It’s Not Just About Christmas, You Know…

Each year at this time for the past 26 years I have made a resolution that next year I would not be struggling to get the Pre-Conference Packet printed, stuffed, stamped, and mailed while at the same time finishing the 88-page Arts and Crafts Conference Catalog.

And each year I have failed to make my resolution.

And each year as we are dealing with printing the 11-page packet, getting stamps, and coercing my sons home from college to help stuff envelops, Alex must go home muttering about what a dinosaur she works for, unwilling to simply send the Pre-Conference Packet out to you as an email attachment.

But until that meteorite strikes our farm, wiping out me and my herd of tyrannosaurus in our horse pasture, I’ll keep working to keep the United States Post Office in business.

So, what is a Pre-Conference Packet?

It started in 1988, when I had convinced a hundred or so people to come to Asheville for a three-day educational Arts and Crafts Conference and Antiques Show. By December they were starting to ask uncomfortable questions, like who are the speakers going to be, what dealers are exhibiting, and what are we going to do for three days?

So, I sent out a thin Pre-Conference Packet, timing its arrival to be just after Christmas yet before New Year’s Day, hoping it would not get lost in the wrapping paper or wrapped around a bottle of champaign.

And who gets a Pre-Conference Packet?

Anyone who has booked a room at the Grove Park Inn under the Arts and Crafts Weekend Package – OR – who has registered for the conference by calling my office (828-628-1915) or submitting the online form (that was Alex’s idea, and it works!) at

So, if by January 3rd you don’t get a large envelope with a picture of the 1913 Grove Park Inn on the front, then either you are not yet registered (and there is still room) or we don’t have the new address given you under the witness protection program.

And what is in the Pre-Conference Packet?

Important stuff, like the sign-up sheet for the Thursday night Craftsman Farms Banquet to be held in the new Skyline Room and Terrace. Or the one for the afternoon house tours organized by the Asheville Preservation Society every year. And the one for the Asheville Art Museum’s Saturday reception, along with a talk on Craftsman textiles. Plus the airport shuttle bus form, and the critical name badge form, because without a name badge, you can’t get into the seven seminars, any of the 20 discussion groups, the evening movie, the Friday walking tours, and daily demonstrations. Or get a catalog, a tote bag, a poster and a 2014 calendar. Or go to the shows (unless you pay $10 at the door).

And if this leaves you with a question, just call or send us an email.

This dinosaur has figured out emails!

Until next Monday,

Have a safe week!


Grove Park Inn Reservations (800) 438-5800

Our Office (828) 628-1915


Alex’s email: [email protected]

Bruce’s email: [email protected]

Top Photo: Courtesy of