Tag Archives: Black Friday

Saturday Short – Small Business Saturday – Franklin Engraving

What do you do when you meet up with an artist you admire? 1) You get a picture with her, and 2) you buy up a chunk of the inventory in her store. That’s how today went!

In America, we celebrate Thanksgiving on a Thursday. Then comes Black Friday with huge sales in all the major retailers. After fighting the crowds on Friday, we rally again to shop Small Business Saturday. That’s how I spent today. Shopping via my favorite small business.

Franklin Engraving is the creative venture of a petite powerhouse of a woman. Katie Franklin is a USAF veteran and mom of two. She clearly loves people and it shows in her personalized, made-to-order creations. Her love for other cultures is also obvious in her ease with all comers and her eye for what appeals to her wide range of clients.

I had the opportunity to visit her studio today. The fragrance and beauty of wood welcomed us in. Katie specializes in laser engraving and matches the wood to the designs she creates. I especially loved seeing some of the old reclaimed wood pieces, wondering what barn or old house yielded them for Katie’s repurposing.

Seeing her work was intriguing. Her designs are programmed into the engraver, and then she must set up the laser field to etch the pattern accurately, as designed, on the piece of wood.

It was a little unnerving for me, watching her. No wonder the end products are so beautiful. Unique and exact in expressing the design.

I bought two etched wall hangings that she had fashioned for me. They were more beautiful than I had imagined when I commissioned her to do them. Other gifts caught my eye, so I left happily with more than I had planned originally.

She even threw in some apples from a local orchard for our trip home.

If you appreciate the beauty of natural wood, and if words are a language of love for you, Franklin Engraving is a business you will engage again and again.

Katie, owner-designer, can be reached through her Facebook and Etsy pages. You are going to love her work…and be enchanted by her joy in creating products personalized for you or those you love.

Since it’s Small Business Saturday, take advantage of today’s discount as well… If you miss it, there’s always Cyber Monday.

Franklin Engraving Facebook Page

Franklin Engraving Etsy Page

5 Friday Faves – New Duo, In Defense of Christmas Cheer, Christmas PlayList, Introverts & Extroverts, and the Tacky Light Tour

Blog - Friday Faves

  1. New Duo – The Tide Rose, Richmond, Virginia.  Whitney Cavin and Keilan Creech have just debuted with a new EP, The Tide Rose. They have been lighting up TV, radio, and the music events calendar in Richmond recently.  You can see/hear them play here on video from their appearance on Virginia This Morning. I don’t really know how to describe their sound – nautical folk is the phrase used. You will have to listen yourself. We have known Keilan for many years. He recorded a solo EP awhile back (Dying for a Change) with our son, Nathan Mills on guitar. Now, his collaboration with Whitney Cavin is very new and lovely. Their voices weave together so soulfully. Hard to describe really – hauntingly beautiful. Take a listen. Maybe you’ll get to say, “I knew them when.” That’s where we are happy to be. Blog - Friday Faves - The Tide RosePhoto Credit: Facebook.com/thetiderose

2) In Defense of Christmas Cheer – I love Trevin Wax. He is a young theologian, a prolific writer, and regular guy. His blog is only one of two I read every day (the other belonging to Angela).  Trevin’s In Defense of Christmas Cheer was an uncharacteristic “Bah, Humbug!” of another writer theologian (Scott McKnight)’s redress of current Christmas culture. McKnight ‘s blog is also a worthy read.Blog - Five Faves - Trevin Wax - Christmas Cheer - thegospelcoalition.orgPhoto Credit: thegospelcoalition.org

Here are quotes from both (do read them in full – they bring beautiful balance to the whole Christian conversation about Christmas):

“Telling the world about Jesus as Messiah and family under threat is is not Starbucks’ job; it is the church’s mission to to be announcing this at Christmas. But it is not the church’s mission to tell the world a Dickens Christmas story. It is the church’s mission to tell the real story about Christmas, about a God who entered into the world in a socially shamed family in order to lift the socially shamed to the highest name ever. I can’t imagine Starbucks telling that story well.” – Scott McKnight

“Joy and singing and big family dinners and giving and receiving and caring for the poor” may not be what the original Christmas was all about, but it’s certainly part of Christianity as an atmosphere, is it not? And no one succeeded at creating “atmosphere” better than Dickens.

Should we not marvel that even in our increasingly secular age people still sing carols packed with biblical truth every year? ‘Joy to the world,’ indeed. Should we not marvel that in a world of broken homes that big family dinners still take place? That reunions still happen, and that people put aside their differences to share a meal? Should we not marvel that, in a dog-eat-dog world of competition run by the evolutionary motto of ‘survival of the fittest,’ our culture devotes time to running ‘to and fro giving and receiving and caring for the poor?’ 

Christianity is not generosity, but generosity is part of Christianity. Who knows? Perhaps when caught up in the moment of cultural gratitude, the secular heart may long for Someone to thank.

