Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Yes, Virginia ...

I have a feeling the discussion regarding Santa is going to arise in the next year, maybe two, with our son. He's 8 years old, and asked - point blank - about Santa just about a month ago. It was at the dinner table, and his 5-year old sister was sitting with us, so we gave the usual response (and I distinctly remember looking down at my plate, rather than into his eyes, as I answered). He didn't bring it up again. His request from Santa this year was bigger than usual ... not one that Santa was prepared to deliver on. And, despite our best efforts ... a couple missteps on his parents' part may have him wondering again, I fear ... though, he has said nothing of the sort.

As I was thinking about how to handle that discussion when it finally comes up, I couldn't help but remember the classic book, "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus".

I had never even heard of it until two years ago, when my mother-in-law asked if I'd ever read it. On one of her trips here, she brought me her copy ... purchased in 1972. A beautiful, well-preserved book ... with a timeless message. A couple weeks later, a brand new copy arrived in the mail for me. A gift from my mother-in-law.

I don't plan to read it to my kids just yet ... maybe not even next year. Time will tell. But, I think this is the one I'll pull out when they finally look me in the eyes and asked me the question, "Mom ... is Santa real?"

"Yes, Virginia..." centers around a little girl (Virginia ... obviously), who asks that question. The older printing of the book provides a bit more back story than the new printing, explaining that Virginia's dad, upon hearing the question, tells his daughter to ask The New York Sun ... because what they say is always true. So ... she writes to the editor of the New York Sun.

The treasured, timeless response by Mr. Francis Pharcellus Church, in the year 1897, was eventually turned into book form. And, thank goodness for that ... it is a classic and is as wonderfully relevant today as I'm sure it was back then.

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Costco ...

Thank you for the Gingerbread House you sold this year.

First, it was a bargain ... maybe $10, and well worth every penny.
Especially considering it came with the following glorious words printed on the box: "Pre-Built".

That would be the second wonderful thing ... there was no constructing required, save for a small tree.
It was all about the frosting and decorations ... fun, fun, fun.
It even came with a snowman and a gingerbread man. So cute.

And, here's the third and most wonderful thing of all about your gingerbread house ... it's indestructible.

We can certify this.

As we moved into position to snap a quick picture of the finished product - our children beaming with pride at the creation they had labored over for an hour - my son, who was holding the glass cake platter that now displayed the gingerbread house, slipped right off his chair.

In a split second, he was flat on the floor.

Somehow, he saved the glass cake platter, his arm held high over his head with the platter firmly in his grip.

But, the gingerbread house had crashed to the floor.

Amazingly ... the side peak of the roof was the only spot that sustained damage.
Minor, considering the 'earthquake' that had just occurred.

So, thank you ... for selling a product that not only brought joy to the children who decorated it (and the parents who didn't have to construct it), but held together through a fall that could have destroyed an hour's worth of careful decorating within a matter of seconds!

Please, please ... sell it again next year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Al's ...

(click on picture to view larger)

Winter, spring, summer, fall ... there is a place I gravitate to no matter the season ... Al's Garden Center.

For Christmas, this phenomenal garden center is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with freshly-cut Christmas trees, a stunning variety of poinsettias, gorgeous holiday decor, and winter treats ... like their exclusive Ice apples ... Fuji applies that have been left on the tree until just after the first frost. To bite into one is pure heaven ... crisp and sweet.

Do you have a favorite place that you love to visit, no matter the season?