El Paso: Star of Wonder, Star of Night by Nan Napier

Thank you card

Thank you card

As Oprah said in the December issue of her magazine, “It’s the time of year when we show the people we love best what they truly mean to us, when we open our hearts and spread a little love around.”

Some people will still be shopping right up to closing time on Christmas Eve, but if you’re finished and want to go further to spread the love, I have an idea for you!

One of my favorite things to do is to put a meaningful note under the Christmas tree for each person who’s coming over to celebrate. After all, the holiday season is one of the very few times when the world becomes still and heartfelt expressions can be heard. Some notes are mushy, some are funny, but all reflect my gratitude for the individuals in my life.

What would I write if I wrote a holiday note to the whole El Paso community? I can think of several things I’d say. In that note, I would write I am especially grateful to the El Paso community for:

• Letting us adorn you! Thank you for allowing Tres Mariposas to be part of your fashion lives. You let us partner with you to make you gorgeous and you let us share the latest fashion forecasts and trends. You allow us to be a part of the most significant events of your lives – weddings, galas, baby showers, all kinds of special events that you dress for.

• Shopping local. Women living in our border region are on the go and have many shopping choices including online and out of town. Thank you for supporting your local businesses. It really does make a difference.

• Keeping El Paso employed. With your commitment to shopping local, we have been able to sustain this local business for more than four decades. I have led it for 34 years, but it was open eight years before that – a total of 42 years! That’s countless casual and special occasion outfits, business wear and sportswear ensembles, accessories and shoes enjoyed by women of all ages. That’s innumerable gift-wrapped Tres Mariposas packages placed under Christmas trees. And that’s many employees and their families over the years who have been fed, housed, educated and supported through your shopping.

• Making El Paso unique. Thank you to all for helping to make us such a rich, interesting and decidedly different community. El Paso has so many things that make us different in a positive way – our multi-cultural history, our lively future, our special geography and climate – and we all benefit when we celebrate our distinctiveness in our dealings with the world out there.

So, if I were to write a personal note to the people of this extended community, I would be sure to include these four messages of gratitude and recognition. This would be my mushy love note to the region!

Have an amazing holiday week. Wear only attire that makes you feel your loveable best. If that fails, drink more eggnog and Champagne!

 

How men can win at gift giving by Nan Napier

Shopping for Christmas

Shopping for Christmas

Tory Burch slippers

Tory Burch slippers

Does the average man love going through racks of women’s clothes to find just the right thing for the special woman in his life? Hardly.

I find that most don’t want to take time to shop for their own clothing. “Men would rather give blood than shop,” according to one pundit.

Around this time of the year, this is a major problem. Years of experience consulting with men have taught me that every man wants to give a gift that delights his lady, but most men absolutely dread the gift-buying process.

However, before a guy goes into procrastination and avoidance mode, he needs to know that most women just want to know that their man actually took time out of his routine to go to a store and think about her.

What she really hopes for is a gift that says he loves her, he understands her and he knows her.

Sometimes men need help translating what they know into a great present and that’s how a good sales assistant or friend can be of service.

If the gift is on trend, all the better. That helps her feel like she is both loved and fashionable!

Each holiday season, as a guide to help our men customers, I watch what women pick out for gifts to their daughters, mothers, sisters and friends – and for themselves!

Some of this year’s most popular fashion gifts are cashmere sweaters in contemporary styles; fur vests and scarves; and today’s new mid-size handbags by Valentino, Michael Kors or Marc Jacobs.

We’ve also seen women picking out jewelry from a wide variety of designers, like Ippolita and Jude Frances. Furry slippers from designer Tory Burch are also popular because women love both comfort and luxury.

Making shopping fun

Okay, so most men don’t like to shop – and we wondered how we could help. So a few years ago, my women’s boutique, Tres Mariposas, came up with a plan to make shopping fun and ease their gift-giving dilemma. It’s called “Men’s Night Out” and it’s Monday, Dec. 10.

Starting at 6 p.m., we put up huge flat-screen TVs for Monday Night Football, which, by the way, will be a good game between Houston and New England. We bring in some of El Paso Country Club’s favorite bartenders to make our guests feel at home. And we’ll have Asher Wildman, KVIA Channel 7 sportscaster, as the event’s energetic emcee.

We are thrilled that Men’s Night Out has become a community-supported endeavor. We’ll have a miniature golf green set up to raise funds for the First Tee, El Paso golfer Kristi Albers’s non-profit that promotes life skills for youth. Men chip in for a good cause while they compete in a friendly chipping contest.

Hors d’oeuvres will include Dr. Tom Alost’s famous Salmon Cheesecake, which is a gourmet wonder, as well as generous donations of creative pizzas, delicious Mexican food and savory sliders from El Paso restaurants.

Door prizes will be given away throughout the evening. The men will go home with a party favor of “adult eggnog” donated in part by Gene Carrejo of Price’s Creameries.

Shopping can’t get any less painless. To make it even easier on their men, many women come in ahead of time to fill out special wish lists and leave them with our staff.

Their guys can be 100 percent sure to know their ladies will get gifts they will love.

This special Tres Mariposas tradition is a win-win situation. The men will have fun Monday and the women will have fun opening their gifts later!