I listened and had to agree with him. Sure, there are a few snowflakes and silver-white winters, but there are whiskers on kittens year-round, raindrops on roses are definitely a spring/summer thing, and even those packages are wrapped in brown paper and strings, not colorful stuff.
Nevertheless, I am listing a few of my favorite things and people, hoping that the spirit of giving will have you patronizing them all year.
Lorraine Hoff Meade sells her wonderful mosaic art from her studio at Artworks in Richmond. artworksrichmond.com or mosaiquecreations.com.
Tootie Ferguson makes those bar lamps that feature lights and shiny stuff in a bottle. Great gifts. CReationsbytootie.etsy.com.
Jazz vocalist Sharon Rae North adds class to any event. northstarent.net
Beyond his large pieces of metal wall art, Steven Lloyd makes cool clocks and takes commissions. Car painting, too! stevenlloydmetalart.com
Helene Ruiz is primarily a surrealist, but she gives her creativity to affordable crafts as well. http://heleneruiz.redbubble.com
For custom framing, I go to Mary Fender at Frame Nation in Richmond. framenation.net
IN AND AROUND RVA
Independent bookstores are superior in every way to the chains. Visit one! fountainbookstore.com, chopsueybooks.com, bookpeoplerichmond.com
Still one of my favorite places in this city: C'est le Vin art and wine gallery. cestlevin.com
Support your local farmers! I go to the 17th Street Farmers' Market for much of my produce, but there are others around.
"Party with a purpose" is the motto of the Parrot Head Club of Richmond. Great people, good causes, lots of fun. PHCoR.com
This blog would be far too long to mention all my favorite local restaurants. Again, those chains don't come close.
I love living at the American Tobacco Center. Big factory windows, tall ceilings, original wooden floors and a rooftop pool; what's not to like?
After enduring the attitude and prices at one of those fancy, upscale salons, I found Donna Christian at Hair Expressions here in the Bottom. I'm happy.
And as I find my way around in the particular author's hell known as marketing, I have been guided by Katie McDougall, friend and publicist. It's nice to have a pro on board.
ON NORTH CAICOS
The island used to have two car rental people. Last I heard, there are now nine. My favorite is Mark McLean. If you're visiting and need to get around, call him.
There's a spot on the beach where Tom and I used to sit in the shade of a gazebo and read. These days, it has become the Barracuda Beach Bar. A favorite got favorite-ier.
Finally, there's Lynn Rae McLean, a dear friend who could be an entire blog column herself. Island visitors, however, will want to know mainly that she's the go-to person for that little taste of American life not available elsewhere: New York-style pizzas, Maine-style lobster rolls, baked goods and a coconut cream pie to die for.
Oh, the list could be much, much longer. But Christmas is around the corner and we all have chores to finish. Anyway, remember that our favorite things are not a seasonal song. Fold them into your life.