It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

November 21, 2008

There’s a winter storm warning advisory issued for tonight and from the sounds of things, we’re supposed to get up to 45cm of snow between now & tomorrow noon.  I’m hoping that being warm & cozy inside while the storm rages outside will put me into the Christmas Spirit.  We’re decorating our guest areas for Christmas this weekend because our Christmas Parties start next week.  It seems early to me…

D’Arcy will put up the trees in the living & dining rooms tonight and I have my mother booked to come and help me decorate tomorrow all day.  We’ll put the garland on the banister, decorate the mantles and unwrap the treasures.  We will wait until advent starts to put out the nativity, and won’t put up the tree in our own living room until mid-December. 

I made our major family purchase today – tickets to see the Doodlebops in concert this February in Halifax.  We have never gone overboard with Christmas gifts, usually getting a game for the whole family to share.  Santa is usually very kind, but they know not to expect (or even ask for) anything too extravagant.  Last year’s Christmas (for the boys at least) centered around our trip to Disney.  Their grandparents gave them their passports, their godparents gave them luggage, and Santa brought Alex a digital camera.  We made it clear that the trip was NOT a Christmas gift, but we told them that day that we were going.

We were approached by Publishing Company Morgan & Chase in the summer to be a part of their “Treasures of…” series.  I was told that the book would be out in the Fall and along with the fee to be on their website, etc., paid for some books up front to be Christmas gifts for our families.  I hadn’t heard anything about the books lately, so have been trying to contact the company to see when we could expect to receive them.  Guess what?  It would appear that they went under when the economy went bust.  I found the following newspaper article: 

October 03, 2008.Mail Tribune. By Greg Stiles. . Morgan and Chase Publishing, which produced coffee table travel guidebooks, has closed. The four-year-old west Medford publishing company had its 6,000-square-foot production plant on Parsons Drive and had as many as 40 employees and private contractors. ‘We sold to small business, they were hurting and we were hurting,’ said President Damon Neal. ‘We’ve become insolvent.’

The company opened amid burgeoning economic times when rapidly escalating home values and relatively inexpensive gas prices allowed Americans to travel widely. Some 30 titles were published about communities from California to Ontario, Canada. But after a two-year growth cycle, the tide turned. ‘The small businesses we dealt with were mainly in the hospitality industry, restaurants and attractions,’ Neal said. ‘They were all struggling and still are. Their business is down 30, 40, 50 percent. They are desperately hanging on and didn’t have money to spend on anything else. We heard that over and over.

In the middle of 2007, Morgan and Chase saw trouble on the horizon and by January the decline was rapid. ‘It was getting pretty serious,’ Neal said. ‘We tried other methods of marketing, but we kept running into problems. The final nail was gas. When gas prices began to skyrocket, people were putting their money in the tank and weren’t going out to eat and doing the kinds of things we were writing about. Neal said the company’s board went to an attorney to review financial statements as it searched for a way to pull back from the brink. ‘The short answer was that we had no reorganization plan and tremendous overhead,’ Neal said. ‘We had already cut costs as close as we could and there was no way to get from under it.’ Employees were laid off two weeks ago.

Crap!  Not only am I out a lot of money, but now I have to come up with some new gift ideas.

My mother came down this morning and we dug out all the snowsuits & boots from the attic ahead of the snow.  Too bad we don’t have the snow tires on the van yet…  Alex needed new boots because he’s grown so much.  He wore a new jacket to school yesterday and his former best friend told him it made him look like a dweeb.  Alex replied, “That’s a putdown and we don’t do that at this school!”  I’m proud of him, but he was upset nonetheless.  I told him if anyone else says something like that he should tell them that Maddie (a girl in his class he’s friends with but the rest of the boys like) says he looks great in it!  That made him smile…

Cub camp, planned for this weekend, has been cancelled because of the storm, so we’ll all settle in with some movies in front of the trees & the fireplace and be thankful for what we have.


One Response to “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

  1. Destiny Says:

    Sounds like fun…though I’d like another month or 3 to prepare for Christmas. Have a GREAT weekend.

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