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Carrying on the tradition

December 12, 2013
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

Family heirlooms hold a special place in a person's heart, especially during the Christmas season. They often bring memories of days passed, as well as loved ones who made many memories together.

Paulette and R.J. Bordeau have a special Christmas decoration that is a staple for their family's holiday. It is a large star and it has become a beacon for those who live, or travel through, the village of Posen.

Paulette said the wooden star, which is about five feet across from point to point, was made by her uncle as a school assignment while in high school. She said it was a gift to her grandparents and then handed down to her parents. She said with the exception of a couple years the star always has been displayed proudly and been treasured by the family.

Article Photos

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz
Paulette and R.J. Bordeau pose in the center of a large star that was made by Paulette's uncle in 1950. The Christmas decoration has been a staple of the family and the village of Posen during the Christmas season for decades.

"My grandfather was crippled and he always had to have the star hung on a pole in the middle of the yard where he would be able to see it from in the house all the time," she said. "It also had to have blue lights on it. They are the old fashion lights with the big bulbs an that it still has blue lights on it today."

Bordeau said there has been very little cosmetic work done to the decoration and that it may have been painted once or twice over the years, but she wasn't sure. She said it currently is hanging on the front porch of their home on M-65 and visible to people coming and going to Posen. She said the star seems to mean a lot to the community. Her home is next door the St. Casimir's Catholic Church and on several occasions she has been complimented on the star at the church.

"I can't believe how many people have come up to me and told me they are glad the star is up and they love the star," Bordeau said. "I have people tell me after church that it isn't Christmas time until the star is up. It is a really neat thing."

As special as the star is, Bordeau said the memories it brings back to her when she sees it are dear to her. She said it reminds her of her childhood and of spending Christmas with her family.

"That star is Christmas to me. It has been there all my life and it is what I remember about Christmas at our house growing up," Bordeau said. "It reminds me of family, especially my mother, because I know how important it was to her."

She said the decoration is significant in another way to her and many others. She said it is a reminder of real meaning of Christmas. She said the star is the most used symbol referring to the birth of Christ and she intends to display the star for many years to come and hopes it remain in the family after she is gone. She said she is unsure who will get the star, but she hope they will display it with as much pride as her grandparents, parents and and now her have.

"My uncle has children, so it could go to them, though my daughter may want it," Bordeau said. "It either has to stay with the family or the house. It is a tradition and it needs to continue on."

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review ... at www.thealpenanews.com.

 
 

 

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