a break from the season's work while swinging in circles. Grandma would let me carefully wind and enjoy the music from this box.  Every year when it is time to trim the tree, light the candles and enjoy the advent calender, you can be sure that the first piece I display is Grandma's music box. Such a sweet memory decades later, which helps me keep in mind my past and the people from which I came.

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