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And so, here I sit, yet again, getting ready to close up the shop for my Christmas break (well, this year won't be a TOTAL shut-down, orders will still be dribbling out at a more relaxed pace) looking back with blood-shot eyes, dazed, confused, and somewhat shell-shocked, wondering, to put it bluntly, what the hell minute it's July, there's seemingly all the time in the world, then, WHAMMO! Christmas rush over, Christmas a week away, shop, office, and home all disaster areas....Always amuses me when customers say "Wow, your house must be beautiful at Christmas"....really? Sad truth is, I'm so busy taking care of my customers, I don't get a chance to do anything the way I'd like to....I haven't even so much as hung a wreath or lit a candle yet! Maybe, if I ever get my store, things will be different....

Really, it's not so much the moths flying by that blow my mind, it's the YEARS.... Three years ago, everything was shut down due to my father's passing....four years ago, my son was in the hospital....already twelve since his first Christmas....Sixteen (there's a few of you who have been with me that long) my mother was in hospice, and would be gone in a week & a half....Sometimes, it all seems like a lifetime ago, and at other times, it was like last month...Amazing how life goes on, and things just keep changing.

So here I am, that much older, that much balder, that much fatter, a battle scarred vet of the Barclay saga.....but, one thing hasn't changed - my desire to bring you the best products I can make, and the most charming products I can import. This time around, however, my simple formula worked TOO well, and things couldn't have "clicked" at a worse time!

As you may or may not know, I usually have people helping out.....I say USUALLY, but I still can't get anyone to help me, so I'm basically that one guy who has to "clean up the mess" so to speak... I know most, if not all who order, experienced some kind of delay, and I know some are still waiting.

Sorry for delay, got BURIED this year, sales are up almost 225%!! (over 750 orders since Halloween alone, which is more than everything else for the year to date) Trust me, I'm PAINFULLY aware of the time sensitive nature of these orders - I've been going 16 hrs a day, 7 days a week, trying to get them out, and I actually took a pass on Thanksgiving dinner with my family, so I can go to the shop & pack these things up! I can't figure out why or how my stuff got so popular all of a sudden, this is a new record for me, I'm trying my best!

The delay, naturally leads to the number one complaint: "Well, you certainly charged my card fast enough"....Uh, no, it wasn't ME who charged your card, it was the web commerce company that did it, I wish it was me who was in charge (no pun intended) of that....As I've mentioned a few times in my various blog ramblings, that, unfortunately, is "the new face of credit card security".... they seem to think that the less people who see the card, the less chance of fraud - I never even see your account #, I don't even know what card you used! The commerce company automatically charges them when the order's placed, then they mark it as paid in my orders file.....I wish we went back to the old way, where I could just run the card before I send something, because this new way is a Class A pain in the you-know-what.....

Speaking of delays & ramblings, let me wind this up, because I'm SURE to get emails from the resident sore-heads, grumbling about "you can find the time to plant your ass in front of the computer to ramble on about crap nobody cares about, when you should be packing MY order" (that's an actual quote from somebody, BTW) So, before I close up shop (again, I'll still be here, working more relaxed hours) let me say to every customer, visitor, web-friend, anyone who in some small way helped make this a bang-up season, "Thanks for your continued support and patience" and also "Best wishes for a happy & healthy holiday season, and a wonderful new year!" Hopefully, next year I can bring you even better products, and better customer service! Ho! Ho! Ho! Big Chief Barclay, signing off!

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