Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Outwitting The Kids

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 19, 2015 @ 12: 17 PM

0_a2578_a227e315_orig.png“Done!” Diana said triumphantly. She snapped the laptop shut and checked off the last item on her shopping list. Christmas 2015 was in the bag. 

Or, actually, in the truck. Thanks to online shopping, we’ve hardly set foot in a mall this season, which, for busy working parents like us, is a major victory. Diana scoured the Internet for bargains and treasures, saving us the stressful task of trekking from one store to another to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list.   

And, according to the news, the Fruccis are not unique this holiday season. Online shopping will likely top $83 billion this year, up 10% from 2014. No wonder UPS has had to rent additional vans to deliver all the packages. Our front door is seemingly piled high every afternoon with brown cartons.  

While Christmas shopping has gotten easier, hiding the loot has never been more difficult for parents. As soon as the boxes started landing on our doorstep in late November, our three boys would run out and examine them closely. They would study stickers, tags and barcodes to determine where the package came from – and what its likely contents were.  

“Mom!” Robbie, our seven-year-old, announced one afternoon. “My Skylanders Superchargers just showed up!” 

Not to be outwitted by a pack of under-age private eyes, Diana switched the delivery address to our showroom in Hanover. It seemed the perfect solution. But Collin, our thirteen-year-old, figured out how to log onto her account on Amazon. There, he hit the motherlode: a list of everything she’d bought this year.  

Playing hide-and-seek with the presents is part of the fun of Christmas. Thanks to the Internet, we no longer have to endure snarled traffic and overcrowded malls. But we do have to come up with some pretty ingenious ways of outwitting the spies in our midst. The times, they are a-changin’.    

Happy Holidays to your family from all of us at FCG.

Topics: christmas

The Last Gift of Christmas

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 27, 2014 @ 03: 54 PM

Our postman staggered across the lawn under the weight of the package. He dumped it on the doorstep, rang the bell, and dashed back to his truck. Inside, as the bell chimed, the dog went wild. present


So did my imagination. A box! Just in time for Christmas! I could hardly contain my excitement - and neither could my three boys - as we hauled it inside and considered the possibilities.


Collin, my middle son, said out loud what we were all secretly hoping. "Maybe it's a giant flat screen TV!"


Instantly, I envisioned ripping the old, obsolete clunker off the shelf and installing our new, imaginary TV. Then, nirvana. We'd enjoy Kentucky basketball games on the big screen. Since our team is ranked #1, we'd watch the March Madness championship game in HD.


The Patriots would probably go to the Super Bowl, and we'd have a big party. The Kentucky Derby on the big screen - amazing! Oh, the fun we'd have. Best Christmas ever, we were thinking as we hovered excitedly over the unopened package.


Then, the boys got busy, tearing it open. Styrofoam popcorn exploded all over the foyer. Even the dog got into the action, nipping and gnawing at the cardboard. I cut through layers and layers of bubble wrap.


The moment of truth was upon us. I reached into the plastic and pulled out ... two large framed prints of horses. The boys and I sat back in stunned silence, our dreams dashed. One horse gazed at us soulfully with a mouth full of hay. The other horse struck a noble pose, staring off into the distance.


Turns out, one of my wife's aunt was downsizing and moving to a smaller home. She decided to surprise her niece by shipping her two beloved antique prints. "So thoughtful!" Diana exclaimed after she heard the commotion and hurried to the foyer.


Well, that's the holidays for you. Even those of us old enough to know better sometimes believe in Santa. But, to quote the Rolling Stones, you can't always get what you want.


So, if you got a couple of horse prints this year for Christmas or Hanukkah, I can recommend the perfect solution: FCG. We may be able to find a happy buyer for your unwanted items - and in our showrooms you just might find and get what you need.

Topics: manomet, present, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, tree

Dad - We Have a Problem

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, December 13, 2014 @ 10: 27 AM

"disappointed cowboyDad," Robbie pulled me aside and confided in a low, somber tone. "We have a problem."


