I’ve been accused of being too organized. And I accept the accusation as true. I’m the kind of person who begins her holiday shopping in February and is finished by late September, excepting a few stocking stuffers and perhaps a new book. When I buy something I put it on a shelf in my closet and throughout the year I occasionally take it down to look at it, get excited over imagining the recipient’s reaction, and put it back with a renewed spirit and anticipatory smile.
I don’t mind the craziness of stores putting Christmas stuff up before Labor Day because I never see it. With the exception of my local independent bookstore and a rare trip into a thrift or antique store, I shop online. That’s because I hate shopping. If I need something I want to go in, get it, get it, and get out. The idea of hanging around a mall (eeek!) all day (double eeek!) for fun appalls me.
That said, I have been doing a lot of “shopping” over the last three weeks and I have at least two more weeks to go. This is not shopping for my gift recipients, but for yours. During the last five weeks leading up to Christmas I will be offering gift ideas, suggestions, and links to you via the editor’s letter.
This is something I’ve done for several years now, and I find I enjoy it. It is a lot of work, using various combinations of book, booklover, reader, reading, gifts for, and holiday gifts in Google’s search engine. But it’s not hard, just tedious at times. If a site or store offers several items that readers and booklovers will enjoy I need to look at each and determine if I want it to be part of the list I am compiling. The items must be well made, have value, and there must not be too many of the same type of item. Mugs, for example, are very common and if I listed every book- or reading-related mug I saw I’d need a *lot* more space than I have. Plus you’d get bored.
To make this as efficient as possible, I have a Word document that lists categories as I think of them. Right now I have Book Art, Bookends, Bookmarks & Bookplates, Book Holders, Bookshelves & Bookcases, Boxes, Bumper Stickers, Buttons, Calendars, Children, Clothing, Crafts, Food & Food-Related Items, Free, Games, Handbags & Totes, Holiday Cards & Wrapping Paper, Home, Homemade Ideas (things you can easily and inexpensively make), Horror Lovers, Jewelry, Journals, Magazine Subscriptions, Miscellaneous, Mugs, Mystery Lovers, Notecards, Pens & Pencils, Postcards, Posters, and Unusual Books. In addition, I have several sites bookmarked because they offer so much it will take time to go through them and pick out things to add.
Prices vary as much as the items from free to thousands of dollars, but most are within the loosely defined “affordable” range, say five to one hundred dollars. I want you to have as much choice as possible, and believe me, you will.
It’s been fun because I enjoy seeing the enormous range creativity out there. And because, I will admit, I am very tempted by a number of items. It gives me pleasure to discover and to share, and I hope that when the five-week shopping foray begins on November 21 that you will enjoy it as much as I have.