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Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the season to be jolly...

And a great book always seems to make the holidays brighter!

What gifts will you give this holiday season?  For an author, the greatest gift he or she can give is a book...especially one he or she slaved over for months, and crafted carefully for the enjoyment of readers.  Of course...my books will only go to the over-18 crowd. The rugrats will get the usual...candy, toys, and kid's books!


I brought back about 50 pounds of print books from Romanticon this year, and I intend to give them to all the good BIG girls on my Christmas list.  I purchased books by a lot of my pals, specifically for gifts.  


I firmly believe in giving gifts that won't be taken back to the store after the holidays.  I don't buy clothes or weird things that catch my eye.  I don't buy "As seen on TV!" things that fall apart about ten minutes after the item comes out of the packaging.  I buy candy and cookies...the good ones...or I bake stuff.  I create gift baskets with batches of stuff, like play makeup and kiddie books and fake "jewels" for the 6-year-old granddaughter who thinks she's almost 21.  :P


And for the "big" gift from Grandma, I find the unique, unusual, and always useful things that catch a kid's eye...like the 40" tall teddy bear with a little teddy bear in its arms. ($20)  Or I spy out the DVD section to find all those classic movies that are on sale for $5.  My sons are Monty Python aficionados.   Last year I bought two dozen movies for less than $80.  


I am NOT cheap...I am simply always on the lookout for a great buy...and I often find things that you will never find again.  I always give stuff that is classy despite the lack of money spent.  It's a knack I have.  If I spy something in the clearance aisle that once cost over $50, that I can buy now for $19.99, into the cart it goes.  And I start buying for Christmas just after Labor Day.  The prices aren't hiked up to the hilt, and the sales are great.


I used to spend thousands on Christmas gifts...now I spend a few hundred and I get great bargains.  Combining stuff I make with neat things I bought makes a great, personal, and happy gift.  Books that are autographed by the author are always a conversation piece.  A vintage toy that looks brand new, or a vintage parlor game like Mr. Ree, Clue, or Parcheesi from the 30's, 40's or 50's is a collector's piece as well as a fun gift.  And for those who don't go for collectibles, there are always "edibles".  A cake tin packed to the top with cookies, candies, gum, and sparkly sugar crystals is always welcome.

So have yourself a Merry Little Holiday and don't go bonkers or broke.  Enjoy the gifts you give, and your family and friends will enjoy them, too.


Fran Lee

5 comments:

  1. Oh, I'd forgotten about Parcheesi. I loved that game when I was a kids.
    Thanks for sharing your gift giving strategy, Fran. It's truly about the thought you put into the gift and not the price tag. :)

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  2. I love finding bargains and unique gifts!

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  3. Wow Fran, You give great gifts!
    As a country I think our gift giving and holiday traditions are shifting back to a more sane and pleasurable approach to the holidays.
    I love the collector editions of classic board games and I love playing them with my family.
    Parker Brothers has re-issues of classic games like Stratego & Risk etc.. The wooden boxes look like beautiful, leather bound books and fit on a bookshelf when not in use.
    Nothing says Christmas to me quite like sitting down to a good game of world domination with the family. lol
    XXOO Kat

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  4. I love to give things that I have made myself. A cross stitch sampler. An oil painting. Something I've baked, a special cake or cookies in a decorative box. I get a lot of big thanks for these type of gifts.

    Valerie
    in Germany

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  5. Thanks so much for your comments! I see we share an affinity for giving sensible, happy gifts. :)

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