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North Salem Highlights the Holidays

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - Some senior citizens around town remember the days when Christmas lights and decorations were scarce. It was during World War II and most ornaments came from Europe at that time, especially Germany and Czechoslovakia. 

“My grandmother had some gorgeous ones she’d brought to this country in 1910,” said North Salem resident, Jeanne Pitta, 78. “But during World War II new decorations were scarce. Even wrapping paper was scarce. We saved it and ironed it to use again. And you couldn’t get ribbon. People still bought trees but they used whatever ornaments they had. We were supposed to conserve electricity ‘for the war effort.' And of course there was an official ‘blackout’ after dark. You had to hide your lights."

Pitta said things changed when the war ended.

“After the war, it was as if the world lit up. Everybody wanted to celebrate," she said. "People started hanging lights along the rooflines. And after that, along came plastics and more and more lawn ornaments.”

Outdoor holiday decorations continue to be a neighborhood delight. Watch the video for some local examples in North Salem, from Salem Chase to Peach Lake and everything in between.

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