Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-28-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY 2018 NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2018 | THE VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER dotted with wooden items made by his late father, among them a weight- ed napkin holder and a clothespin recipe clip. One of his most treasured pieces from his father is one that comes out during his favorite time of year: a handmade wooden Christmas sleigh complete with Santa and rein- deer. His wife, Mary Lu DiMase, said she told Richard this year he wasn't allowed to put the weathered and worn 60-year-old decoration in the yard unless he gave it some love. "I told him he couldn't put them back up until he took care of them," she said of Santa and his reindeer. In Richard's basement, he's disas- sembled the pieces of the reindeer and is carefully repainting them to be ready for another year of holiday cheer. Santa and his sleigh will also get a fresh paint job, restoring them to look much like they did when Joseph first made three sets for each of his children in the mid-1950s. "I'm very proud of what my dad did," Richard says, adding that he'll never forget how his orphaned immi- grant father made something of him- self, helped raise a family of his own, and passed on a love of meaningful Christmas tradition to his children and grandchildren. He remembers his father getting the original plans for the sleigh sets out of The Providence Journal, using his old band saw to cut the pieces. Richard is now repainting those same pieces, using a board on tiny sawhorses in his basement as his table, surrounded by a room full of Christmas items waiting to re-emerge for the season. A self-described "Christmas nut," DiMase once took home the town prize for best decorations in Lincoln, when such contests were still a thing, and for years he helped cre- ate and distribute the town's annual Christmas ornament. He and his wife have an extensive collection of Dept. 56 Christmas village pieces, which help create an impressive display of Christmas decorations at his home. "They know we love Christmas," says DiMase. Richard said his children and grandchildren haven't adopted quite the same kind of passion for Christmas, but they do love coming over to see the sights each holiday season. Mary Lu joked that her husband is so crazed about Christmas, even she sometimes needs to take a break from him during decorating time. The longtime Lincoln resident said his love of the Christmas season was deeply influenced by his father. He remembers the Christmas of 1947, at 5 years old, creating a shadow box nativity scene for the porch, one of many handmade decorations the family would put up. Complementing the homemade items, there were old-time Christmas lights with the Popeye shades. In the 1950s, he remembers his father building the sets of rein- deer and sleigh, each big enough for a grown man to sit in. Those would become part of the family's Christmas routine from then on. DiMase will sometimes put out one reindeer, sometimes all five. This year, he intends to put out as many as he can get restored in time for the season, including Rudolph with a fresh coat of red on his nose. It's easy enough to go to a big box store to buy the latest plastic lawn decorations, says DiMase, but what would then happen to that connec- tion to the past? Where would the reminders of treasured memories go? DiMase still dearly misses his father, who died in 1984, but he's thankful that the Christmas decora- tions Joseph made remind him of the man his dad was and the times they had. SLEIGH From Page 5 Simply Elegant 10 Cedar Swamp Road Smithfield 401-231-4310 We're bursting with Holiday Decor Holiday Wreaths Seasonal Arrangements Order Early • Worldwide Delivery We're here to help you this holiday season! ~ Pointsettias Christmas Gifts ~ ~ fresh flowers ~ L INCOLN L INCOLN L INCOLN G ARDENS G ARDENS G ARDENS or order online 1688 LOUISQUISSET PIKE LINCOLN, RI (401) 722-2722 772 Dexter Street, Central Falls, RI • 401.724.6674 • Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Wednesday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dustless Refinishing available 99 % DUST FREE % Interest 0 With regular payments financing available M ASSUD & SONS FLOOR COVERING, INC. Family Owned & Operated for 46 Years Wholesale Warehouse Open to the Public Wholesale Warehouse Open to the Public 3 ROOM SPECIAL Berber Carpet or Plush Carpet $ 749 00 Based on 40 sq. yds. plus tax Expires 12/31/2018 INSTALLED WITH PAD! Solid Hardwood Floors $ 4 39 Sq. Ft. / Cash & Carry All Colors 2 1/4" Wide Luxury Vinyl Plank $ 1 69 Sq. Ft. / Cash & Carry Waterproof Floors, Kid Proof, Pet Proof Ceramic and Vinyl Floors Hundreds of colors & styles available Area Rugs 9'x12' $ 139 99 SALE PRICE Oriental Rugs 5'x8' $ 139 99 SALE PRICE All Oriental Runners $ 10 99 SALE PRICE Sale Ends 12/31/2018 Freight charges apply to all advertised products.

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