Saturday, November 14, 2009

Writerly Gift-Giving

The holidays are coming up, which means that we're probably all scrambling to buy gifts for our loved ones. There is nothing more delightful than giving or receiving the perfect gift, the one that says "I know you like no other, and here's something that will improve your life/make you smile/fit perfectly with your style."

Now, I don't know about you... but I always feel guilty when I'm forced to give the generic gift. You know, the "oh, crap it's almost Christmas and I'm obligated to get you something but have no idea what you want." Depending on gender, I usually give the generic someone a Best Buy gift card or set of vanilla-scented bath products. I feel like what I'm really giving them is a big sign that says "Hi, I didn't really make the effort" or "I guess I don't know you all that well."

Does anyone else have this problem?

As I grow older, I'm becoming less enamored of gift clutter--both the giving and the receiving. I'd rather spend time than money. Goodness knows, Mr. Marvelous doesn't need yet another electronic gadget (whatever it is, he'll buy it for himself whenever the whim strikes him). Instead, I usually gift him with some sort of vacation or super-extravagant date... something I know he'll enjoy, something that won't collect dust in our home.

He, in turn, honors my specific starving artists qualities. In order to support my writing, he hired a maid service for a year. He also gave me a Patricia Kay writing class. Receiving these gifts made me so glad--which may sound obnoxiously materialistic, but it was more than that. It was the fact that Mr. Marvelous so clearly knows me, loves me, and wants to support my dream.

So, here's my question: what's a good writerly (or readerly) gift that you've received in the past? Alternatively, what's a gift you're excited to give this year?


Mary said...

I think even small gifts are nice to get from someone when you aren't expecting it. I like putting together small gift baskets for people and putting in a little something that fits their personality. Like booklovers get a book or gift care in their baskets.

Golfers will get some golf balls or a gift care to golf pro.

I'm usually getting small things together all year to throw into gift baskets and this year I decided on the jars filled with cookie ingredients with instructions and a small personal gift. People liked it the last time I made them.

Vivi Andrews said...

I don't like the gift clutter either. I tend to ask people not to give me "stuff" because it will just be a hassle the next time I decide to move. My sister (a "stuff" afficianado if ever there was one) has started giving me pajamas and socks as gifts - since, as a writer, I spend a huge chunk of my life sitting at my laptop in PJs. I love the thought behind those gifts. She supports my goals! Woohoo!

And the one gift I always loooove to receive is a bookstore gift card. I know a lot of people don't like giving such impersonal gifts, but I love love love being able to go into a bookstore and stroll through the shelves without worrying about what a big chunk my book-habit takes out of my paycheck.

Ladytink_534 said...

One of my favorite gifts is probably that $50 Barnes and Noble gift card I recieved last year.

I'm most excited about giving one of Sammi Carter's candy shop mysteries to my sister-in-law with the candy from the recipes in the book in a basket.

Mary said...

I agree, I love getting gift cards to book stores where I can go and pick out the books I really want. Alot of people think that gift cards are an impersonal gift but if you ask me I think they are one of the best gifts to get. That way you can get what you really wanted.

JAD said...

My father-in-law gave me my first computer (it was an old Panasonic Word Processer) and I haven't looked back since. Without that I'm not sure I'd be banging away at ye ole slushpiles the way I do now. :)

(P.S. Thanks, Kate, for your kind comment on my Blog! :))