Welcome to another edition of the "The 12 Songs of Arizona Christmas," in which local stakeholders detail their most cherished holiday songs. Consider this a musical Advent calendar, where your "treat" is a better understanding of the interesting people and organizations from across the city and state.
Six Geese A-layingKaren Mason, Owner, Duck and Decanter
Since childhood, Karen Mason had wanted to go into the family business. Under her stewardship, Duck and Decanter remains a pillar of the Valley's dining scene. This urban market, now in its 47th year, sells everything from sandwiches and beer and wine to espresso (one of the first shops in the city to do so, by the way). But more than anything, the restaurant's helped build and support the local scene and serves as a second home for guests across four generations. It's no goose, but it sure ain't a lame duck.
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"My favorite Christmas song? 'O Holy Night.' It offers the deepest meaning of Christmas and a profound message of hope. I first embraced the words of the song when, as a family, we [worked] really long hours [during] Christmas making gift baskets. We used to do nearly 1,000 handcrafted gift baskets every year — much less now because of online ordering and mass merchandise box stores.
"My parents actually came from very diverse backgrounds. Dad was in insurance, and Mom was a nursing school owner. They opened this shop in their 40s because they got an opportunity to realize something they'd been talking about for a long time, to go into the food services industry. They founded this place with such profound joy and enthusiasm. What helped was that core group of customers who’d then go and tell their friends and raise their kids coming here. But it was all from that loving partnership of my parents."