My dad is always one of the hardest to shop for (so is my mother). Both of them claim to not need anything and so you either have to think outside of the box, or buy them something useful like a vacuum, or measuring cups. I find that measuring cups don’t fill people’s face with glee or make their cheeks glow so I’ve put together a little holiday gift guide. While the holiday season shouldn’t ever primarily be about gifts (See my fellow wonderful blogger Michael Ann’s blog here), it’s always special when someone is extra thoughtful. And by thoughtful, I don’t mean they spent gobbles of money on you, I mean they spent time on you. So, in an effort to be thoughtful, and in an effort to bring a little holiday spice to this here book blog, I’ve created a gift guide of some of my favorite, nerdy, between the pages (rather than between the sheets) gifts. There mostly for the people in your lives who actually like fine print.
Gifts that Go Global:
These gifts are perfect for those in your life who like to give back, or hold hands with the world.
- Top Left:The Gift of Books from Oxfam America. For just $25 you can give the gift of reading on topics from Agriculture to Peace-Keeping to children who otherwise may not have this opportunity.
- Top Right:The Gift of Manure from Oxfam America. This is books AND bowel movements, isn’t it? You can choose a $12 option or a $24 option. Either way you’re planting food for a community.
- Bottom Left:Creative Card Kit from Ten Thousand Villages. Created to help the community of Salay, the story is available on the website. I’m kind of obsessed with this card kit and it’s on sale right now for just $21. It comes with everything you need, even instructions and already pressed flowers. What woman doesn’t love a pressed, or dried flower. I know all of my prom flowers hang upside down from each canopy post on my bed. It’s perfect for the sentimental one.
- Bottom Right:The Gift of Seeds from Oxfam America. If you want to be fruitful, and you’re not ready to have a child, or another one, than maybe consider giving the gift of seeds to a community in need. Oxfam again has worked wonders. Personally, I think seeds and books go rather well together since with each seed pocket, or each new word, you’re growing, we’re growing.
For the Literacy Lover:
- Top Left:Kohl’s Cares Books & Stuffed Animals. I love this gift because Dr. Suess is one of the only Dr’s I know that makes you feel better without a medical license. No, but seriously, for just $5, at most Kohl’s registers there are stuffed animals of book characters and books that you can give to the child in your life, but also give to Kohl’s Cares literacy and education fund.
- Top Right: Unicef Recordable Story. My parents had this awesome idea to eventually record a story book (like this) for my child one day. They’re both getting older and this way they can rest assured that my child (whenever he or she comes along) will get to hear grandparents; living or not. I already have a voicemail from my dad saved from my first night in the dorm room saying, “goodnight, I love you.” It’s from 2006. You could say I’m sentimental. This is just a great gift for the future, or for people who may be away from their loved ones this Christmas.
- Bottom Left: Collect books for the local library. I know personally that I’m a book hoarder. I’ve known it since I was eight years old and thus why my room has more books than clothes. Thus why I spend an infinite amount of every paycheck on killing trees. If like me, you could spare a few – consider just donating as a special Christmas gift this season. You’ll be giving the gift of reading locally, and sharing something you love with someone else. (I never give my favorites away, so maybe I’d just be sharing something I sort of liked. I’m selfish that way).
- Bottom Right: Better World Books (Book for a Book). I just discovered this website yesterday and wish I had it for all those times I made a purchase off of Amazon. For every book you purchase, the money not only goes to a specific literacy group, or non-profit, but they give a book to these groups as well. Talk about a handful of giving. Maybe then, you’re heart can grow three more sizes.
For the Writer:
- Top Left:Leather Bound Journal. For $32, you can have a hand-painted journal. I’d say that’s pretty spectacular after looking at B&N leather journal prices. Each journal is hand-painted and they come in a variety of scenes. As you can see I picked the flower one since I’m obviously coaxing my inner flower child out, but there’s an awesome city scene with skyline as well as others. (You know for the dirty city journalist). I think here is where I remind everyone that Sylvia Plath started out as a journalist, and not a poet.
- Top Right:Wreck this Journal. Keri Smith is my hero. You can pick this little journal up in almost any book buying location. It’s a test, an adventure, a chance to burn something that isn’t a candle in your house. I think it’s the best chance I’ve had at ruining something, or making a mess and actually appreciating it. I’m the person who saves everything in pristine condition so even attempting some of the pages in this book (mailing it to myself O.M.G.) was uncomfortable for me. In fact, right now, it’s hiding under my bed because I’m deathly afraid of the next page – rip it out, throw it away.
- Bottom Left:Pheasant Quill Pens. So, these are a little pricey, but wonderful. I don’t have one so I can’t really vouch for it’s wonderfulness, but I expect greatness. Every want-to-be-Shakespeare needs a quill pen, right?
