My Favorite Decoration


(Sunday Paper, Volume III, Issue 46)

It was mid-to-late October I think - maybe earlier - and I was in The Paper Store.

I really like The Paper Store - I’m not sure these are everywhere, but it’s essentially a Hallmark Store, for those of you who remember those. (I think those might have gone out of business.)

It’s a good time-killer store for me and the kids, if I need a time-killer - it has books, toys, cards…fun things to look at.

And this particular visit, there was a special event - it was a Christmas ornament artist.

I was intrigued…because there were people lined up to meet her, hoping to get her to sign the ornaments she had designed, I think.

And I wondered how people could become such a fan of a Christmas ornament designer….and then I realized I knew exactly how something like that could happen.


The interesting thing about this Paper Store encounter was they opened up the Christmas ornament section special for the event.

Because I went back the next weekend (I’m telling you, I spend a lot of time walking through The Paper Store) and the ornaments were sealed off, wrapped under a curtain or something, until their ‘grand opening’ the following weekend.

Which I made a mental note about, because I had to go back and get my favorite ornament - the one I get each year….the one I would definitely stand in line to get if I had to.

It’s the ‘Family Picture’ ornament, which we’ve had every year since 2006 (except, for some strange reason, 2008) and has become my favorite decoration in our house every Christmas season.

I’ve written about it before, but it’s just one of my favorite things about this time of year.

This year I made a special pre-Christmas lighting trip into the garage to fish them out because I wanted to put them up…and I’ve toyed with the idea of leaving them up all year round, I love them so much. (But then I think maybe they wouldn’t feel so special if they were up for the entire year.)

You get the idea - each year we (I) pick out a nice family picture and then when the fall rolls around (always earlier than I should buy a Christmas ornament but I do it nonetheless) we (I) buy the Hallmark ‘family’ ornament. (Except this year, when we bought a generic 2018 ornament that was much nicer than the ‘family’ one. [Sorry, designer of this year’s ‘family’ Hallmark ornament. I would not stand in a line to meet you.])

So now we have twelve ornaments, and they’re kind of outgrowing the space where we (I) put them each year. I’ve been trying to think of solutions - do I hang them on the wall? Is there a better place that I’m not thinking of? But what I like about the space they’re in now is how visible they are…I just love seeing them.

It makes me happy, just like this time of year makes me happy.


*Got one of the two checks I was expecting this week. (The smaller one, unfortunately.) They’re getting to the point where I can’t even enjoy their arrival anymore because I need to just turn around and pay something off. Anyway, the good news is there’s more where that came from…I keep thinking about how a couple of years ago the work was running dry and now that’s not happening - there’s plenty of work on the horizon. (Knock wood.)


*Thanksgiving is finally here, and with it, my Thanksgiving night at The Comedy Studio on Thursday. I’ve been looking forward to that one for a while. Last week was relatively quiet…kind of ate it at an open mic mid-week, but that’s OK. Working out some new stuff. From the ‘everything happens for a reason’ department: Was all set to do something on Thursday night but Wednesday night was an awful night of sleep, and I was just exhausted Thursday. So I stayed home…driving the girls to and from dance class…and that second drive home from dance was dicey in the snowy weather…and it only got worse as the night went on. So it would not have been a great time driving home after comedy Thursday. I’m glad I didn't go out.

Anyway, let me know if I’ll see you this Thursday - I think Variety, the bar at the Studio, will be open at 6pm….we can grab a drink before or after the show. Ticket info is at the Comedy Shows link at the top of the page.

What I’ve Been Enjoying

*I have been cutting down on my podcasts lately and trying to listen to more music - and I’ve been doing that mostly on the radio. I’m a fan of 92.5 here in the Boston area, which bills itself as independent radio, so it plays some outside-the-box music, for this area anyway. (I like it because it makes me sound like an informed music listener when I talk to my brother about music…sometimes i’ll throw out an artist and he’s impressed that I know who they are.) Anyway, there seems to be a glut right now of really catchy music that I am loving and can’t get out of my head. And I was thinking maybe this week I’ll share some of those songs on the Facebook page and get them stuck in your head too in this, the last week of me listening to regular music before I tune it over to the Christmas music station for pretty much the rest of the calendar year.


*One more funny thing about my trip to The Paper Store - when I bought the ornament the woman gave me a punch card. If I bought ten ornaments I’d get the 11th free. I asked if that was over the years or for this Christmas season, and she told me it was for this season. I laughed and went to hand her the card back but she looked almost offended so I kept the card. “You never know, right?” I said. I think I saved face. (But I know. There is no way I’m buying ten Christmas ornaments in the next month.)

*It’s been quite a week on the leaf front here in Framingham. Here’s where we were at a week ago - and I don’t know if you’re going to believe what’s happened since then. I hope you’re sitting down: Every store in the city ran out of leaf bags. Now, I don’t necessarily trust Facebook posts, but someone posted on one of the city pages that there was only one store that had them…and then someone else said that store was then sold out. So the next couple of days I made trips to Lowe’s and The Home Depot - nothing. The Facebook posts were right. And the stores didn’t know when more bags were coming in. I even went to the nearest Home Depot in another town…they didn’t have any. Finally, on Thursday, I found the bags at Lowe’s…and then the snow came down and covered all of the leaves. They’re still covered. I might miss this week’s leaf collection…but at least I have bags to load up for the last week of the leaf collection. Pretty crazy, right?

*Good news, though - that snowstorm, which brought a lot more snow than I was expecting (and it was heavy) - really knocked a lot of leaves down from the big tree. It is far ahead of its yearly pace as far as losing leaves.

*It occurs to me that it could be that every year there’s a bag shortage and the stores run out…but usually I’ve stocked up enough bags that I wouldn’t even know. It’s rare that I’m buying bags in the midst of the leaf collections. This year, for some reason, I did not have enough.

*Thanks to everyone who submitted questions for the year-end Q and A post. I don’t think I need to solicit anymore, but I’m always happy to answer questions if you have something nagging at you that only I can answer.

*This Thanksgiving week I’m thankful for your readership and support. You can follow me on Twitter here, Like the Facebook page here. Have a great holiday!