Get Your Holiday ‘On’ at Pier 1


***Here I sit at a vanity table in Pier 1, trying on those festive masks folks wear for masquerade balls. That’s why I love this place:  You never know what you’ll find.

I adore Pier 1.  After all, I bought my first home furnishings there, when, as a single mother, I moved into an empty 4-room apartment with my young daughter (she was a year old).  It was a bleak period of our life when we had nothing…

I slept on a box spring mattress on the floor (couldn’t afford a frame) and the only furniture we had for my little girl’s room was her crib. I used boxes to hold our clothes since I couldn’t afford dressers or chests of drawers.  Two aunts pooled hand-me-down cutlery, as well as pots and pans, to give me.

My one splurge at the time was two large ceramic elephants at $39.00 each.  I used them as a coffee table, running a glass across them, placing cushions aside them, in lieu of a couch.  Company sat Japanese-style, on the floor.  It’d be six months before I could afford a couch and a chair.

Over the years, I took those elephants everywhere, and today, I have a special affinity for them.  They’ve seen me through thick and thin, sort of like “in sickness and in health, til death do us part” (no–I’m serious.)

I only parted with them this past summer when my younger daughter took them to Boston where she has a condominium.  But I insisted:  “You must never separate them.”  To my way of thinking, they’re family and they’re siblings.

But I got them at Pier 1, an oasis of hope where I could go and buy a little something, during a period of hardship.  And today, I still get a lift–just walking into one where I see an eclectic array of colorful artifacts from all over the world:  scents, sponges, soaps, jewelry,wall hangings, glass heads (to display hats or for phrenology?), rugs, benches, room dividers, mirrors, rattan, wicker, synthetic woods.

In short–everything… but at reasonable prices.

Pier 1– a “happy place” that always speaks to my whimsical side.

A fat reindeer with a bulbous belly and seriously-bowed legs stares down from a high perch, fashionable in Christmas ornament-earrings and snappy green and red tie. 

Pier 1 buyers appear have a well-developed sense of humor.  They’re my kind of people.

And what does Husband do while I try on masks?  There’s always a plush bamboo chair, in a recessed corner of the store where he can catch a few winks…

And tune in Friday for Biddy’s holiday feature–“The Christmas Dormer.” See you then…

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog,, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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