Don't forget the thank-you notes

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					  SV LIFE HOME+GARDEN
     San Jose Mercury News >> mercurynews.com                             Saturday, December 20, 2008
                                                                                                                                      GIFTS FOR COLLECTORS
                                                                                                                                      HOME+GARDEN EXTRAS >> MERCURYNEWS.COM
                                                                                                                                                                             PAGE 4




                                                                                                                                                                              100     SECTION E
                                                                                                                                                                                                  ....
           “The place represents a collective tribute to good taste. It’s a real treasure.”                                                                                    Tip sheet
                                                PETER CARTER, A FORMER ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE AND PHOTOGRAPHER




                                                                                                                                                                         Don’t
                                                                                                                                                                       forget the
                                                                                                                                                                       thank-you
                                                                                                                                                                         notes


      Unearthing
                                                                                                                                                                         We know. We know. Who
                                                                                                                                                                      wants to think about writing
                                                                                                                                                                       thank-you notes before the
                                                                                                                                                                        gift-giving is done? Sorry.
                                                                                                                                                                       The experts say write them
                                                                                                                                                                       while the gratitude is fresh




                                                 a treasure
                                                                                                                                                                      in your mind. Plus, some say
                                                                                                                                                                        those who write the most
                                                                                                                                                                         notes get the most gifts.
                                                                                                                                                                         Here’s some advice for
                                                                                                                                                                             making it easier.

                                                                                                                                                                      Banish e-mail
                                                                                                                                   DESIREE NORTHEND — LOOKILOOS.COM
                                                                                                                                                                      If you received a gift from
La Estancia in Los Gatos is more than 100 years old and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.                                                        someone who is not sitting
                                                                                                                                                                      across from you at the dinner
                                                                                                                                                                      table every night, you owe them
HISTORIC LOS GATOS ESTATE OFFERS A GLIMPSE OF OLD CALIFORNIA                                                                                                          a note. A handwritten one, in
                                                                                                                                                                      pen, preferably blue ink.
                                       By Julia Prodis Sulek
                                            Mercury News                                                                                                              Downsize
                     From the sloping road just blocks from downtown                                                                                                  Write one or two a day. Use
                  Los Gatos, it’s easy to miss the grand estate called La                                                                                             small cards or stationery so
                  Estancia. Condos are above and condos are below. And                                                                                                there is less space to fill, and
                  even if you know which gates the house hides behind,                                                                                                pick cards with fun colors and
                  you’d still be lucky to catch a glimpse of the servants’                                                                                            shapes.
                  entrance.
                     But on a summer night, you can hear the place.                                                                                                   Simply start
                  The music rises up from the loggia. There’s chatter                                                                                                 “Dear Aunt Martha, thank you
                  and laughter and dancing. And on some nights, David                                                                                                 for the iTunes card” is fine.
                  Stonesifer — in his signature round-rimmed glasses                                                                                                  Avoid the trap of saying “I am
                  — sits at the baby grand piano and plays.                                                                                                           just writing to say” — that’s
                     The home of Stonesifer and Larry Arzie — former
                                                                                                                                                                      stating the obvious.
                  owners of the Los Gatos Porch interior design store
                  — has been a storied estate for more than 100 years.
                                                                                                                                                                      Honest, I like it
                  And in the hands of Arzie and Stonesifer for the past
                  27 years, it’s become a community gem whose gates                                                                                                   Say how you used it: “I have
                  have been opened for countless non-profit fundraisers                                                                                                already loaded up my iPod with
                                                                                                                                  PETER CARTER
                  from the San Jose Symphony to the Los Gatos Police                                                                                                  some of my favorite old Bob
                  Auxiliary. Parties and weddings for their friends have
                                                                                   David Stonesifer, left, and Larry Arzie bought La                                  Dylan songs.”
                  become legendary.
                                                                                   Estancia in 1981.
                     “The place represents a collective tribute to good                                                                                               Get personal
                  taste,” said Peter Carter, a former advertising execu-                                                                                              “You remember how much
                  tive and photographer who had his wedding reception                                                                                                 I loved Dylan as a kid.” Don’t
                  for 800 guests at La Estancia nearly 20 years ago. “It’s                                                                                            worry if it sounds too simple;
                                                                                                                                                                      the point is to create a simple
                                    See LOOKILOOS, Page 2                                                                                                             expression of a heartfelt senti-
                                                                                                                                                                      ment.

