I know it’s early, but I hate shopping and I try to hurry through chores I hate. I envy people who find it fun to visit stores sparkling with Christmas cheer while holiday music plays in the background, but I can’t endure crowds when I’m trying to make decisions about what a loved one might like and whether I can afford it.
The only kinds of shopping I really enjoy are for plants, books, and groceries. Outside plants are not practical as Christmas gifts—at least in our climate. Groceries, while practical, have a short shelf life. That leaves books. Amazon loves me. This year I have two infant granddaughters who are getting Mother Goose books illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa. It’s never too young to start children appreciating rhythm, rhyme, and nonsense—especially when accompanied by exquisite artwork.
My toddler granddaughter is getting Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. All 2-year-olds are wild things, and Sendak’s artwork is outstanding.
My 7-year-old granddaughter is into art, so she’s getting a Learn to Draw book and paper, paints and pencils to go with. Since her 6-year-old brother and 3-year old sister will want whatever she has—I’m getting them the same things.
So far I haven’t found an architecture book for my 10-year-old grandson. (Please send suggestions!)
Adults are easy if they like to cook—or at least read cookbooks. Cooking, like gardening, is often more fun to read about than to actually do. Two books I’m giving are: How to Eat Supper by Lynn Rosetto Kasper and Sally Swift—fast, easy recipes, and Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table—gourmet fare less complicated than Julia Child’s.
Guardians of Being by Eckhart Tolle, illustrated by cartoonist Patrick McConnell should please my Buddhist sister-in-law and George is getting Jon Stewart Presents Earth. Family members who are not readers or whose taste I can’t fathom are getting Demotivation calendars. At least they can laugh.
Actually, ordering these books and calendars was pretty fun. I guess the real rule of thumb for Christmas shopping is to only buy things I personally enjoy.