- Bottom Right: The Authobiography Box. We all have that family member who is constantly saying that they could write a book, or they have so many stories a book wouldn’t even hold them all. We’ll here’s your chance to call them out on it. Brian Bouldry has created a step-by-step Autobiography process in this book. It’s available at most reliable book traders.
For the Creator (Artist, Do it Yourself):
- Top Left:Paper Flowers. For flowers that last forever, or for the girlfriend that says she doesn’t want flowers because they die (even though she really does want flowers), here is the essential gift. Take an old book (recycling, thumbs up) and create a bouquet for your girl and purchase a pretty clear vase from Wal-Mart, Michaels, or Target. (Or go really above&beyond and find a local pottery store to purchase from your community).
- Top Right: Playing with Books, book. (Har-Har). This book teaches you too many ways to recycle a book into a beautiful creation. Those paper flowers, they’re in there. This is for the girl or guy who loves to create in her spare time (or doodle…Nat).
- Bottom Left: Do it yourself initial ornament. Buy some glass (or plastic, clear bulbs), modge podge and pick up a newspaper. Then just paint on your initial and you have a beautiful handcrafted ornament to deck your halls. Better directions are here, on one of my favorite DIY blogs.
- Bottom Right:Book Clock. Have some old childhood best friends laying around. Don’t know what their purpose is except to collect dust, or for your future children (Yea, I know who you are, I’m one of those). Create a clock for your wall. I love this little creation from Instructables.
Books to Wear:
- Top Right:Alice in Wonderland Book Purse. Everyone knows I’m obsessed with the girl in the petticoat so this section sort of revolves around her. Most of these things just made me think of all the Alice Possibilities. Since seeing each one, I’ve thought as many as six impossible things. $80
- Top Left:Book Necklace. Swoon. I want you. $375.
- Bottom Right:Alice Chiffon Dress. Swoon double. I want you too. One day, when I’ve sold a book and have an obtuse sized closet for my many interesting things and my many interesting petticoats, I’ll have this dress for a summer picnic and nap, maybe then I’ll fall down a stump rabbit hole. $44.
- Bottom Left:Alice Button Bouquet. I can’t afford this, but I may be able to do it myself very slowly. I thought it was very mad hatter and everyone has old buttons lying around, or can pick them up from the local goodwill. A girl can dream, right? $320
Books to Wear on a Budget
- Top Left: Super Hot T-shirt. Enough said. $20
- Top Right: Alice Necklace. $46
- Bottom Left: Mini Mini Book Necklace. This one is especially cute because it’s polka dotted. I have really big handwriting so I’d have to do a one word story type thing with it. But it’s so cute and perfectly matches almost anything. $25
- Bottom Right: Henry Thoreau top. I just like this because it’s true and I can fashion statement the heck out of Henry David Thoreau like the book nerd I am. $18
Gifts for the Home:
- Top Left:Book Pillow WITH pocket. This little sucker is kind of awesome. First of all it has real print on the pillow with a book shelf design on the front. The best part though is that it has a pocket for your paperback on the other side. Perfect for the person who always loses things, or likes to keep their books close (under their pillow like me).
- Top Right:Book Wreath. I’m drooling. This is adorable and whimsical. Is it too soon to say I want this at my wedding? $30
- Bottom Left:Book Garland. I think I could deck the halls year round with this sweet garland. Sweet in the sugary sense of the word. $48 (Ignore the difference in the link, I was just trying to give you a taste of the other garlands she makes).
- Bottom Right:Floating Book Shelf (literally). I just love this idea because you can put three in a row and decorate them with plants, or pictures of your cat (it’s a necessity you have those). It just brings that sweet bit of flair to your apartment or home. $40. Awesome news: Ezra is giving all of my readers 25% from her store for the month of December. Just use coupon code: EGGNOG.
Books to Eat and Smell (YUM!):
- Top Left:Pride & Prejudice Candles (among others). These were cute, maybe a do it yourself. Only $12.95 and something simple to dress up your house with words for the holidays. Plus, they smell delish.
- Top Right:Tea Lollipops. Every Reader loves their cup of tea or coffee so I thought these Earl Grey Tea and Honey lollipops (that kind of look like book pages) were perfection for the holidays. Only $10 for 7 pops. Other flavors are available to fill up that sweet spot.
- Bottom Left:Book Mugs. Going along my tea and coffee assumption, I thought every reader needed their favorite quote on a mug. She has a ton of colors, styles and quotes so make sure your loved one is dunking a tea bag while curling up on the couch with a good book. (Hot cocoa is always a win as well). $12
- Bottom Right:My personal favorite, book candles. How cute are they? I feel like I’m in Willy Wonka and I want it NOW! $25.99
That’s it for the holiday gift guide. I hope you all found something special for your loved one this year regardless if it was from this blog or not. I also hope you find a way to give not only to your loved ones, but to your community and beyond. If nothing else, just enjoy the snow.