Christmas Jewels

Two blocks down and one block over from my home is the Beauty Chalet, an old fashioned beauty parlor with two wash, cut and curl stations and four chairs with attached bonnet dryers. For years, my mother-in-law had a weekly appointment at the parlor, and I was her transportation.

As her escort, I’d usually just take her into the salon, leave and return an hour or so later. Except in December, when I would stay through her appointment and after, because that’s when Ellen Donaldson and Judy Krasovec, the owners, put up the jewelry tree, a wall hanging made entirely of costume jewelry donated by their customers.
The first time I saw the tree, I asked Judy about its history. Her eyes shimmered with tears as she recalled the women whose jewelry made up the tree and how all of them were no longer here to enjoy it.
To see the tree in person is mesmerizing. Tiny colored lights create prismatic reflections in Lucy Caffaro’s Austrian crystal earrings, dazzling the Eisenberg earrings donated by Mary and Dorothy Dunlap, and illuminating the jewelry of Leotus Seybold, Nona Miller, Erline Darris and Maurine Miller.

My mother-in-law died two years ago, but come December, I still walk down to the Beauty Chalet to experience this truly beautiful display and tribute.

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