Monday, July 16, 2012

Why can't I just stay home and bake cookies?!!

I am having one of those days... fighting a chest cold...and feeling overwhelmed by the many unfinished tasks laying around my house in messy piles, and the zillions of scribbled notes on unofficial pieces of paper... demanding my immediate attention. These do not even begin to address the many still unformed ideas cycloning through my brain fighting to get through to a final audition!

Our armies of unfinished Santas stand at attention on and around my dining room table which is really no longer a dining room at all. They stare at me accusingly... begging to be finished, numbered, tagged and boxed for their final journeys to new homes. I speak to them every morning and promise them that their time is close. They tell me to remember that there are hundreds more that have yet to be started!

Shawnette has the same scenario at her house and is feeling as overwhelmed as I do!! So now is the time for action right?? Now is the time for the tough to get going! Yes it is! But first I must take this moment to feel a little sorry for the mess I have allowed to form around the edges of every room in my house... and fantasize about winning the lottery and being able to pay someone else to clean up and organize my messes!... and continue the fantasy that the toughest decision I might have to make today is what to fix for dinner tonight and what kind of cookies I might like to bake... and what exotic vacation I need to plan for next year...and...and...

My phone is ringing now... that double distinctive ring that tells me that Chesapeake Bay Christmas beckons. I must say that I still feel a surge of adrenaline every time I hear that ring... because CBCC is the result of a 17 year labor of love. It has been... a labor of love... like raising a child. We can be overwhelmed and we sometimes lose the forest for the trees... but we are so thankful for our families and this little business that has slowly grown and blossomed and is now like a teenager, somewhat independent but needing us more than ever to escort it into full maturity!

The cookies will have to wait... maybe I will tackle that pile on my kitchen table first! Maybe not... the Santas are calling my name... I'm coming... let me plug in the glue gun first! Oh yeah...I have to answer the phone!!!

Thanks for reading...

Lynn McPherson

Bringing the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Falling Short

Setbacks regularly present themselves in our personal lives and in our business lives, so why are we never prepared to deal with them! We get lulled into a false sense of security by our successes and the predictability of our routines ... only to be blindsided by the one thing we should always count on....that nothing stays the same

We just suffered this fate on Monday when Shawn and I found out we did not get accepted as vendors into the Neptune Festival at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk the last weekend of September. This is a show we have done for 14 out of the past 17 years and it is the show we count on each September to kick off our current Holiday season. It is our annual Boardwalk presence at Virginia Beach where we present our newest Ltd Edition Chesapeake Santa to our most loyal beach customers! Some words that come to mind when describing what this show means to us are.... Traditional... Seasonal kickoff....Loyal customers...Predictable income... Unpredictable weather... Fun... Exhausting...Exhilarating! It is one of our flagship shows... And this year for whatever reason we did not get juried in.

The feeling when I got the email was so surprisingly emotional. It hit so hard and at such a personal level! "What!?? I must have read it wrong... No that is what it says! Are they crazy?! We are always one of the busiest booths at the show! Our sales there are through the roof! They are crazy! Am I crazy? There goes 10% of our annual gross income!! What will we replace it with? How will we survive?" But the last and most devastating thought was "FAILURE"!

"Failure" is a tough thought, word or concept to deal with. How we deal with it is key. How Shawn and choose to deal with it is to first eliminate that word from our vocabulary because it suggests an end or a defeat. Next we shift our perspective... Look at the situation from different angles. What could be good about this new development? What new show or experience can we substitute in on that weekend? ....If we cannot be there maybe there will be a hurricane that will hit VA BEACH and deal our revenge!!! ... Oops ... Sorry a slight lapse in changing our perspective! :))

After all it is just a show and nothing more. Our not being there will not be an end... Maybe it will be a beginning... Another door swinging open to start another long tradition in another place. The unchosen path ready to be travelled.

We are slowly digesting this news and will continue to adjust our attitude and perspective. We already did a little damage control and contacted the show management to ask to be put on their wait-list. But now we are in move forward mode. We will work hard, book a new show or many new ones to make up for the loss. We will count our blessings for all that is good in our personal and business lives. We will chalk it up to change being inevitable... not to falling short. We do not fall short!!... We work hard... And maybe just maybe we will adjust the finish line just a little.... Because life is just too fall short!

