Highlights of the Christmas Season

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A guy can hope to wake up to this, right?

Let’s say the white Christmas you have been dreaming of is a reality this year. After the presents are frantically opened and breakfast and coffee have been consumed, all the children beg to go play in the winter wonderland outside. Being the great parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent that you are you grant permission to go outside and you go with them, equally excited because you unashamedly love playing in the snow as much as they do! You spend hours pushing kids down a hill and then carrying them back up, you get low to the ground and work diligently to make the perfect snowman, not to mention the multiple snowball fights you start and the ones that catch you off guard. It is the time of your life, the highlight of the Christmas season for you. But as soon as you stamp the snow from your boots and hang up your sopping wet clothes there’s nothing more you want to do than collapse into the recliner by the fire. So you do because you’ve earned it. 

Maybe you’re not the winter wonderland explorer (either by choice or if you’re not guaranteed snow where you or your family lives). But you cannot wait for the conversations around the crowded, fully-extended dining room table. You’ve been rehearsing your funniest story with the hopes of delivering it in such a way that one of your siblings suddenly spit out the liquid they were drinking because they could not control their laughter. Yet you will most likely be outshined when Timmy asks an innocent question at the perfect moment, sending the whole room into a laugh-so-hard-you-cry frenzy. Or when grandpa, for the thousandth time, tells the story of how nervous he was on his first date with grandma. And you’re okay with your story being topped because you love being around the table with family. That is the highlight of the Christmas season for you.

Maybe you’re the competitive one (every family has one). You wait for the end of the day when the kids are in bed, the wine is uncorked, and the games begin. Whether Pictionary, charades or a newer game, you all file into the living room and plop down on the big sectional and get ready for the main event of the evening. Everyone recalls their version of the infamous whiteboard breaking of ’09. It’s true, the competition has gotten the best of you before, but you genuinely love playing games with family. It brings back fond memories of when you were growing up together. That’s another highlight of the Christmas season for you.

I know there are many more highlights of the Christmas season that I haven’t mentioned! Share with us in the comments what part of the Christmas season you’re most looking forward to or your favorite Christmas memory of all time. We’d love to hear from you!

Merry Christmas,

Andy the Intern


The Truth Behind Leather Furniture

Trust me I know furniture can be a scary purchase & when it comes to leather furniture it can be even scarier! In a world full of retailers who tout genuine leather furniture, only to send you home with something that peels & chips six months later (yikes) is unacceptable. That seems to be the norm in furniture, unfortunately. However, at Virginia Furniture Market we educate our customers. So I am here today to share a few real leather facts & how to spot real leather the next time you’re in a furniture store!

1) There are two main types of leather used in furniture; they are Split & Top Grain Leather.

Top grain leather comes from the epidermis layer of the hide, a.k.a. the rough outer part of the hide similar to the top layer of our skin. Split leather is the layer right below the epidermis layer on the hide. Split leather is a more cost-effective option but does not have the same strength as top grain leather. So make sure when shopping you ask what type of leather the piece is made of.

2) It can take up to 400 pounds of pressure to puncture leather!

Talk about something that is built to last. You’ll have to break out the power tools to pop a hole in a leather sofa.

3) If the price is too good to be true, it’s probably not real leather.

Leather is expensive; it costs more to produce a leather sofa. My father always told me “if you want quality you’re going to pay for it.” A leather sofa will cost a little more but remember a leather sofa typically outlasts a cloth sofa’s life by 3x.

4) Zippers are the key to telling if its real or fake leather!

Quality furniture has zippers!!! If you remember anything from this post remember that. Zippers give you the ability to re-stuff your furniture years down the line when things start to sag. But even more importantly, zippers give you the ability to look at the hide.

Which one of these chairs is leather if you had to guess?

If you guessed left you are correct! The way to tell this is by looking on the backside of the hide/fabric.

The real leather chair on the backside of the hide will feel & look natural along with a leather smell

If you look above fake leather will typically have a man-made material on the backside of the fake leather, which is a direct giveaway that it is not a genuine product. Always remember when shopping for furniture that it’s okay to get your hands a little dirty and inspect a product. In the end, it’s going to be in your home so make sure its right :)!

5) If it adjusts to your body temperature quickly it’s probably leather!

Leather is a natural material meaning that it soaks up the oils in your skin as well as heat that your body gives off. So when in doubt sit it out! After about thirty seconds, you should be able to feel the leather change and adjust to your body temperature. If it’s still cold after you’ve been sitting for a couple of minutes…. its probably not leather.

If you’ve made it this far, I Ryan the Real, officially crown you a leather professional. In a world of imitation leathers, you will be guaranteed to spot the fakes like a pro. However, if you decide leather is right for you, visit Virginia Furniture Market and one of our professionals will be honest with you when it comes to this mysterious thing called leather. So next time, skip the research and make your way down to VFM and learn the benefits of real top grain leather!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


Ryan Real!