The Dickens vision of Christmas does not take away from the truth, but complements it. ‘Tis the season for joy and feasting!” – Trevin Wax

3) Christmas Playlist – We start listening to Christmas music in October, but the playlist doesn’t really happen until now. In my car, I have the following albums: 1) Amy Grant’s A Christmas Album (Tennessee Christmas has been a favorite song since our years in Tennessee – still miss it); 2) Tommy Emmanuel’s All I Want for Christmas (we are a guitar family – Nathan Mills); 3) Mannheim Steamroller’s A Fresh Aire Christmas 1988; 4) Straight No Chaser’s Holiday Spirits (we also love a cappella); 5) Twila Paris’ It’s the Thought; 6) Kenny G’s Miracles – The Holiday Album; 7) Casting Crowns’ Peace on Earth; 8) Positively Christmas 2012; 9) Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Music of Christmas; and 10) Sarah MacLachlan’s Wintersong.

Blog - Friday Faves - Christmas Songlist

Photo Credit: xgiosiax.blogspot.com

I need to add Charlie Brown Christmas to my car play for Christmas.  Two singles I love and hear a plenty on the radio through December (and via YouTube videos) are Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You and The Drifters’ White Christmas.

4) Introverts and ExtrovertsJennifer Kahnweiler is a champion for introverts. Author of The Genius of Opposites and The Introverted Leader she is a help to all of us. As an extrovert married to an introvert, and working with many as well, I appreciate her writing so much. We can make such a difference at work and home if we understand each other and make an environment where we can all be effective and comfortable together. Here’s a short piece from her with a very amusing video. Love my introverts!Blog - Friday Faves - Jennifer Kahnweiler - Introvert Extrovert leaderPhoto Credit: RedCapeRevolution.com

Bonus: John Platt’s An Introvert’s Guide to Leadership (fast read!)

5) Tacky Light Tour – Every town and city in the US, from Thanksgiving weekend through the New Year have light displays that brighten our winter nights. None can possibly compare with Richmond, Virginia’s Tacky Light Tour. It’s an annual tradition for us. We plan out an itinerary (impossible to take in all the displays in a sane evening) and often squeeze into several vehicles to caravan around the city. “Ooh’s and aah’s”, “selfies”, and “usies” abound as we document the fun of these evenings. Incredible work and creativity go into these displays and we as spectators are wildly grateful. It’s always a temptation to rent a limousine (but…not yet. I still prefer the low luxury version of the Tacky Light Tour. You will not be disappointed. What’s your favorite local equivalent?Blog - Friday Faves - Tacky Light Christmas TourBlog - Stella, Junko, Christie - Tacky Light Christmas TourBlog - Friday Faves - Stella & Junko - Tacky Light Christmas TourBlog - Friday Faves - Tacky Light Christmas Tour

Happy (Black) Friday, Everybody! Be safe out there.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Finally…Giving Tuesday

Blog - BGR Christmas Gift Catalog

I hate shopping. There was a time I was good at choosing gifts, just right for person or occasion. Those days may be about over. Too many challenges – which electronics and what version…what style, size, color…what does he need that he hasn’t bought already…if not earlier this year, then for sure he bought it this shopper-paradise-post-Thanksgiving weekend…at the best. price. ever.

It is pretty sweet to get that just right Christmas gift for the people you love.  So we stay on the hunt, and work ourselves into a frenzy of trying, once again, to get it right. If only. I would love our kids to tell us exactly what they would like for Christmas, and I would buy it for them. Bag it up and we can all act surprised and pleased when the tissue paper is pulled away. What do they tell me? “Gift cards” pretty much. Ugh…

When I stopped into the post office this morning, on the first day of December, the line of people waiting stopped me in my tracks. All those packages to be weighed…maybe their adult children did tell them what they wanted for Christmas, and these waiting in the post office line went out on Black Friday, bought those presents, and here they are mailing them. Sigh…

I’m thinking that Advent Conspiracy is a good idea.

Oh, we are still buying gifts for each other, but I’m not frantic about it anymore. It’s pretty certain that I won’t be the Queen of Christmas shopping, but that’s O.K. I’m coming to terms with gift cards.

Then there’s #GivingTuesday.

Blog - Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday* has only “been around” a couple of years. It’s a global initiative to make generosity a priority this time of year. Not just in giving gifts to those we love, but in giving to those we may never meet. Those in greatest need.

Last year, my daughter gave me some chickens for Christmas. Well, she didn’t give them to me outright. They are laying eggs, hopefully, somewhere in Africa. In fact, although I don’t know what family got those chickens, I feel a Christmas kinship with them. That family. Those chickens. Knowing the gift I received was also received by someone else whose need far surpassed my want…it was definitely a gift that kept giving.

My favorite charity is Baptist Global Response (BGR). Some charitable organizations have disappointed us, with so much of our donations going to administration and fund-raising. I appreciate the low overhead of BGR and the heart of this organization toward the peoples of the world. There are other great non-profits as well (some are listed below), but BGR is my #GivingTuesday focus this year.

Just to be clear, in case my children are reading this, I like presents and enjoy celebrating that part of Christmas together. We already have the best gift of all in Jesus. So everything else is frosting…unless you’re a family who could really use some chickens, or a goat, or a water well.

Black Friday is finished. Cyber Monday is winding down. Now that the spending is done, let the giving begin.

How do you plan to spread Christmas around the world?

Baptist Global Response Christmas Gift Catalog

International Justice Mission (IJM) Gift Catalog

World Vision Gift Catalog

*Photo Credit for #Giving Tuesday

Blog - BGR

Photo Credit – GoBGR