How was your Thanksgiving weekend? I am so lucky because I get to see many of you and chat about your holiday plans. I love hearing your stories and telling you mine: who's coming this year, what time do you gather, do you wait for dessert or dive in, is football on TV, and drumroll ... did everyone behave? Tee hee. I think all avid readers and most bookstore owners (this one for sure) are naturally curious and love getting to know people, gathering pieces of human experience to puzzle together a larger understanding. If this is a tough holiday for some reason and you want to talk, I want to know that too and I'll give you a hug and a mug of tea. That's small business, and all of my staff feels the same — we can't thank you enough for our best ever Small Business Saturday on the 24th.
As for me, I welcomed in a lively happy hungry group on the big day. Alas, my girls were not able to come home until later on Wednesday, so if I wanted At-Ease-Mom rather than Drill Sergeant/Hostess-Mom on Thursday — I know my kids did — I knew I had to plan ahead. We all wanted relaxed moments on Thanksgiving, an overall atmosphere that allowed us to pad sleepily down whenever, and linger over coffee with the parade on in the background (a soundtrack really). Selfishly, even though I love to cook, I miss my kids now they're away and I didn't want to be zipping around chopping and measuring things.
How to achieve At-Ease-Mom? Small business to the rescue, of course! What else but a local, small business could help me achieve both homemade holiday food AND some leisure time?? Friends, I turned to a terrifically thriving small business in Glen Ellyn — Blackberry Market. From them I catered the cranberry compote and green beans with almonds, and even the rolls. Of COURSE I purchased my 22-pound turkey from Wheaton Meat Co (yes they are open, they're just improving the facade), and when I heaved it into the oven at 11am we had the time to take Bad Dog on a romp into the woods behind our home while it roasted - making for an ahhh-yummy-food-smell moment when we came in from the cold. Plus the romp served to exhaust the beast so she wouldn't chew on our guests! THANK YOU SMALL BUSINESS, we are so glad you're there for us, we'll be back often in December!
Speaking of grateful, we've been touched to see how many of you have placed special orders with us for the wildly popular Michelle Obama title, "Becoming." I know you have options to buy a book that famous; it's so easy to go to the keyboard and have "'Becoming' in a box" sent to your door. We know it is. So we treasure you immeasurably, book-ordering friends. Truly. And actually if you think about it, if you're keyboarding orders for books or gifts, why not support Prairie Path Books? If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'll reply as fast as I can and get you the book you want — AND we will have it holiday-wrapped and ready for you on pick-up if you'd like. Prettier and more satisfying than book-in-a-box, no? And just a tiny bit more effort, really.
Oh and hey, if you can't get in the store but want my wisdom in matching a friend or relative with the perfect book (e.g. the blizzard on Sunday/Monday), email me or give me a call (630-765-7455) and I'll make it happen, I love noodling the perfect book when you tell me about your loved one.
See you soon and Happy Holiday season, friends!!
"Bookstores are not simply distribution hubs for books,
they are the warm living rooms of our culture,
the portal to our dream worlds,
the anchors for our hungry, drifting souls."
Andre Dubus III, in his review of the (wonderful) book,
"The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap" by Wendy Welch