FREWSBURG - Nancy Nelson of Frewsburg has been referred to by some as ''Mrs. Christmas,'' and a visit to her home confirms that she truly gets into all holidays, but especially Christmas. This time of year her windows are adorned with red bows on the outside and all sorts of decorations on the inside. She even puts Christmas curtains in the windows, Christmas sheets on the beds and hangs a clock that plays Christmas carols on the wall.
''I decorate for every holiday, and the day after that holiday I decorate for the next,'' she said. ''I have candles in the windows year-round, except for Christmas, with the appropriate holiday colors. I have enough Christmas dishes that I pull out my regular dishes and replace them with the Christmas dishes.''
Mrs. Nelson starts decorating her home for Christmas during Thanksgiving weekend. Most of her upright chairs are adorned with Santa hats. Christmas throw pillows are placed throughout the house. She even uses a Christmas tree spatula in her kitchen.
Frewsburg resident Nancy Nelson gets her home decked out for every holiday, and Christmas is no exception. Among the holiday accoutrements are Christmas recipes, many of which have been passed down through generations.
Photo by Beverly Kehe-Rowland
''I pretty much have clothes for every holiday and season of the year,'' she said.
Giving an Advent calendar to each of her younger children, her grandchildren and ''any other child that happens to be in my life'' has become one of her traditions. Another tradition is to have an ornament with a picture of each child living in her home on the tree. She reflects back on some of the foster children that have passed through her doors over the years. Other decorations on her tree are bell-shaped ornaments that a childhood friend makes and sends from Alabama each year. Each ornament is hand-painted with a picture of the family member with his or her name.
She and her family will be attending Christmas Eve services at Frewsburg Alliance church this year, something she does not do the years she has babies with their early bedtimes.
Her daughter and family come to dinner on Christmas Day, along with a few friends, her sister-in-law and brother-in-law and her goddaughter. Potato chips and dip and cheese and crackers will be served before a dinner of ham, Swedish meatballs and korv, along with baked beans, mashed potatoes and broccoli salad. She says broccoli salad is requested at all family gatherings.
''I usually overdo it. I make a large variety,'' she says, referring to her holiday meals.
Bargain shopping is listed as one of her hobbies. ''I love getting something good at a good price,'' she said. When she says ''good price'' she means good price, saying that she never buys anything at the Salvation Army or Goodwill unless the price is reduced.
''If I won a million dollars I'd probably still do that,'' she said.
On the other hand, when she has a yard sale she doesn't price items, but leaves a container out for donations.
She is in the process of raising the second phase of her family. The foster mother has four grown children and three grandchildren. A few years ago she decided to adopt one of the babies she was caring for and soon found herself doing it twice more. She has cared for more than 20 foster babies in her home. She is the widow of Larry Nelson, who passed away just a few months before the couple would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. The family is rounded out with three cats.
''My aunt Dorothy Hitchner gave the baked beans recipe to me as it was given to her by Grandma in 1943,'' she said.
The spritz recipe was given to her by her late mother-in-law, Elsie Nelson, and the Swedish meatballs recipe was her mother, Hazel Derry's, recipe.