(OK, it was actu­ally 57. No one tell my husband.)

As I was out try­ing (and fail­ing) to fin­ish my Thanks­giv­ing shop­ping, I took a turn down a new street. Out of the cor­ner of my eye I saw two Chi­nese Chip­pen­dale chairs flank­ing a door to a thrift store. They looked like these guys from Jonathan Adler, except they were kelly green.

Image of Chinese Chippendale chairThey were not priced at thrift store rates, sadly. The entire store was full of crazy stuff—a din­ing table with a gigan­tic spi­ral base, huge gin­ger jar lamps and a wall of books. I glanced at the needle­point sec­tion briefly because I thought I saw Mary Martin’s Needle­point. Mary Mar­tin? Like Peter Pan?

Yes! Mary Mar­tin needle­pointed. This is one of those facts that will take up the space in my brain that should be occu­pied by more impor­tant mat­ters, like where I parked my car. I picked up the book and flipped through it, only to land on an index page where my eye was drawn to Girard, Alexan­der. Girard needle­point pat­terns? I got a lit­tle excited. When I flipped to the cor­rect page, what I saw instead was that Girard dec­o­rated an apart­ment for Joyce Hall (the Hall of Hall­mark) in Kansas City. Does this mean there is a (please please please) immac­u­lately main­tained Girard-designed apart­ment in my hometown?

I’m not sure. Googling “Joyce Hall Alexan­der Girard” doesn’t give me a ton of infor­ma­tion. The two were friends. There was an apart­ment. But I can’t find pho­tos. Was it like Girard’s Miller House?

Image of Miller House interior

Hall­mark and Girard” led me to this post on a poster. If you ever see it, please buy it for me.

Image of poster with nativity angel(This is par­tic­u­larly entic­ing because the Nel­son is where I spent a lot of time in sum­mer art camp, which I loved.)

Girard and nativ­ity” took me to this House Indus­tries nativ­ity set, based on a Girard illustration.

Image of nativity set based on illustrations by Alexander GirardIs it wrong for a Jew to have a nativ­ity set? Keep in mind that this Jew also has a Christ­mas tree.

Work­ing through my Google results, I landed upon this page, the archive of a newslet­ter for Tomie dePaola—his children’s books were my favorites grow­ing up.

How much of our taste is set at an early age? I know we evolve and change, but click­ing around dePaola’s site, I felt comforted—I’m pretty sure I still love his work as much as I did many years ago. At least I’m con­sis­tent. And now I have a deep desire to own a dePaola orig­i­nal. Dammit, inter­net.