                                                                                                                                                                      Don’t lie
                                                                                                                                                                      This gets tricky if your mother-
                                                                                                                                                                      in-law gives you a chartreuse
                                                                                                                                                                      scarf or you are allergic to pa-
                        Three friends who live in San Jose’s Rose Garden                                                                                              perwhite bulbs. Don’t say you
                      neighborhood started Lookiloos.com to give readers                                                                                              love the gift. Find a truth, such
                      “a peek into the style and stories behind every door.”                                                                                          as: “It was so thoughtful of you
                     The Mercury News and Mercurynews.com are featuring                                                                                               to think of me.’’
                                                                                                               DESIREE NORTHEND — LOOKILOOS.COM
                                     some of those stories.                        This grand piano is a gathering spot for guests.                                   It’s a wrap
                                                                                                                                                                      Sign off. Use whatever works
                                                                                                                                                                      for you: Love. Yours Truly. With
                                                                                                                                                                      Love. Sincerely. Then sign your
                                                                                                                                                                      name.

                                                                                                                                                                      Extra credit
                                                                                                                                                                      Have your kids sign their own

                                                  Make Hanukkah a family affair                                                                                       names.

                                                                                                                                                                                   — www.ehow.com

                                                   with homemade menorahs                                                                                                     and The Morning News,
                                                                                                                                                                                  an online magazine


                                                 USE YOUR CREATIVITY                 Shoshana Berger, editor-in-chief      using a tree branch, wine bottles




                                                                                                                                                                                3
                                                                                     of Ready Made, a Berkeley-based       from the recycling bin and baby
                                                FOR FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS               DIY magazine.                         food jars.
                                                                                        Making your own menorah               Try these or get creative with
                                                       By Jessica Yadegaran          puts a personal stamp on the holi-    your own.
                                                           Bay Area News Group       day.
                                                   If you are Jewish and grew up
                                                in the 1980s, you probably have
                                                                                        “Hanukkah has very little ac-
                                                                                     couterments attached to it,”
                                                                                                                           Wine bottle menorah
                                                Hanukkah memories of your            Berger says. “Besides dreidels        What you need:
                                                mother digging hardened wax out
                                                of the family menorah, a gaudy
                                                brass candelabra made in China
                                                                                     and gold, foil-wrapped coins, the
                                                                                     menorah is the way to showcase
                                                                                     the holiday.” It’s also a good way
                                                                                                                             Nine glass wine or sparkling
                                                                                                                             water bottles (a few others as
                                                                                                                             backup)
                                                                                                                                                                             things
                                                that a distant relative brought
                                                back from Israel.
                                                                                     to get the kids involved.
                                                                                        “Young children are so drawn
                                                                                                                             Bottle cutter kit (about $50 at
                                                                                                                             craft shops)
                                                                                                                                                                              to do
                                                   Put the festivity back in the
                                                Festival of Lights, which begins
                                                this year at sundown Sunday, by
                                                                                     to crafts and larger-than-life dis-
                                                                                     plays,” Berger says. “Giving them
                                                                                     an opportunity to be involved is
                                                                                                                             Ice cubes
                                                                                                                             Nine candles plus one for heat-
                                                                                                                                                                             today
        D. ROSS CAMERON — BAY AREA NEWS GROUP   making your own, distinctive me-     priceless.” To get your creative        ing glass bottles                                 Our ideas,
                                                                                                                                                                                                          ....




This menorah was constructed from               norahs.                              juices flowing, we asked the staff       Matches                                            Page 8
cut wine bottles by staff members at               “Melt that brass and turn         at Ready Made to create three
Ready Made magazine.                            it into machine parts,” says         easy menorahs, which they did               See MENORAHS, Page 7