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Firefly Moon: Closing sale in Heights as it opens in Lexington

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Firefly Moon Gifts, the artistic shop of unusual gifts, is fleeing the Heights for Lexington Center.

Since 2011, the bright addition graced the block that includes Sports Etc. and D'Agostino's Deli. More recently, the owners imagined opening a Lexington location while keeping Arlington.

Jim Donvan and Susan Thompson, sometime dreamers, had to let realism prevail.

"We love Arlington," said Donvan, a longtime resident, as is Thompson.

But the end of the lease in the Heights was looming, and they had to decide.

The decision led to an opening day Feb. 6 at 1764 Mass. Ave., Lexington. The Heights location, at 1305 Mass. Ave., is remaining open until "toward the end of March."

That familiar site has much merchandise that the owners cannot move three miles west. Most items in Arlington are 25 percent off, except for consignment objects, which are 10 to 15 percent off. The discount is expected to rise as the closing nears.

In an email announcing the sale -- featuring small images of a goldfish jumping from one bowl to another -- they wrote: "We would like to thank all of our customers and neighbors who have made us feel welcomed and supported us over five years, and we hope to continue seeing you and serving you in our new location."

The bottom of the email adds, with hope: "Lots of free parking between Penzy Spice and D'Agostino."

At the Lexington location, the municipal lot nearby offers a relative wealth of parking, though it is metered.

The new digs, between Eaglebank and Body Scapes, smack in the center, appear larger than the Heights shop. In fact, the sunny space with a differing ceiling height, is a bit smaller.

As for the "philosophy" behind gift choices that customers have come to know -- clever, catchy, bright, odd, arresting -- that will continue, Thompson said, as she dealt with first-day customers. Donvan worked on getting the first day moving.

A story in The Boston Globe magazine last summer told, with economy, the story of the pair's refusal to retire: 

"For years, Donvan had traveled the world while working on and off at Harvard, where Thompson was in human resources; he later started a two-man carpentry business with her husband, Jeff Thompson.

"But in 2008, as carpentry work was drying up thanks to the recession, everything seemed to go south at once. Donvan, who was then 51, tore his rotator cuff and shortly after fell and broke his hip. Then his mother-in-law got sick and within weeks passed away.

"I thought if I got hurt again, that could be it," Donvan told The Globe. "Then my mother-in-law’s death woke me up to how short life is and how vulnerable everybody is."

Indeed, and so the sales of gifts, apparel, jewelry, teas and cards go on -- this time in Lexington, as the sun shines or the moon glows.

This report was published Friday, Feb. 19, 2016.

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