Have you had enough of circling the parking lot, standing in line, and walking the mall for Christmas gifts yet? The Norman Rockwell up there is from his Christmas series and was the first to feature a woman, solo on the cover. It is 1947. Yes, I know, things haven’t changed that much. Is that the gift list or family budget falling off her lap? Whether ’47 or 2011, many woman look like that around December 22th. Then they need a second or fourth wind to make Christmas cookies.
I avoid going to the mall because for me, it’s a waste of gas, precious time, there are too many germs out there and I’m slightly claustrophobic. I’m a Cyber Monday shopper, online, all the time, all the way. People on my list, that’s in my head, will receive books, jewelry, telescope, Groupon coupons, and cologne. And I didn’t get all of these at the mall.
One of my favorite things to shop for, on and offline, are books. I love books. It’s also the reason I took a dip starting a ‘nano-bookstore,’ in the old downtown section of my town. It’s a consignment area in a historic Colonial Revival building. A young entrepreneurial opened this old building for handmade items and made an exception for books (she is a fella book lover).
Books make the best gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, any holiday and just because. I often wished for a new book at Christmas and would take that over any piece of clothing my very thoughtful but fashionably hindered mother bought for me.
Children’s books are a favorite because they are dual purpose. It’s a gift to a child when they read it and when you read it to them (over and over). It’s not only in the reading, but also in the readers characterization of what is read, the child’s enjoyment, and the conversations that arise out of the reading. Children’s books equal family time, snuggling, and smiles.
A holiday favorite, “The Night Before Christmas,” is in a new paper-cut version. It’s a beautiful book with an old Victorian feel. It’s a gorgeous book and you have to be careful with the delicate pages that are paper-cut. Although my kiddos are teen/YA kids I’m purchasing just for the quality and beauty of the item. We have four books on Christmas that we put out each year: Olive, The Other Reindeer; The Legend of the Poinsettia and Night of the Posadas by Tom DePaolo and Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto.
For the teenager, think about their hobbies and passions, and find a book in that genre. Choose a business book for the young professional, the small business owner, the entrepreneur, the mid-life looking for another profession, and the soon to retire but not gone person. For the great, or not so great, but loves to cook what is better than a cookbook. For those who want to learn more about spiritual matters find a Christian/Buddhist/ (insert persuasion here) fiction or nonfiction book. Everyone on your gift list has an interest or passion and it’s up to you to find it.
A one-stop source for perusing the vast mountain of books out there is this list from the Los Angeles Times. There are books on autobiographies, coffee table, cooking, fiction, mysteries, non-fiction, poetry, quirky books, sci-fi, thrillers, unusual, and books for young adults.
So take off your jacket, put down your heavy purse with stuff hanging out of it, slip off your shoes, and go hang out on the couch for fifteen minutes. Or you can go find a candle or three (yes, the ones you use for decoration that have dust on the top of them). Now run warm bath water and light the candles. Can you feel it? The kinks in your shoulders and neck will relax after five minutes. Sorry, that’s all you get if you have little kids. Seven minutes if the spouse watches them, and fifteen if they are napping.
Now that you’re relaxed, find the ace bandage and wrap your wrist. It’s time to go cyber shopping (before December 10th for free shipping at the big online stores). Save your feet and mind to enjoy watching a holiday program, the lighting of your city’s Christmas Tree, enjoying a Peppermint Mocha with your friends or making those Christmas cookies you promised the family last year. Many happy Holidays.