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Getting fleeced

We often refer to this time of year as Sweater Weather. I've decided to call it Fleece Weather. Every morning now, you'll find members of my family walking around the cold house in some type of polyester fleece pullover.

Our daughter even pulls up her hood before sitting down to her bowl of cereal.

I've written about the appeal of fleece before -- its warmth, durability and ease of care. There are many varieties on the market, including environmentally friendlier versions made from recycled fibers (visit www.patagonia.com/recycle to read about its Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, for example).

And it's not just pullovers at our house. Our fleece (including Polartec and others) blankets, vests, hats, jackets and headbands keep us warm all fall and winter, right into early spring.

We've given fleece as gifts, too. For the last couple years of my father's life, he constantly wore the fleece pullover we had given him. His sweaters stayed in the closet; it was the fleece that kept him warm and comfortable.

With heating costs rising and cold days ahead, it's worth getting your family's fleece in order. And anything that doesn't fit but is still in decent shape -- why not donate?

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