This time of year brings out a lot in people—not good, not bad, just very at-the-surface things. There are traditions and aversions, old wounds from years past and new hurts to survive. We move through the paces not knowing who might be hurting and who might be at long last feeling the effervescence of hope. We spent the days leading up to Thanksgiving preparing for Shop Small Saturday. The girls helped with trimmings for the store and at work it was all hands on deck—new prints, new designs and unexpected good news.
Before that momentous Saturday, we had an unbelievably wondrous Thanksgiving. Days from now my parents will arrive. Snow is falling just outside as I type and the patterns of our spent-together weekend gleam in my memory. Looking toward the days and weeks to come I have what can only be described as butterflies. It’s the weight of Elf on the Shelf and where Chili will appear each morning, it’s the helplessness to neighbor kids who proclaim that there is no Santa and, frankly, it is the excruciating march toward a holiday when my girls believe differently and when the handmade ornaments are looked back on, rather than brought home. And so I dive headlong into the magic and leave lumps in my throat to Thanksgivings past.
Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, an odd concept for us as we’ve poured our hearts into our store, but there it is.
We are giving it a go, though we won’t be like Best Buy or Old Navy or Macy’s. We’ll be us, with our inventory of shirts, hoodies and caps designed in our exposed brick office with the artwork of Briar, Avery and Finley hanging every which way. We’ll have the posters inspired by our love for where we live and the things we’ve found made by others with a similar spirit of why not.
Our Cyber Monday deal will be this: Order $100 worth of merchandise and we’ll ship it to you for free. You know what that means? It means that we will literally walk down into the store, take the items from the shelves and tenderly pack them in our signature green paper. One of us will drive your package to the post office. We’ll talk to the clerk, maybe talk about what is in the box. From the moment the order hits we are on our end exclaiming, “Nebraska!” or “Boston!”
I am so proud of the work that we’re doing and the life that we are living. Our girls choose to act like a team operating a store when they play at home and when we leave for the farmers market they exclaim, “Get the milk bottles!” When they come downtown they greet the other merchants and speak politely to customers. We walk hand in hand as we talk about our plans and our purchases. We slip from moments to memories-that-will-be as we create together the traditions of our days.
I love that you come here (many of you for so many years and through each of our girls) and there is a part of me that would love to be able to share this large part of my life with you.
Cyber Monday at Nine is free shipping with a purchase of $100 or more. Or, you can go to our Etsy shop, where the shipping isn’t free, but each order comes with a free gift. And if you’d like, you can request that we make a custom sign for you. Who knows, I might end up writing about the experience…
Either way, I genuinely wish you the gentlest and most joyous holiday season.
Tagged: life, local, working mom
There’s not only a wonderful thanksgiving that permeates your writing, but also a luring nostalgia for the present. It’s fascinating.
Happy Thanksgiving and Holidays, Amanda and family!
Well, thank you, Kevin. It’s a choreography that I work at every day.
That was such a beautiful post, especially the way you describe the family working together on the endeavor. And who wouldn’t want a gift knowing that the owner WENT to the post office to mail it? I adore the signs I saw in the Etsy shop. As someone who spent every summer in upstate New York as a kid, sitting on Adirondack chairs by the Lake, the signs remind me of the trees and smell of the air. Best of luck during the holiday season. I’m definitely going to tell my friends about your store.
Thank you, Neil. That means a lot. Also, I meant to say that as I read your post I was reminded of a theatre conference I went to years ago. I stayed on the Queen Mary. It was magical, precisely because it was old and imbued with all sorts of (imagined) stories.
There is a lot of happy in this post. I love the holidays and the magic of it all. This is my first time here and I’m excited to see your goodies! This year I’m sticking with handmade items.
PS. I am terrified of the elf on a shelf. Creeeeepy
Thanks, Kimberly. I think, and I say this as both a shop owner and a parent, value changes when you are more deliberate with the what, why, when and who of the things you buy. Have a wonderful holiday.