Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Signs of Christmas linger in Minnesota into March March 28, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,


ACROSS THE STREET, on my neighbor’s front door, a faded Christmas wreath hangs. Needles dried and dropping. Decorative ribbon faded. In my own side yard, our dried Christmas tree, once buried under snow, lies atop a flowerbed.


Christmas greetings on an outbuilding on a farm site just west of Mankato along U.S. Highway 14 photographed on Saturday.


It’s not uncommon here in Minnesota to see outdoor Christmas decorations up well into spring. Whatever the reason. I suppose the cold and snow hinder removal, especially this winter.


In a New Ulm yard, a sign on a tire swing says, “Santa stop here.” Christmas lights also wrap an entry column on the left. Photographed on Saturday, March 23.


Or, after awhile, we simply don’t notice whatever we pass by on a daily basis. That explains, for example, why cardboard covers a section of wall in my dining room. We removed a brick chimney about 10 years ago with plans to add a mini pantry. Such is the stuff of plans detoured by finances. Now I don’t think about that plan much anymore, unless a first-time visitor stops by and I find myself explaining why we have a cardboard wall. But I digress.


At the site of Farm Fest and the Gilfillan Estate, the Redwood County Historical Society wishes motorists a Happy New Year.


Back to that holiday décor. I photographed several examples of Christmas greetings still in place while traveling back to my native southwestern Minnesota this past Saturday. Hopefully soon spring and/or Easter themed décor replaces signs of Christmas.



At least one New Ulm business, A to Zinnias Florals & Gifts, recognizes the seasonal change to spring by offering 25 percent off on all bunnies. That would be home decorating bunnies. Not real.


Rudolph in a farmyard along Brown County Road 29 west of New Ulm about half way to Morgan.


TELL ME: Is it common in your area for seasonal Christmas decorations to stay up too long? Or what defines “too long?”

© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Bargain vintage Thanksgiving candles November 20, 2010



Vintage Thanksgiving candles displayed in my home.


LOOK AT THESE SWEET vintage candles I purchased in a Redwood Falls thrift store in August.

Now, if I was running this business, I may have waited to sell these holiday candles closer to Thanksgiving. I also may have priced them higher than 50 cents each.

But the shop owner neither waited nor over-priced these candles. I was fortunate enough to find and snap up the bargain collectibles.

My daughters think the candles are ugly and weird. I don’t share their opinion.

I find these kitschy candles festive. They make me smile. And I bet when I host Thanksgiving dinner, more than one guest will comment on the candles and ask where I got them.

In case you’re wondering, I will not put fire to the never-been-burned wicks. These candles are purely for decoration and for the enjoyment of those who appreciate ugly, weird, kitschy, festive candles.



An up-close look at those two collectible Thanksgiving candles.


© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling