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 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 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 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


  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. :)

  2. I love finding bargains and unique gifts!

  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

  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.

    in Germany

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


Thanks for leaving a comment.