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Monday, December 26, 2011

Enjoying Christmas......

December 26th.....it's all over. Weeks....if not months....of planning, shopping, decorating, wrapping, cleaning, baking, cooking....anticipating....over for another year. It's hard to believe....and, at least for me, harder to accept. I already gave my opinion of the "rushing" of the season....now I am going to give my opinion of the "rushing" of the end of the season. I think the next few days are the BEST part of Christmas. This is the time when we can sit down.....yes, actually SIT DOWN for a few minutes.... and enjoy all of our hard work. This is the time when you can enjoy those Christmas movies, specials and music that have only been the backround noise for all of the things you had to get done. This is the time when you can set aside an evening and drive around and enjoy all of the Christmas lights in the neighborhood. This is the time when you can sit and enjoy your Christmas tree and all of the decorations in your own home....and when you can enjoy the company of the people who matter to you. The pressure is OFF.....the work is done. But, for some reason, everyone is ready to take it all away?!?!? Give yourself a gift this year....and take some time to ENJOY Christmas.....and do it now!!! Before you know it....it will be time to do it all again.... I hope this Christmas was all you had hoped for....and continues to be until this time next week.....I think January 2nd is a good time to call it "over".....and that would give you a whole week to treat yourself.....Merry Christmas and ENJOY!!!   :):):)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Light Bulb Moments......

I have had a "light bulb" moment. Actually....I have had several, consecutive, light bulb moments. It happens. I have something that I am trying to figure out....sometimes it's about a menu....sometimes it's about merchandise.....sometimes it's about something else entirely....but this time the "light bulbs" were going off and on about me. A sort of self discovery. But, last night, the whole strand came on and I realized something. Let me explain.....the last month plus has been very, very busy at the shop....OK....that's not the light bulb. We have been extremely busy in the gift shop....which is AWESOME!!! I love to see people coming downstairs with bags....and smiles....excited about their purchases....some of which are gifts and some of which are treats for themselves. I am the one who decides which merchandise we are going to carry....so every time another bag comes down it's like you all are telling me that I made a good choice!! Then, I go upstairs and check on everything....and I feel.....I don't know....concerned??? (I am getting to the light bulbs....) My family says that I am a strange retailer....I don't seem to want my displays to "sell"....but I knew that wasn't it....because, obviously, I want the merchandise to sell.....we are in business, after all, and the only way for that to continue is for the merchandise to go to happy customers....I figured it was just a strange, unexplained part of my personality....I would deal with it. Then, last night, we went to do a little Christmas "shopping" (more like a little Christmas "break" for us....) and....we went to a very quaint town with a bunch of little shops....now, I realize that Christmas is only a few days away....but.....Christmas is a few days AWAY.....it's not here yet. We are all, still, full of the excitement and anticipation....all of our hard work and planning hasn't come to fruition yet. The shops all looked "picked over"....they all looked "after Christmas SAD".....and then the light bulbs came on....all of them!!! I am not sorry to see my displays sell....I am not, at all, saddened to see my merchandise go to happy homes....I am CONCERNED that you all continue to have a wonderful, magical, delightful experience when you come and visit us....especially before a Holiday even gets here!!!! I just want to make sure it looks good, and full, and enticing.....even after bags and bags have gone out the door!!! Light bulbs!!!!!! We move things around all the time....to make all of the empty spaces look good again.....we consolidate and rearrange...and "front" things....because I don't EVER want you to leave our store feeling disappointed. Light bulbs!!!! I am NOT a strange retailer....I am a dedicated retailer....(Whew.....that makes me feel better!!!) And....in these last few days before Christmas....I want you to know how much we appreciate all of you...and I want you to know that if you come in and see us.....you will not be disappointed....we are working, very hard, to keep the MAGIC alive and well!!! And, just to let you know, the Christmas lights and music will NOT stop until after the 1st of the year.....it is Christmas until that ball drops....at least at Sweet Memories!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The last class of 2011.....

The last gingerbread class of 2011......once again, the creativity was flowing!!! I can't believe they are all done for another year....it's all gone by so quickly!!! Lots of "new" people, this year....and, hopefully, lots of fun was had by all!!! GREAT JOB EVERYONE :):):)
             ....And, Happy Birthday Ella!!!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

An Old-fashioned Christmas....

"You will be visited by three ghosts......"

       This is a great story. It doesn't matter which version you like....it's a great story. And one that is still very appropriate.... perhaps even more so....today. There is just SO much negativity in the world....so much stuff that we all have to deal with day in and day out....I wonder what kind of a difference it would make if we were ALL visited by those three ghosts. This time of year the phrase "old-fashioned" Christmas is really tossed around....mostly as a marketing tool. We all want that old-fashioned feeling....to go back to when things were "better" and more simple....but what does that mean?? Would you like to light your tree with real candles....and have that bucket of water near by....have your kids think that an orange in their stocking was the most amazing treat...ever....or are you thinking less literally??? I think that "old-fashioned" Christmas is more attainable than you realize. The first thing you need to do is stop striving for perfection (and beating ourselves up when we don't reach it...) then we need to enjoy the journey.....not just the destination. But, I think, the most important component to a happy "old-fashioned" Christmas is treating others with kindness and respect. There are things that you can do to make someone else happy....some of those things are little...some take more effort....but, in the end, you will be happier, too. We do everything we can, at the shop, to help as much as possible. This past weekend we hosted the Hospice volunteers. They have their "thank you" Christmas breakfast with us. I, also, donated a cookie tray to one of the local churches for their dinner. We have been selling our angel cookies for the EHS Angel Network....and raised an amount that I am happy to donate. I don't think that old-fashioned feeling is something you can wait around for and receive only if you're lucky.....I think it's something that you can create....every single day of the year....

             "I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." ~~~~~
                                      Now that sounds like the beginning of a real old-fashioned Christmas!!!


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gingerbread House class #2......

And the creativity continues......two classes down....one to go!!!  So much candy....so little time!!! Once again, a great job by all!!!