Thank you for reading!

Lynn McPherson

Bringing the Chesapeake into your Home and Holidays!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Studies, Politics and Polls

Are you as tired and frustrated as I am with "our culture" of truths based on lies and lies told as truth? Do you have any faith left that anything you read in print or hear thru the media has been properly invesitgated and sourced or has any any merit? If I hear one more study result that refutes the same study done last week only to be replaced by another study that dismisses the other two altogether I think I will scream! If one more political add touts the evils of the other candidate only to be followed by the other candidate quoting the same propaganda but drawing 180 degree different conclusions about the evils of the previous candidate....I am screaming!

And what about  politics in this great USA?! For the love of God and Country how can we have any respect for the two political parties in this country when they operate with such rage and malice toward each other and with no obvious regard for the truth! Are we doomed? Where can we go to pursue  our own personal truth! Studies? Politicians? Media? ...

OMG what am I thinking.... The truth or should I say the lack thereof HURTS! We must not let our major media outlets, politicians and the insane privately funded studies and polls work their divisive mojo on us... Their truths are as false and toxic as malicious gossip. Truth without malice is out there somewhere .... we just have to turn off the TV, tune out the talking heads and studies, and start using our own intellect and common sense to reconnect with it!  We will inevitably find different answers...we are human...and we can have different perspectives and remain civil.

 Above all we should seek information that is  unbiased, learn to listen as much as we speak and treat differing opinions with respect... After all this country was built on the fundamental right of each of us to have and express each our own opinions and truths without shame or fear of reprisal... as long as they have not been formed bought and paid for by someone else!

Thanks for reading,

Lynn McPherson
Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co

Bringing the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Wind...Rain...and Heat!

Well we had the Event Friday!!! We have been dreading it... planning for it... Praying it away... but knowing that it had to come... Eventually. We avoided it for 17 years with luck and by paying careful attention to weather conditions....but Friday night our eventually got here... Boy did it ever!

We knew we had a miserable weekend ahead... Two shows in one day, a day forecasted to be 104 degrees! But Shawn and I are stubborn and we had payed for our spots and would not back away. So when Saude Creek Winery offered their vendors a chance to set up Friday night for their wine festival on Saturday we were all in! So Friday afternoon in 104 degree heat we set up our tent loaded in our tables and inventory and secured and tarped everything....well! We then went home to get ready for the farmers market that we would do Saturday morning before the afternoon Wine Festival. I reloaded the truck ... ribboned and tagged new ornaments... checked my list... then fell into bed for a 4 am wake up call!

At 11:30 pm I was awakened by the sounds of screaming wind! I got up to check it out only to hear something very large hit the house! Five minutes later we were without power wondering what had just hit us? Then I remembered the tent! The tent with at least 50% of our business' inventory.. The tent in the middle of a large unprotected field ... The tent that we knew would be caught by Mother Nature's fury one day! That day had come!

Shawn ventured out at 4 am (she lives across the street from the winery) to check on our poor tent. I got the text shortly thereafter... tent gone... all lost! I cannot really describe that feeling... It was definitely hit me in the gut... but just for a moment... then slowly a new reality started to take root...after all it was only stuff. No one had been hurt..and we knew it was coming one day! Right?! Right! It had come and gone... taken our tent, tables, some Santas and ornaments, but amazingly as we sorted through the mess early that morning, we realized how much had been spared!

As we realized that it was not a 100% loss but maybe only a 25% loss we decided since everything needed to dry out we would carry on and set up for the show! Why not.. it was going to be a lovely 100 better to dry out! So one spare tent and two spare tables later we were back in business!

When we finally looked up from our own personal experience we realized that everyone around us was doing the same. We had been one of about 25 vendors that had met the same fate that night and all were busy picking up cleaning up, buying new tents, assessing damage but not quitting! Everyone was rallying!

