Thursday, December 09, 2010

A Simpler Sort of Christmas

It’s beginning to look like Christmas here!  Eric set up the tree and strung the lights and I decorated yesterday morning in preparation for a visit from my friend Mary Lynn who used to live here in Medina, but moved to Dayton.  Only now she’s not coming, thanks to weather and a husband with flu, so I feel  like we’re all dressed up with nowhere to go. I also can’t find the angel tree topper which is crazy, as everything is stored in the same basement closet.  Either she flew the coop, or, as my Irish grandfather used to say, “I’m blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other.”  Oh well. I’ll have Eric put a big bow up there and it’ll be fine.

I woke up this morning feeling a bit down, as the weather has killed sales at the antiques mall (I’m holding to that theory) and online sales, which were fairly robust in November and the first week of December, seem to have slacked off too. I know why though. As I think I told you, we lost our picker who every fall brought me 28 boxes of brand new, high quality books which for years have kept  the jingle bells ringing merrily. Pickers never tell you where anything comes from, so it’s not like I could go fetch them myself. All I know is, he’s out of the book game and his loss is body-slamming the bottom line this month. Yet having said that, I also feel very grateful for the wonderful customers who make up for it. This year two of them, one from Massachusetts and one from Cornwall,  sent us the very same gift and it’s so delightful  I have to tell you about it.

Even though we’re well into December, Jacquie Lawson’s online  Advent calendar is worth buying, especially if you have children or grandchildren (but you don’t need any, as it’s for grown-up kids too). After I got mine I bought one for my grandson who’s almost seven. Last night he told me on the phone, “Gran, you need to look at your calendar in the morning and in the night because in the morning its morning on it and at night it’s night on it. And the fifth and the eighth are the best days so far.  But you’ll like the eighth better.” This morning I got caught up on both the two days I’d missed and the change of lighting which I’d not even realized existed and he was right – the eighth’s a gift for booksellers! I also like the day with the jazz band, though I forget which one that is. What’s so cool about this calendar is you could start  it on Christmas  and just keep going through the days all at once, enchanted by the village and its simple pleasures and awed by the computer pyrotechnics. I’m telling you – there’s serious html  going on there. Check it out at

If the snow stops in Cleveland (it’s worse there than here now) we’re playing hooky tomorrow for the planned trip to Cleveland Heights for Christmas shopping. I resolved this year to buy virtually nothing from big box stores and instead support only independent sellers, whether online or in the real world. I did buy some toys at Target for the little people because the big companies pretty much have you held captive when it comes to brand name toys, but that’s it. No more big stores for me. In Medina you would be hard pressed to follow this plan, but Cleveland Heights is the Mecca for funky, fun, unique stores and galleries. Plus, they have great restaurants too. My kids roll their eyes at my aversion to big stores and probably think it’s an eccentric old-ladyism, but I really don’t think it is. I think it’s about being a small business owner trying to support other small business owners. I’d be this way if I was twenty-five. I WAS this way when I was twenty-five. Well, not about this issue, but I’ve had so many causes and issues over the years if I put them in Santa Claus’s sack he’d be in traction in five seconds flat.

So on that note I’m off to fulfill an obligation. I promised the editor of the NOBS newsletter (Northern Ohio Bibliophilic Society) that I would write an article for him. The deadline is the 14th and I haven’t even started, but I think I'll make it, as I’m planning to modify a previous blog by dressing it up in more formal duds. As long as nobody blows the whistle (I'm counting on you, Andrea!), it should be simple.

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