'Tis the season for love and gratitude

In this month filled with to-do lists, wish lists, grocery lists, checklists of all kinds, it's important to catch the small moments of serendipity to be found over the holidays. This month I've been given precious gifts of remembrance, generosity, and kindness, and I am so grateful -- I'd like to acknowledge them here all week, and offer a discount gift to you, too! You'll find it at the end of this post. :-)

The Gift: Dear Old Friends

I was running late getting ready for the Holiday Guild Market at Old City Farm & Guild on Saturday, and I think I know why... I needed to be on 14th Street at just the right time, in just the right place, to bump into my friend and former colleague, Walter!


Walter and I worked together at PULP, a wonderful DC greeting card and gift store. Even though PULP closed two years ago, it remains dear in the hearts of former employees and customers alike.

Walter created this lovely window display for the store before he moved out of the area.


When I ran into Walter, it was a delightful surprise. Time melted away, and we chatted as if we'd just been sitting in the store's back office at lunch time. Beautiful memories of the people who came through our doors flooded back, and although we only talked for a few minutes, our conversation was deep and wonderful. I headed over to the Holiday Guild Market feeling refreshed and renewed, and so happy to reconnect with an old friend.

The surprises didn't end there. Later that afternoon outside at the Market in the Shaw neighborhood, I heard someone call "Beverly!" I turned to find another one of my former PULP colleagues, Christine. We'd been part of each other's lives every day for years, but went our separate ways a long time ago. Christine was the heart of PULP, paying the bills, keeping the lights on, and making sure everything in the store functioned as it was supposed to. She did all this while studying to become a nurse. I still don't know how she did it!

It was fabulous to catch up and talk about what we both were now doing (Christine has now been a nurse for years!), and again lovely memories of our colleagues, and of PULP's founder, Ron Henderson, gently bubbled up to the surface in the sweetest, most beautiful ways.

Every January, Christine would pick a one-word motto that would carry her through the year. I thought it was an excellent idea, and decided to do it, too. We would check in with each other all year to see how consistently we were applying the motto to our lives. I haven't done that in a very long time, but I'm going to begin again this coming January. I'll let you know what I choose!

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about other precious gifts I've been given this month. In the meantime, here's a little shopping gift for you: a ten percent discount off anything in my online store. Just add the discount code TAKETEN at checkout -- it's good through December 31st.

I would love to hear about gifts you've already received this month; please write to me at papertraveler [at] gmail [dot] com, and tell me your story. Have a beautiful day, dear friends!