Saude Creek Winery set the example... They replaced all of their lost tents and equipment after a 4 am trip to Wal Mart... and were right there that morning to say how sorry they were for our loss... and how could they help? They hauled off all of our debris offered us helpers to clean up!! They set the example to pick up and carry on! We all took a terrible situation and turned it around!

As a God gift...the aftermath of the storm was a cool and beautiful morning to recover our goods and our spirits.... and at twelve noon the festival opened on time without anyone suspecting the chaos that had gone before!

I am choosing to remember this event that we had been waiting for for 17 years as a good one! The wind!.. the rain!... the heat! had all converged on that field and given us the perfect storm... and we all stood back up, set back up and said to ourselves "This is the day that the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!
The festival went on and was a lovely event. It was hot but not was good and our spirits stayed high all day!

Now we can reset the clock for our next event! ........I am knocking on wood right now!

Thanks for reading

Lynn McPherson
Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co

Bringing the Chesapeake into your Holidays and Home Decor!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co and our Great Big Gypsy Summers!!

    Since the 2008 recession The Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co, like so many small (micro) businesses, has had to adjust to the marketplace by working harder to keep our revenue stream from declining. As a seasonal business we have always worked all year designing and producing our product line and then in September of each year we would start our Holiday selling season with vigor and pull in 85% of our revenue in the months of November and December
     Not anymore! Chesapeake Bay Christmas now hits the road in April and does the Northern Neck Farmers Market circuit along with several other wine festivals and holiday markets...every weekend rain or shine, heat or wind, in sickness or in health...we are there!! Shawnette and I have become Gypsys with our own traveling road show. We can put up a tent in mere minutes and turn it into a cute coastal gift shop within an hour! We do our farmers market selling for four hours and then we pack it all up and load it back in the SUV ready to do it all over again in a few days! We have good days and not so good... But most of them are remembered by whatever weather element mother Nature decides to put in our path. Wind and rain give us our biggest challenges closely followed by excessive heat and humidity! But we are usually up to the challenge! Shawnette is an expert at staking, bungeeing, tarping and tucking while I am good at always expecting the worse....and being very grateful when it does not actually happen.

     We have survived 40 mph winds, 105 degree heat, out of control children, out of control dogs, and weather so cold you cannot feel your hands and feet! But the key is to survive the worst...and then we so appreciate those perfect days we are also blessed with! We always love our face to face time with our wonderful and loyal customers! They are what keep us going week after week...traveling hither and yon.., tent up...tent down, Santas out... Santas in, packing and unpacking, sore backs, sunburn, and smiles....lots of smiles and lots of laughter! We love it .... and we hate it... Like all things in life the good and the not as good... but always a challenge to meet, and a stranger to become a customer, and a customer to become a friend. Maybe we could become our own reality show!! Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co...a Big Beautiful Gypsy Business!

    Once again thank you to all of our customers that we meet out in the fields, streets and parking lots. We love you for loving what we do! We are so lucky to be in such an awesome business and we know it! Check out where we will be from now until Christmas on our calendar at

Ouch... My sore back!

Lynn McPherson

Bringing the Chesapeake into your Home and Holidays!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Painting Pirates...and other Sweet Stuff

     Today the majority of my day will be spent painting  skulls and crossbones on a small army of our crab pirate ornaments.... then a ribbon and a tag... some tissue paper, a box, a UPS label, and they will be on their way to a charming shop in Hilton Head, SC. There they will hopefully charm their way into tourists hearts as a remembrance of their coastal vacations!
    This is a day that I so appreciate what an awesome job I have! Just me and my paintbrush.... bringing my whimsical friends to life to find their way onto hundreds of family Christmas trees... Reminders of happy times and happy places... Sweet Stuff!

