I love Christmas, and I love giving gifts to people I care about. I just don't like it that the two things intersect. I'd much rather be out shopping for some summer tops for myself in, say, June, coming across something that would be perfect for my daughter, and getting it to give to her right then. Or, maybe in April, shopping for a new CD player/radio/alarm clock and seeing something that makes me say, "Oh, Jake (my godson) would love this!" and picking it up to give him next time I see him. To force myself to actually set out to do Christmas shopping in all the crowds, when everything I buy has to be exactly right for the recipient, and when there's only a certain amount of time to find those perfect gifts is just asking for trouble.
So it is with a great deal of satisfaction that I can report I have actually finished my Christmas shopping for this year! Yay me! A few gifts were things I picked up throughout the year, but most of the presents I'm giving to the kids on my list are ~ wait for it ~ books. Yep, this year, almost everyone is getting books.
I found some great ones, too ~ a big popup book called Narnia for a 3-year old girl, Swing, a "Scanimation" picture book for a couple of boys 3 and 5 (it's so fascinating I almost bought one for myself), Artemis Fowl (the first in the series) for a 12-year old boy, and Beedle the Bard for my godson who is 8. I wasn't sure what to get a 17 year old girl of my acquaintance, though I was leaning toward The Book Thief, so I got her a gift certificate to Borders.
The best part of buying books as gifts is that, if I'm careful with them, I can read them before I give them away (except the pop-up which is wrapped in plastic to keep it safe). I have already spent a lot of time looking at Swing because it is, as I said before, fascinating. The pictures actually move, and they look so real! If you think this might interest someone you know, check it out on the Borders website, where the creator discusses it and how he does it.
Anyway, if you're hung up with your holiday gift-buying and aren't sure what to get one or more of the people on your list, my advice is "think books."
Oh, did I mention that I picked up a couple of books for myself while I was there? Depending on how you look at it, that is either a perk or a problem. I personally look at it as a very good thing, though my credit card bill next month is going to be painful to look at. :)
Happy Chanukkah / Merry Christmas / Joyful Kwanzaa / Blessed Yule! And may the coming year bring bountiful blessings of happiness, health, and prosperity to you all.