All of us at Pear Tree Greetings wish you a very happy holiday season. We hope you enjoy spending time with loved ones and spreading cheer to all those around you. Cheers!
Here’s one of the things I love about working at Pear Tree: I know what every single one of us is doing for Christmas.
As a customer I’ve always loved the boutique shopping experience. Don’t get me wrong—I wouldn’t be able to function without Target and Trader Joe’s to keep us provisioned, and if there wasn’t a Home Depot nearby, our house would still be quite the fixer-upper.
But boutique shopping is different, as anyone who’s browsed our site or bought a wedding dress or splurged on that expensive baby crib (Hey, safety and comfort matter!) knows. The employee walking through the kids’ section at Target while I’m Christmas shopping may be friendly, but he’s got the contents of an entire store to memorize and dozens of customers to help. How’s he supposed to know what my particular four year old might like? How can I expect him to listen for ten (or even two) minutes to a description of my son and the toys he likes playing with?
Boutiques are great because we do have the time, or, at any rate, are committed to making the time. For us, whether or not our customers are satisfied is the central question. Regardless of whether the site is effective and easy to use (it is) or whether or not we get the product to our customers on time (trust me, we will), if they’re not satisfied with what we give them, we’ve failed. And we take that seriously.
The Holidays are now bearing down on us with all the speed of a jetliner. My husband recently scaled back his Christmas cookie projections, which in years past have been pretty ambitious. This year he’s going with what he considers to be the three essentials: chocolate chip (from the Fannie Farmer cookbook), Spice Cookies (the recipe for which, if the family lore is to be believed, dates back more than three centuries on his mother’s side), and linzer cookies (clipped from a magazine 30 years ago).
The recipes are easy to reference, as they’ve been framed and occupy a place of relative prominence in our dining room. They were glued decades ago onto a sheet of typing paper (you can still see the watermark on the back if you take the time to remove the page from its frame), along with a recipe for biscotti and another for smoking bishop. Smoking bishop, or just “Bishop” or “The Bish” if you’re talking to Andrew or his brother, is a traditional holiday punch. Their recipe is (again according to the family lore) the same one prepared in the household of Charles Dickens.
It’s an acquired taste.
The frame is part of a set. Next to it is its fraternal twin, which completes the list of his favorite family dishes. The recipes for crumb pie and spaghetti and meatballs were both typed on a typewriter, and not a particularly pricey one from the looks of them. The latter is stained with drops of ancient tomato sauce. I like to wonder whether his Italian great-grandmother prepared the recipe for her husband (a mason) and their four children every few weeks, or whether it’s something his mom picked up decades ago from a friend or magazine and threw into the family cookbook.
Pear Tree Greetings’ personalized gift ideas were featured on Twin Cities Live on November 25th. Stephanie Bottner, General Manager for Pear Tree, shares how you can shop at Pear Tree for everyone on your list. We have gifts for spouses, grandparents, kids, teens and many more. Watch below to see all the fun gift ideas!
We had our first official snowfall of the winter this week, which means that my husband’s garden has gone from being officially “on its last legs” to officially “dead.” It’s been six weeks since our last tomato and although by this time I’m tired of eating kale and brussel sprouts, it still makes me sad. Five or six months (at best) until our next fresh greens, which translates to five or six months of grocery store produce. Not that our grocery store and local food co-op don’t stock the good stuff. It’s just that once you’ve eaten straight from the garden it’s a hard adjustment going back.
Andrew’s been taking the loss particularly hard. We’ll talk while he’s cooking in the evening and without warning he’ll transition from chatting about how our days went to lamenting our lack of fresh apples and heirloom veggies.
I still don’t get his fixation with heirlooms, and it drives him crazy.
“What is there not to understand?” he asked the other night. “You of all people should get this.”
I’m not a Foodie (though I’ve eaten enough meals to know his are better than average!), and I pointed this out.
“It’s not about being a Foodie or not being a Foodie. It’s about having a love and a…respect, I suppose, for something unique.”
And he’s right. I, of all people, should understand.
My son is away at college, and based on our last phone call it sounds like he needs a little cheering up. My happy-go-lucky boy is facing the pressure of challenging classes and a grueling sports schedule. I know there’s not much I can do to help, but I still feel compelled to try. It’s time for a letter to my son and here are 10 things I will say:
- What I’m about to say is important. See? It’s so important that I actually wrote it on paper instead of putting it in a text message. No matter what else this letter says, it says someone cares.
- This, too, shall pass. When you are feeling lonely or ugly or scared or embarrassed or frustrated, try to see yourself as I see you: friendly, beautiful, brave, humble and persevering. Then give it a day or two. Things will be looking up. I’m sure of it.
- You are not the only one who’s having a bad day. Talk to people — your roommates, a teacher, your advisor, or the person sitting next to you on the bus. You may share a laugh. You may get some good advice. You will probably find your troubles are nothing compared to theirs. Continue reading
Pear Tree Greetings’ wedding collection was featured on Twin Cities Live, Tuesday, June 24th! Stephanie Bottner, General Manager for Pear Tree, shared our latest products and ideas focusing on our save the date cards, wedding invitations, wedding decorations and much more.
Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, moving day is sure to be both exciting and stressful. Cut down on the chaos with a moving checklist that gets you organized, eliminates surprises and keeps everything moving along smoothly.
- Don’t pack what you don’t need – Getting rid of unnecessary items will help make the packing and unpacking process smoother. Rather than waste time making these decisions on moving day, do it ahead of time and give away or sell what you don’t want.
- Moving announcements – Give friends and family your new address right away. Better yet, have a housewarming party to follow up and invite them all to see your new home.
- Forward medical records – Contact important parties, like doctors’ offices, directly to let them know they will need to forward your records to a new location. Continue reading
We are excited to announce that we were featured on the FOX television show, Bethenny, Monday, April 21. In this feature, we were able to help make the dream of a “mompreneur” come alive with a donation of 30,000 napkins to help her business. Watch the video below to see her story and watch her reaction!
Stacey’s business, Love-N-Notes, began with a desire to brighten her daughter’s day at school. Her daughter had a learning disability, and Stacey wanted to connect with and encourage her during the day, so she began including napkins with hand drawn messages in her lunchbox. Once she saw the positive influence the napkins were having on her daughter, Stacey decided to start a business.
Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to come out of hibernation and gather the family for all of the season’s many milestones. Whether you’re celebrating Easter, Mother’s Day, or your newest graduate, you’ll want to make sure you capture all of those special moments — and you don’t even need a fancy camera to do it.
Here are a few photography tips to make sure you get the best photos of your next family event:
- Consider a tripod: Yes, there are tripods for your iPhone, and yes, they’re actually pretty affordable. Setting up a small, flexible table-top tripod on the picnic table or another commonly-used surface makes it easy to capture a steady photo at a natural angle. Here are some more smartphone gadgets to consider.
- Play with poses: Getting your loved ones to demonstrate genuine emotion makes for truly rewarding photos. Prompt your partygoers with an inside joke, or ask one of them to tell another one a secret. Capturing an honest-to-goodness giggle is just about as good as it gets! Continue reading