Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Handwritten Note

First Semester, Sophomore year of college, University of VT.
I guess the check was late this month? Love the P.S note!
Love this article in WSJ sent to me by a good friend called The Lost Art of the Handwritten Note. I have many handwritten letters from my grandparents and parents that I treasure. Growing up writing letters for me was a major form of communication. (remember when you could get a pen pal from another country?)

My parents were divorced so my grandmother would give my sister and I stationery and have it pre-addressed and stamped- so all we had to do was write the letter. Most of mine to my dad just simply said "Love, Krissy" but I am sure that was enough. I often wrote to my grandparents and I still have many of the letters they sent to me.  Some favorite letters include a detailed one from my grandfather, Dr. William L. Bendel on how to play duplicate bridge, one from my grandmother, Mary Lombardo Mattera that included a great deal of family history about her parents and siblings.

I treasure so many of these letters, some literally dating back to the early 70s, not just because it was great to receive the mail at the time (like during the many, many years I went to camp) but I love not only the the time the person who sent it took out of their busy schedule just for me but there is something really special about seeing the handwriting of someone you love. The article notes
" Handwriting can be untidy and malformed and difficult to read, but there is always going to be someone who recognizes even the worst of handwritings and treasures it because of who it comes from." Isn't that so true?

Now I am the first to admit, that in college the handwritten notes that came from my Dad at the beginning of the month included a check, but there was always as quick handwritten note of encouragement. It wasnt written on fancy stationery, sometimes it was on his work letterhead but usually it was written on a prescription notepad. Nothing too detailed,  just a few sentences that included words of encouragement at a time when I probably needed them most.

So as you think about sending a few thank you notes this holiday season, to friends, family and neighbors, think about the art of the handwritten note before you begin to type that email!

Friday, December 28, 2012

I Resolve To...

With the new year quickly approaching my head is filled with so many goals and resolutions for 2013. I like to put a positive spin on my resolution and do something instead of not do something. The item on the top of my list this year  is going to be simple and yet really important. I resolve to smile more. What's on the top of your New Year's resolution list?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays From Our House To Yours!
Thanks to everyone who supported Hampton Paper in 2012.
We look forward to working with you all in 2013.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Did I Buy Enough Syndrome?

Wrapping gifts and emailing with a friend. We are both suffering from "Did I buy enough syndrome?" I am going have to be brave and hit Target and Toys R Us one more time.


Friday, December 21, 2012

28,000 Things

On the top of my bucket list is to write a book. My only issue outside of time to write would be my ever so evident lack of writing skills.... but since I am not one to let small details hold me back, I will add "find an editor" to my list. I think 2013 might just be the year I get something down on paper. Maybe something HPD related might work for my debut.

 I actually started writing a funny book in college ( a million years ago) which I recently found in a big closet clean out. It was title  28,000 Things that Could Ruin Your Day. I guess a funny twist on 14,000 Things to be Happy About which my roommate kept on her bedside table. The book was a lot of fun to write as so many ideas popped in my head all day long. The list including things that would concern a 20 something college student:
  • When is says he'll call and doesn't
  • Reading the same line over and over
  • Beer lines
  • Bounced Checks
  • Snow in your shoe
  • Icy Sidewalks
  • When you sneeze after you put on your mascara
  • When you realize you forgot to wash something after you have started your laundry
  • Not being able to get a song out of your head
  • Dorm bathrooms on Sunday night

If I were to write a similar book today, I am sure it would be titled, 28,000 Things I do and Don't Get Paid for but Should

  • Going to Target
  • Doing Laundry
  • Picking up dirty white socks ( I only have 2 kids, how could there be so many around my house?)
  • Paying Bills
  • Filling Out Forms
  • Looking for a missing toy, library book, paperwork, pen, scissors
  • Unloading groceries
  • Waiting in doctor's offices
Aren't you going to be thinking about items to add to this list all day long!!!

Happy Friday.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Season's Greetings - Dr. and Mrs. William Bendel

Since I am obsessed with sending out a Christmas card each year, I am so happy to have a copy of this old Christmas card from my great- grandparents. You may recognize the house as one of our images, The House on Loop Road was painted in honor of it. I am not sure the year this was sent out, but for certain sometime prior to 1971. Can you see my great-grandparents standing in front?  I guess my obsession with paper and cards is part of my heritage!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Memories: The Big Gift

Me and my Barbie Dream House - Christmas circa 1975.
Today we are now officially less than a week away from Christmas!  For the last 18 days my son Jackson starts every morning with "How many more days until Christmas" and " Can I please open one gift today". These questions cause my mind to flood with my own childhood memories and the excitement and anticipation I felt waiting for Christmas to arrive. I am not surprised by my children's impatience and eagerness as I was notorious back in the day for begging to open gifts early, shaking everything and yes truth be told on one Christmas peeling back the wrapping paper and peaking in the boxes. I searched our house from top to bottom looking for gifts. I was pleasantly surprised one year to find many board games (included my most wanted Payday & Life) under the bed in the spare bedroom and Gerbils in a cage in my mom's closet. However, even with these premature discoveries, Christmas couldn't arrive fast enough.