Earlier, he had spied some wrapped presents tucked under the tree. The half-hidden stash was an irresistible lure for a six-year-old boy. With only twelve more shopping days left until Christmas, he knew he had to schedule some urgent reconnaissance.


This was a job that required absolute secrecy without any interference from his two older brothers or, even worse, Mom. His mission: to determine whether he'd get his fair share of loot for Christmas.


First, he made sure the rest of the family was busy - and not in the living room. Then, he crawled under the tree. Once he reached the target, he weighed and measured the presents from every angle. He undertook his inspection with the precision of a diamond dealer. He probably used a loupe.


The data, once analyzed, confirmed his worst fears. He had one present under the tree. His brothers each had three. So he filed a grievance: "It's not fair." But, he assured me diplomatically, we still had time to fix the situation.


When it comes to Christmas, I'm convinced that every kid on the planet is born with an internal abacus. When they're young, they're thrilled just to unwrap a box. Soon, they start keeping count of the gifts. Every child has to have precisely the same number as his or her siblings - or you're risking a riot.


When they're teenagers, they develop a sophisticated sense of value and style that shifts daily, which creates a gift-giving nightmare. Two parkas, both equally warm. North Face or L.L. Bean? Take it from me, one of those is going to be a big mistake. Tears will ensue. We're not quite there yet at our house but I dread the day.  


Admit it. All of us have a little kid inside secretly checking out everyone else's gifts. So if you're racing around trying to even out the ratio, you'll find help at FCG.


Yesterday, a harried shopper dashed into our showroom in Hanover. "Something for my daughter," he gasped. "All out of ideas!" Minutes later, he tore out of the store with a generous gift card, his arms raised in triumph. "I'm done!" he roared happily. "Done, done, done!"

Topics: manomet, family, robbie, december, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, holidays, gift card, gift certificate

Tree Wars II

Posted by Jay Frucci on Mon, December 08, 2014 @ 11: 46 AM

"So who is winning our littledescribe the image competition?" Brad asked with feigned nonchalance. Brad is the manager of our store in Plymouth. And the little competition is nothing less than FCG's design Super Bowl.


In other words, it's our annual Christmas tree decorating contest. 


Each of our three stores is given a tree, a small budget for ornaments and a deadline. Trees must be fully decorated by Dec. 1. Then you - our customers - get to vote on the best of the three trees online or in person at the store.


The prize? Technically, a catered lunch for the staff that created the winning tree. But, in reality, the winners have bragging rights for a year. Considering the competitors, that's no small matter.

Our contest pits Brad, a maestro of design, and his staff against his identical twin brother, Ron, and the staff of our store in Hanover. Ron is manager of that store and an equally gifted design genius. And he's got a score to settle: his brother's team won last year.


Our third combatant - oops, I mean contestant - is Donna, formerly Brad's protégé and now manager of our store in Chestnut Hill.


Like any war, this one has secret battle plans and spies. Ron recently invited his staff to his home to work on their tree. Outside, the wind was whipping the last of the autumn leaves off the trees. Inside, the group was busy baking gingerbread men and making candy.


Suddenly, someone noticed a face pressed against the rain-slick window: Brad, on a spy's mission. Luckily, he escaped without bloodshed.


Each of our showrooms boasts a spectacularly decorated tree this year. In Hanover, the Gum Drop Tree is studded with delectable treats: gooey chocolate balls, candy ribbon and an army of marshmallow men. In Plymouth, the Nutcracker Tree celebrates the beloved ballet with ornaments celebrating its colorful characters hidden in the boughs.  


In Chestnut Hill, Donna and her team created a tree that celebrates the beauty of this snowy season in silver, white and teal.


'Tis the season to be merry. Around here, we try to remember that the contest is just a friendly little competition. So, as they say in Chicago, vote early - and often - for your favorite tree. All I ask is that you say a prayer for me when it comes time to announce the winner.

Topics: manomet, employee, staff, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, tree, twins, contest

Take A Holiday from Wishes

Posted by Jay Frucci on Sat, November 29, 2014 @ 10: 04 AM

So maybe my timing wasn't perfect ....