Thanks for reading...
Lynn McPherson

Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co

Bringing a little bit of the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Summer is here! Graduations, vacations, lazy days, lazy kids, sweet memories to be made! So why am I feeling a little blue? Hmmm...
My kids are now wonderful responsible young men who have stepped out of their parents lives and into their own....and summertime revolves around children! I'm feeling a little older and creaky, moving a bit slower than I would like... Hot! Always hot!... But I want my summertime feeling back! I want to listen to the sounds, and smell the smells of the neighborhood pool, camping at the lake, sweaty boys coming thru my door looking for food and drink... Sweet memories...I want to go back and relive them... But I can't.... I have to move forward and figure out how to turn today into a sweet memory of tomorrow...? I do not have the answer to my conundrum right now. But I will work on it... Maybe borrow my neighbors kids... Wish I was closer to my niece and nephew...
Pretty soon the neighborhood kids will be playing in their yards and roaming the neighborhood on bikes and scooters... I will listen to their happy chirping and remember... and work on bringing back my own lazy days of summer. I will be thankful for what I have and find new summer experiences to look back on and smile.
Shawnette , Allison, Carolyn... Let's go kayaking!!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Free Ferry to Paridise!

We are on the 9 am Ferry from Hatteras to Ocracoke Island to check out their annual Folk Festival. We are looking at it through the eyes of being a vendor there next year. The ferry is always a treat! Today is a crisp and clear after the storm kind of day, a day that begs you to change your perspective! We are listening to Jimmy Buffett who also coaxes you to step back and spin around to look at life from a different angle.. Be happy, be thankful, make your own paradise! We just docked on the island!... And are ready for an island day... A day of promise ... Worries left behind on the mainland! Arrived safe and sound... Free Ferrry!.. Fun!
Lynn McPherson
Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co

bringing a little bit of the Chesapeake into your home and holidays!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

On the Road Again!

We are off to Nagshead, NC to make our annual stop at Stetson's Shell Wholesaler and call on a couple of our outer banks customers. We are then going to drop in on our friends vacationing in Frisco, NC for a couple of days of collecting oyster shells on the beach. Then we will take the Ferry over to Ocrakoke Island to check out the Ocrakoke Folk Art Festival. Another business trip to the beach!.... So Sad!!

Monday, May 28, 2012



There are always beginnings....they are endless and promising... always bearing hope upon their shoulders. But it is their destiny to become something other... A process... A journey ... bearing hope that they will end with an accomplishment an achievement an enlightenment .
But sadly beginnings often do not become their own hopeful destinies... They often blaze and fizzle, wither, or simply vanish quietly without taking the creative idea to the work that culminates in a goal accomplished.

There are always more beginnings than endings... Always will all things. But hope is eternal and creativity never-ending... It is the soil and the soul... the nourishment of our beginnings that coaxes them to take root and grow. This seems to be the finite part of the equation. We must feed and nurture and tend our ideas the same way we do our children. Staying power...

How do we breathe life into the shadow of an idea? The ideas... The journey ... The tangible result... So simple... Yet so rare....?
How do we?
my Beginning... my Idea...Forming... Teasing... Promising...
Today is my 55th birthday ...
Today I begin...How will I get there?Will I get there?? I will get there! Hope... Nourishment....Work... Movement...Forward Motion...

5757... See you when I get there:)))

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Adam's Story...


