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.