While undertaking the sixteen-hour drive over the river and through the woods to my in-laws in Kentucky, I listened to a radio talk show. According to the enthusiastic host, Thanksgiving was the perfect time to discuss end-of-life issues with older relatives. wpc5acd0bf

In other words, white meat or dark? Burial or cremation? Pass the carrots, please. And, speaking of vegetables, when do you want us to pull the plug?

So after we finished our family feast, I thought I'd broach some of those topics with my in-laws. "Have you two created a will?" I asked. "Who's the executor?"

"Glad you asked!" Papa responded with great zeal. An Army veteran who did two voluntary tours in Vietnam, he wasn't a man to approach anything without a battle plan. "We've got good long-term care insurance in place," he said. "And we've taken care of the will." Diana, my wife, would be the executor.

He paused then for a moment and nodded his head slowly. We all leaned in a little closer. "I've given a lot of thought to this," he said thoughtfully. "And I'd like my ashes to be spread all over Nancy."

His wife's name is Becky.

In the uproar that followed that disclosure, he quickly explained. Nancy, Kentucky is the home of the Mill Springs National Cemetery, one of the oldest national cemeteries in the U.S. Established during the Civil War, some 4,000 veterans are buried there.

Well, the conversational floodgates opened - probably out of relief. Suddenly, everyone at the table had an outrageous death wish.

"I want to be shot out of a cannon," my mother-in-law announced. She wasn't about to be upstaged in the department of grand theatrical exits. I looked over at Diana. She was starting to look a little panicky. How would she find a functioning cannon in Kentucky?

Maybe some topics are better left alone at Thanksgiving. And probably Christmas. I've learned from this experience. So my advice would be to steer the conversation to more uplifting subjects. "Gosh, Mom, your dining table is so beautiful. I bet when the time comes we could get good money for it at Furniture Consignment Gallery."

Topics: family ties, manomet, family, robbie, thanksgiving, death wish, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, chairs, quality, chair, dining, dining room, kids, travel, kentucky, funeral, will

Our Tree of Lights

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 20, 2013 @ 11: 00 AM

"Daaaaad! We NEED a treeeeeee!"


13HanoverTree D3This is the fourth time my five-year-old has reminded me of that grim chore. Oops, I mean fun family activity.

Christmas tree decorating has never been my thing. When I was growing up, my family had a fake tree. I hated that thing. So apparently did my father. My mother relieved him of tree duty as soon as we kids were old enough to understand and marvel at his muttered curses. So, as the oldest, it became my job to drag that accursed thing out of the attic and assemble it every December.


The tree was jammed in a box as soggy as day-old cornflakes. Stiff metal branches stuck out of the box, threatening to lance my rib cage or pierce an eyeball. After wrestling the box out of the attic, I had to figure out how to put the tree together so it vaguely resembled something in nature. That was a challenge. All the instructions were tattered and looked like, Tucker, our family dog had mistaken the tree diagram for the actual tree. Once, the tree resembled a large prickly green mushroom.


Next came the untangling of lights. That's when I paid for my sins of the previous year: snatching the lights 13PlymouthTreeoff the tree, wadding them up haphazardly, and shoving them into the attic - along with the dissected tree - on New Year's Day. Over the summer, small attic demons wove the lights into massive snarls. I call it Satan's Christmas crochet. It's true. Ask any dad.


Imagine my relief when I was relieved of tree decorating duty this year at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Instead, we had a contest: staffers would compete to decorate a tree in each of our three stores. The results are stunning.

The theme of Hanover's tree is Boston Strong. Wrapped in a gauzy red and white garland, the tree boasts red, white and blue ornaments and a flamboyant topper crafted out of a dozen little American flags. Plymouth's theme is nautical. Staffers at that store hand-painted tiny anchors and ships as ornaments and a sturdy rope winds its way around the tree. Some 250 tiny nautical flags flutter from every branch. Proudly topping the tree is a miniature three-masted schooner.


Chestnut Hill chose to celebrate fine hand-made furniture for its theme. At the top of the tree is a color photo of a gorgeous mahogany breakfront filled with china. Wrapped in sparkling white lights, the tree is laden with photograph 13ChestnutHilltree D2ornaments of exquisite chairs, bureaus, tables and desks.  