 I am taking this time and opportunity to deviate from writing about my business The Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co, and speak instead about someone whose life and and life's journey is very dear to my heart... His name is Adam.
     Adam is 20 years old. He is a charming young adult in the prime of his life...but he is engaged in a fight to preserve the quality of his  life. Adam has severe Cerebral Palsy from birth and some severe anxiety behaviors that manifested in his late teens. Adam is very bright, very sensitive and above all wants to have a future. Adam dreams about his tomorrows. Adam's life is  dreaming about his tomorrows....
     Adam is 20 years old,  looking at turning 21, and is now in a Medicaid level nursing home that houses very debilitated Senior Citizens. These elderly are waiting out their last days with bodies and minds that have betrayed them. Many have Alzheimer's and dementia and are unaware that there are any tomorrows. It is a place that we  do not like to think about...a place that most of us hope we will never have to see....a place that we send our hopeless and helpless to die...So.... Why is Adam here? He is here because there is no other place  that would take him...because of his severe disabilities and his anxiety disorder...
    Adam feels his future slipping naturally his anxiety is mounting... and that in turn threatens to insure that all of his tomorrows may be spent wheeling himself through the sour halls of this last stop place or potentially another one even worse...He clings tightly to his past which is a childhood of love, acceptance, community, Special Olympic's athletics, and limited independence. A past that was given to him by a singular loving family that opened their hearts and home to him when he was four. A family that accepted him and his disabilities, that invested their time, love and resources in him after he was removed by social services from a family that could not provide adequately for him or meet his physical needs. This foster family is still in his life ... still loving him and trying to emotionally support him...but any power they ever had to help him has been stripped away by "the system".
   Adam is at the mercy of "the system". He is at the mercy of our tax dollars or lack thereof, of legal waivers or lack thereof, of agencies and more agencies and their employees who often refuse to think or perform outside of the box. He is at the mercy of the ragged rips and tears in this great Country's safety net. The safety net that our politicians assure us is there...for the helpless...for those that absolutely cannot provide for themselves... but it is not... for Adam...he is in free fall... and we must catch him before he hits bottom.
     The people that love and support Adam, the family and friends who care about him now have no power in his life! How did this happen? How can the fact that it did happen be used to effect change? That is why I write today...that is why I will continue to write...

    This article will be continued.... please pass it on to others ...Adam needs resources.. resources that are not available to by passing this on to shed light on a dark corner in our state's (VA) and nation's policies that show a complete absence of resources for our most vulnerable citizens...physically and emotionally disabled foster children.

Thank you for following...
Lynn McPherson
Owner of the Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co...bringing the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tax Time

There is always this dark cloud that hangs over February and it has nothing to do with winter weather! It is that ominous time when the books have to be finalized...gone over and gone over again. It is a time of unease... When doing better is celebrated but also has the propensity for biting you in the butt! It is a time of gathering paperwork... Looking for that document that you knew you were going to need now...but has mysteriously disappeared off the face of the earth since you got it in June! Doing 1099's and hating passing them out to those that worked so hard to help you better your bottom line. It is the month where you have to straighten up any messes that linger from the year before... Dot all your I's and cross all your t's... And hold your breath until the accountant announces...either you owe??? or you are getting back???? Whew... So glad that's over...time to get back to paintin' and Santa makin'..and next year's bottom line.
Oh! and for those of us who have kids in college it is also the time to fill out FAFSE :(( government forms to get financial aid for your student. These are based totally on your tax returns and will take another day of frustration to complete! There is no way Valentines Day can compensate for the negativity that tax time wreaks in February! Although the chocolate can be a help!
Thanks for following!
Bringing the Chesapeake into your Home and Holidays!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Typically January and February are the "new"idea months for CBCC. We have already made our (long) new idea list and thought that before we move forward we would ask our fans and customers for their input. Every year we get many face to face suggestions from our customers...each one we value so much! They always help fuel our creativity and keep us in touch with what our customers want. This year we thought we would start out by sending out this invitation for you to go to Chesapeake Bay Christmas Co on Facebook or simply comment on this blog with an idea for an ornament design or an idea for a future Santa. We will pick one (or maybe more) to implement... And the ones that we choose will get the first one we produce free with their name published as the idea behind the new product! We will dedicate a blog with a picture of the product and a picture of the idea person with it! Hope you will all get involved!!!! We love our customers and friends and fans and will also be sending out this invite by email to our constant contact friends.... So you might see it twice...
Give us a great idea and then look for it later at our shows and on our website!! We are excited and hope you will be too!
Thanks for following...
Let us bring a little bit of the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!

