Thursday, December 13, 2012


My name is Paul Hecht and, ahhemmm, every now and then I tend to go a tad overboard with holiday decorations.  HELLO PAUL!!!!!  Phew.  There.  I said it.  I might have mentioned earlier this week a purchase "limit" I give myself every season, and while that may be true this season, it hasn't necessarily been a plan I've followed in past years.  What can I say, I love cool ornaments and halls decked with gay apparel!  Two years ago as I planned for my moms big 70th birthday bash at our place in New York, I also prepared for a packed house during the holidays (her birthday is December 21st).  Prep started months in advance (maybe you recall many of the tips from summer and fall of 2010) and in the early holiday Pottery Barn catalog I discovered these incredibly cool lit twig snowflakes.  I also discovered another fantastic little mistake in the pricing, but I'll get to that later.  Our house at the time was a large, hundred year-old stone farmhouse, and while its walls were literally crumbling down around us, the outside looked pretty fantastic.  My vision was to place the snowflakes in each window to greet guests as they turned the corner to head up our front path.  What I didn't realize when I clicked "purchase" was how incredible the photographers and designers are at places like Pottery Barn. Maybe you've discovered this too with products you've purchased online..the item that arrives on your stoop is far different than the beautiful images you saw online.  Don't get me wrong, the twig flakes are totally cool, but a little secret I learned about anything like this (I've since bought other brands of lit snowflakes, twig lights, etc.) they must have a back drop to make them truly shine.  When hanging in a window, for example, with nothing behind them but open house, they looked like big messes of bundled lit balls.  When I placed them up against a wall, however, they looked fabulous.  So much so, I leave many up year round (the lit star and twigs, that is).  So, while you might want to put it all out there this time of year to compete with the neighbors or impress passers-by, sometimes it's a good thing to be a wallflower!
When I saw the lit twig snowflakes were $14 in the Pottery Barn catalog and online in 2010, I bought as many as I could (the last six available).  I then went into the store where I found a few more (four to be exact) and at checkout when the salesperson said, "that will be $146.50" I almost fell into the tree behind me.  Pottery Barn had mismarked the prices online and in the catalog and had to honor the lower price. CHECK PRICES ON EVERYTHING before buying (I recently had a similar thing happen at Williams Sonoma where prices were drastically different on the same item).  While the prices are a bit more this year (snowflakes start at $29/each) you can still get a deal right after Christmas.  So, here's what I do...after the rush of opening presents on Christmas day, jump online and place things in your basket on  At the stroke of midnight, jump back online and get them for a steal of a deal!!  At least that's how this ornament addict rolls!