Our family has an over the top style to all celebrations including Christmas. My fondest memories include the beautifully decorated house always with two trees, formal and informal, a set yearly menu which included some of my favorites, fondue for Christmas Eve and Artichoke Casserole and homemade Sour cream Coffee Cake for brunch. In addition to an abundance of items from Santa, there were loads and loads of gifts under the trees.

Since my parents were divorced, our Christmas break always included a trip to NYC to see my dad and of course another celebration.

Each year, my sister, Meri, and I would ask for what we considered "a big gift". Yep, you know the one thing that you want more than anything. Cabbage Patch Doll, Merlin, Atari, Simon, Gerbils, Snoopy Watch, Baby Alive, Easy Bake Oven, Barbie Dream House (do they still sell this? If they do hopefully the string for the elevator doesn't get stuck anymore!). As we got older  the most wanted list included Walkmans, Skis, Guess Jeans, CB Jackets, Gucci Shoes, Coach Purses, LV purses, perfume and anything from Benetton!

Our visit to NYC to see my dad included another "big" gift which was tickets to the most popular play on Broadway - Annie, Peter Pan, Barnum to name a few.

I hope as you wrap up your Christmas shopping (no pun intended) you have a moment to remember some of your happiest holiday memories and that you have the joy of either receiving or giving a "big gift" this year!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Some Days...

As a working mother of two I am often faced with "mommy guilt". Some days I feel more equipped to deal with it than other days and for some reason the holidays seem to be a time where I struggle the most. Like anyone with a "Type A" very goal oriented personality in an average day I cram 48 hours worth of stuff into 24 running 150 miles an hour amidst trying to keep within the constraints of what I  jokingly call my world,  "perfectville". My "to do" items are carefully documented on daily check lists.

When you add decorating a house for the holidays, gifts for the kids, family, neighbors, friends, getting supplies for school parties for the kids, cookie exchanges etc to an already jammed packed schedule you know something is going to give at some point. For me it was last Friday when trying to juggle it all I was saddened by I guess what I would consider realization that I cant do it all, all the time. I had a 10:00 conference call and a 12:00 appointment and the 10:00 call overlapped with the gingerbread decorating at my son's school.  As luck would have it, it was also a day my husband was traveling for work so getting the kids ready for school and me for work fell on my shoulders.

I got ready before my call so I could leave as soon as it was over and arrived at the school at 10:45 to my darling kindergartner who had just finished his gingerbread house. He hugged me and looked up at me with those beautiful brown eyes and the longest eyelashes ever and said  "You missed the whole thing". I choked back tears. Of course I left the school broken hearted and frustrated that sometimes try as we might, we just fall short.

So, I must remind myself  and hopefully you too (because I think that society doesn't - they are too quick to judge us) that I can only do the best I can each day. My contribution to my family not only includes my time, but a roof over our head, food on the table, financial security and the opportunity for many things that would otherwise be out of their reach.

If you are shaking your head up and down as you are reading this, then I hope this blog can remind you as well during the busy holiday season to just do the best you can and that as a working mom, our contributions count in many different ways. I know that while I missed out on this one, there will be another opportunity not to far down the road and I am forever hopeful that one of the things my children take away from me as a parent is how to model themselves to be independent and successful.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Another New Celebrity Fan: Kym Whitley

I am very excited to announce that actress Kym Whitley is now a fan of Hampton Paper Designs. Seen here with a few of our holiday products.  We love many of her movies including We Bought A Zoo and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Welcome New Celebrity Fan Laila Ali!

We are happy to welcome Laila Ali as a new celebrity fan of Hampton Paper. Laila is holding our holiday gift stickers available here & here our Dear Santa cards, available here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Welcome to the Club- Holly Robinson Peete

We are happy to welcome Holly Robinson Peete as a new celebrity fan of Hampton Paper. Holly' is holding our holiday gift stickers available here & here our Dear Santa cards, available here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Signed, Sealed but Not Delivered

I am pretty proud of the fact that on December 3 this year, I have my cards printed, my photos attached, my envelopes stamped and my return address labels printed. Sounds great on the surface but I am in fact missing one important piece, addresses. My son dropped and broke my iPad earlier this year. My ipad that had my address book in it and now those contacts are  somewhere in an icloud. Oh how "i" wish I could find it.
I hope you are having better luck getting your cards out the door this year!