So I hereby declare the contest has begun and you, our customers, are the judges. Vote for your favorite tree here in our newsletter on our Facebook page - but I urge you to visit our stores in person to see their handiwork. There you'll see proof that our staff is creative, resourceful and full of holiday spirit.


And just between us, let's hope they don't ask me to take down the trees.

Topics: fun, manomet, consignment, boston, MA, chestnut hill, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, christmas, tree, contest, nautical

A Visit from Christmas Past

Posted by Jay Frucci on Wed, December 26, 2012 @ 03: 43 PM

When I was ten, I desperately wanted all the actio3792628202 1845368a76n figures from my favorite movie, Star Wars, for Christmas. Imagine my joy when I tore the wrapping paper off just about every character worth owning: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Best of all, I got Luke Skywalker, the X-Wing Fighter Pilot, decked out in his orange jumpsuit - with helmet and lightsaber.


Within an hour, though, joy turned to tragedy. I was staging a wrestling match with Han and Chewbacca when, suddenly, I heard a snap. Han's head popped off his body and bounced a couple of times on the carpet before rolling to a stop. His angry eyes glared up at me. I swear.


"Mom!" I howled, gathering up the broken toy and heading for the kitchen. That's when our youthful Miniature Schnauzer moved in for the kill, digging his teeth into Luke Skywalker. Up the stairs he dashed and slid under my brother's bed. I finally wrestled the toy away from him, but damage had been done. Luke's arm was mashed by dog teeth. He couldn't even hold his lightsaber.


The lack of any swear words in my ten-year-old vocabulary, kept me from accurately expressing my despair.  


I remember that day as if it was yesterday. Isn't that one of the greatest gifts of Christmastime - all the memories of long-ago holidays?  


Last Monday, I spent an evening with a group of people who are as close to family as you can get without actually being family: our employees. We reflected on Christmas Past at Furniture Consignment Gallery. Seven year ago, there were four of us in the break room eating sandwiches. This year, we numbered 24, and we celebrated at a local restaurant.  


Times change. We always hope they are for the better.   A day to reflect, to appreciate others and to think about how how things in our lives could have been better or worse. Imagine if I had never opened those packages that Christmas morning? What if I saved them and sold them thirty years later on e-bay?    


Nahh... I like the way things turned out.  


Merry Christmas. 


Topics: consignment, boston, MA, massachusetts, newton, Furniture, Hanover, plymouth, gallery, christmas

Holiday Gift Hunting

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, December 21, 2012 @ 11: 32 AM
Iastroshop've been watching holiday shoppers in our showroom this week and it isn't a pretty sight. They wander in grumbling to themselves looking vaguely disoriented - like astronauts who made a rocky landing on an alien planet.


"Where am I?" they're mumbling. "Why am I here?" 


To anyone who's suffering the gift-giving blues, I'd like to offer some cheerful advice: You can do it. We can help.


Okay, so I'm paraphrasing the motto of a big home-improvement store. But we've scored a couple of victories here.


One young woman was on the hunt for a gift for her mom who spent the summer helping her set up her first apartment. How to thank her? She knew her mother loved fine furniture, and she was thrilled to find a tiger maple candlestick table, crafted by the famed cabinetmaker Eldred Wheeler. She skipped out the door, hugging her purchase.


A construction worker dashed in on his lunch break to buy a coffee table his wife had fallen in love with last weekend. Another woman was overjoyed to find a bronze sculpture of a cowboy clinging to a wildly bucking horse, a museum-quality replica of a Frederic Remington. Her husband was a passionate collector of Western memorabilia. She left the store beaming.


Let's be honest. It's hard to buy something special for those who mean the most to us. Thoughtful just isn't enough. We're looking for starry-eyed wonder when they open the package.


So give us a chance. Don't wander the cluttered ragbag shops of the mall like a zombie. We'll put our elves here to work. And you can count on us to help you find the perfect gift.

Topics: 2012, gifts, shopping, elves, mall, Furniture Consignment Hanover, christmas, angry