You never know what you’re going to find when the age-old desire to clean out the old file drawers and boxes taped shut years ago meet their moment of reckoning.

If you’re like me, you probably have an unlimited number of good intentions about finally tossing out all the old stuff you never use anymore but cling to because there’s that nagging thought in your head that maybe – maybe – despite years of practice and experience strongly indicating otherwise, you really might need those files from 15 years ago or that old device that long ago served its immediate purpose and has since been busy gathering dust.

And so it all sits there, taking up space in the garage or basement, alternatively taunting you or pleading with you not to throw me out – not yet.

Finally this spring we made a major push on all of that and filled up a dumpster load of sheer junk that was simply taking up space. What didn’t go to the fire department’s auction or the E-waste recycling day at the local school found its final resting place.

And yet – it’s always amazing what does turn up when intention finally meets execution.

Like these old back issues of the Christmas Chronicle – a news letter we used to publish back in that now quaint-seeming era of the 1990s before the Internet took over and you actually had to mail stuff in a mailbox, call people on a landline phone and didn’t have to worry about updating a website. Keywords? What keywords? And google was just another way to say “infinity.”

So it was with a mixture of awe and nostalgia that in the midst of a clean-out frenzy a week or so ago, I stumbled across a cache of our old newsletters. I had remembered saving at least one copy of the dozen or so issues we put out over a 6-7 year span, but hadn’t seen them in a long time. When they were revealed again after what was at least a decade of complete obscurity, it was like a trip back through time.

The pictures pack the biggest punch – were we really that young once? – but so do the articles we wrote about the giftware lines we carried then, and special events we did.

Remember June McKenna, Virginia-based designer of great Santas. They were a hot collectible from the mid-eighties to the end of the nineties, and she did an appearence event here for us. So did Emilio Fontanini, of the nativity. Lynn Haney too; several times. And Cat’s Meow woodblock buildings, including several of local buildings of note like the Arlington Inn and Burr and Burton Academy, that we had specially commissioned.

So maybe this blog is the new Chronicle. In fact, that’s what it is. Tradition lives.

Now back to the basement.