Monday, December 15, 2014

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Cloche (Charming Charlie)(check out Style Crone's monthly Hat Attack for more hat inspirations); Cotton turtleneck (Steinmart); Skirt (Jones New York); "No wire hangers. Ever." bangle (vintage); Watch (Michael Kors, Nordstrom); Ring (David Yurman, G. Thrapp Jewelers); Purse (Dooney & Bourke); Boots (Diba, Zappos.com)
What is it about holiday candy that makes it taste so much better than the stuff you can pick up any ol' day of the year? Take the Reese's Egg at Easter time: it is, without a doubt, my favorite (the peanut butter to chocolate ratio is far superior to that in an everyday Reese's cup). I realize there are now Reese's trees at Christmas, hearts at Valentines Day, and pumpkins at Halloween, but to me they will never be as special, or somehow quite as tasty, as the egg.
Coat (Dana Buchman, Kohls); Gloves (Ralph Lauren, TJ Maxx)
At Christmas time, and on Christmas Even in particular, the candy nearest and dearest to my heart is the dark chocolate covered cherry. These little drops of sweet, syrupy goodness were the candy of choice for the "Silver Fox" (that's my Grandpa). It's possible to find chocolate covered cherries at other times of the year; but much easier to score them in December, particularly the dark chocolate kind (milk vs. dark chocolate was a most critical distinction to a cherry connoisseur like the Silver Fox). 
With the Silver Fox and his chocolate covered cherry Christmas gift on Christmas Eve in the late 1970s. Apparently I've always had a thing for plaid....
And so, every single Christmas Eve from the time I started grade school 'til he passed away during my junior year in college, I would sit on the edge of his favorite easy chair and bestow upon him a single box of dark chocolate covered cherries, purchased with my own money. It was our own special holiday tradition, brought to mind with a mixture of joy and grief when I put this dark chocolate cherry hued outfit together and topped it with a vintage silver fox stole on the first snowy day of December.
The silver fox stole is warm and elegant, but it and the hat are easily removed for a slightly more casual but still polished indoor look.
I was fortunate to have my grandfather in my life for as long as I did, but he was still taken from us too soon in an electrical fire that engulfed the house he built with his own hands. I miss him very much, and never more so than on Christmas Eve. So every December, I make a point of buying a box of dark chocolate covered cherries in his honor, and eat them while decorating the tree with his final, unexpected holiday gift to me... 
I'll never know how those little tobacco tins survived the heat of the fire, and you can still see the soot stains on the top and sides, but the handmade ornaments within are in perfect condition.
You see, the fire that took his life also destroyed nearly every precious family heirloom within. But, somehow, in the midst of the charred rubble and ruins, we discovered three soot covered tobacco tins that had survived the flames (oh yes, the Silver Fox enjoyed a pipe at least as much as he enjoyed his cherries). Inside those tins, which my frugal and ever-resourceful Grandmother Dorothy had recycled as storage containers, was a collection of some of her finest, homemade, hand-beaded, ruched velvet Christmas ornaments. These ornaments, so delicate and elegant, had always been my favorite. My Mom gave them to me, still in their soot-stained metal vessels, on a Christmas Eve many years ago. I still store them the same way, and every year when I pull them out, I remember my favorite Christmas Eves with the Silver Fox and Dorothy, and try not to eat the entire box of cherries at one time... 
The large vintage lapel pin belonged to my Grandmother Dorothy, and was recently given to me by my Mom.I love it on this tweed coat.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!

You may also like (add silver fox link):
  

6 comments:

  1. Sweet outfit, sweet girl to remember your grandparents so faithfully in all that you do, Jody.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Crystal. They are such a part of the person I have become. I am just fortunate to have lived close enough to have developed a strong relationship with them, learn from them, and make memories with them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. As always your style is impeccable. I love this outfit and the memories you have of your grandfather and grandmother.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kist! I actually remembered when I posted it how much you like plaid :)

      Delete
  4. Very poignant and eloquent. And your outfit divine! Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!

    ReplyDelete