Saturday, January 28, 2012


 I am always the last one to embrace a new the time I am ready to embrace it, it is usually on its way to defunct! I hope that does not prove to be the case now that I am a new member of  Facebook! It is kinda funny though that the day that I join the Facebook multitudes is the day that Facebook announces it's upcoming IPO! now that I am joining THEY decide to become part of the Wall Street elite establishment....Hmm ...Everybody better start looking for the next new thing cause now that I have embraced it it is probably doomed!!!  I am the 800,000,001 person to join and  I have to say I am kind of excited about it!  I do have to give all of the credit to my #1 Facebook, business, and life friend  Shawnette...who has been taking care of all of Chesapeake Bay Christmas's social networking from the beginning! I was just a backseat driver and we all know what we think about backseat drivers!! She is also the one who actually did all of the setting me up and getting me connected...and we all know it would have never happened if I had had to do it myself! I still do not know quite how to navigate the bear with me! I am now an actual administrator of the CBCC Facebook page so I hope to be contributing 1st hand (not backseat driving!) real soon! So in honor of the Facebook culture, change my status from Cyber-Challenged to Cyber-Hopeful...thanks for following!
Let us bring a little bit of the Chesapeake into your Home and Holidays!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We have come back to Folly Beach S.C. on a spur of the moment whim to collect the oyster shell clusters that we needed to finish the rest of our Oyster Bay Santas. When Shawnette saw that the temps down here were going to be in the upper 60's we made the hard decision :) to load up the car with our buckets and boots and come on down!!! Yesterday we made the mile long trek down the beach with our rolling container tagging behind to gather our shells. It was eerily foggy on the beach taking our our minds to haunted places and to the ghost stories of our youth. It felt like we were walking into a fog that would fold us into it never to be seen again! But we persevered and got to our favorite oyster place and did the shell collector stoop for several hours. We left loaded with mud laden treasures that we will scrub and bleach and shine up to be added proudly to the feet of our Oyster Bay Santa ( the remaining 50) that we were not able to finish in 2011. We love what we do and all of the awesome business trip opportunities we have! Gotta go! Back to the beach for one more oyster haul...and then back home to work .... with Folly beach a fog laden memory begging us to come back again.

Thanks for following....

Let us bring a little bit of the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!

Monday, January 9, 2012

ANNAPOLIS ...Old and New Chesapeake Bay


 My husband and I made a grab at a quick get away this past weekend to start off 2012 on a great note. Our first stop was Annapolis, MD to visit our son who has recently moved there to work for Ducks Unlimited, a wonderful organization dedicated to restoring wetlands and habitat for migratory waterfowl. You can visit their website at . It is a worthy choice for a contribution to support conservation efforts for the waterfowl and wetlands restoration around our majestic Chesapeake Bay! Look them up!
     Anyway...we arrived in Annapolis and picked up our son from work and took the tour. What an interesting and picturesque city...marinas and boats everywhere! It is definitely a city defined by the water, specifically the Chesapeake Bay. The Blue Crab rules and is served at every eating establishment in a wide variety of delicious ways! As sailing capital of the mid-Atlantic, it is a city that invites you to leave the land and spend some time challenging mother nature out on the open water of the bay or the smaller rivers creeks and coves that snake up into the mainland requiring you to cross multiple bridges(large and small) when traveling any short distance. Downtown is a quaint Main Street that maintains the character and charm of it's historical past. The shopping is amazing, as is the opportunity to eat drink and be merry in cozy cheery red brick surroundings. It seems to be a city of young professionals and college students. Smartly dresesed young  people abound along with the polished Naval Acadamy Mids giving  the City yet another layer of nautical dimension. You will find no high rises here...only a small feeling  neighborhood centered city that invites you to enjoy all of the bounty that the Chesapeake Bay has to offer. We enjoyed our time here with our son...eating, drinking, shopping and admiring a town that  has managed to stay small even though it is big... and has kept it connection to the water, the watermen, and the environment alive!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

We are back! Look out 2012 here we come!

Yes here It is...the first physical evidence of a New Years Resolution! We are back,determined to blog out hearts out in 2012! We will be doing our normal ramblings but will also be keeping you up to date on our show schedules, new designs, website improvements , and all of the worthwhile news and causes we take on!
We want to take this moment to thank all of you for a fabulous 2011 and pledge to you an even more energized and vibrant 2012. Shawnette and I are already totally engaged in our planning, organizing, and visualizing the path and progress of this new year. Join us in welcoming this year of great mystery with the resolution to fill it with happy, productive,and memorable days! Look out 2012 we've got plans for you!
Thanks so much for following...
Lynn bringing a little bit of the Chesapeake into your home and Holidays!