Wednesday, February 09, 2011

A Holiday Gift List

Back in October I asked you to help me do my holiday shopping. Thank you. I did really well this year and was quite proud of myself. As always, I lost my mind in the bookstore and couldn’t stop buying, desperately trying to find books for everyone on my list. I took some of the advice you gave, buying some books for myself (oops), and I think I used some of your ideas for people on my list.

It’s only fair, now that the packages are unwrapped and the paper cleared away, to share my gift list. So here is a list of the books that I gifted this year.

15-year-old boy: Deadliest Sea by Kalee Thompson. I was really excited to find this book. He has dreams and aspirations of joining the Coast Guard and I think this is the perfect book.

12-year-old girl: I wanted to take the advice of one of my readers and buy The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. I haven’t read the book yet, which I would like to do, but it sounded terrific. After much thought though I couldn’t decide if it sounded like her (I learned after my post that she’s a fan of 39 Clues). So instead I got her The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.

10-year-old boy: This was a tougher one for me. I’m not always sure what to get this reader. He loves to cook, but I got him a cookbook last year so that didn’t seem right. Finally I decided on The Mysterious Benedict Society #1 by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Adult male: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris. I can’t believe I’ve never read this book. Do you know it’s been on my wish list for 10 years? Annoying.

Adult male: The Hunger Games trilogy. I think it’s a must-read for everyone and the box set is a guaranteed classic, plus I just really, really wanted him to read it.

Then there are three children I adore but typically do not buy gifts for. This year though I really wanted to buy the oldest girl, who has just become a reader, my favorite book, and because of that they all get books.

8-year-old girl: Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace. A classic. One of my all-time favorite series as a child and I just had to get this for her.

6-year-old boy: Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big by Berkeley Breathed. This has become a favorite in our house, as have all of his books, and I thought this little boy would get a kick out of the power of one fib.

3-year-old girl: Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell. Kim has talked about this book a lot. It’s a favorite at her house, so when I was thinking of books I immediately called Kim to get the name and ordered it up. It looks to me like a book every child should have.

Couple: This couple specifically asked for a cookbook. She is on a gluten-free diet and they both work, so getting dinner on the table has been a struggle for them. They wanted primarily gluten-free recipes, but quick and easy so they could get home, easily choose a recipe, and cook it fast. So I did two things. I made a cookbook through Tastebook of family favorites as well as recipes pulled through the website, and I bought them Fresh Flavor Fast by Martha Steward Living Magazine. The recipes are quick and every single one includes a picture, which I think is perfect for those who aren’t cooks.

For myself (from Santa of course): Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare. I’ve been dying to read this so slipped it into my order when no one was looking.

For my kids: My Mommy Hung the Moon. Last year I got them Mars Needs Moms, which is one of the greatest books ever, and I wanted something similar. This isn’t quite there, but I do like Jamie Lee Curtis’s books.

In addition to Christmas presents we received an invitation to a 5-year-old girl’s birthday party. After staring mindlessly at a sea of pink in the toy store I suggested to my son that maybe we buy her a “Laura and Mary” book since they’ve been his favorites. He beamed at the suggestion and told me he thought that was “a great idea,” so she got Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I’m not sure about the little girl, but rumor has it the mother liked it.

And you know, for some reason, I still think I didn’t buy enough books.



Laura M. Campbell said...

Well done! The pride and excitement that comes with purchasing the right book for the right person makes gift shopping so much fun. I hear so much about The Hunger Games. I think I will be purchasing them soon.
Oh, and I love David Sedaris. HIs Me Talk Pretty One Day hooked me and I've been a fan ever since.

Bonnie said...

I myself ordered 29 books for holiday gifts. About 10 of them went to myself!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I always love it when someone tells me how much they enjoyed a book I chose especially for them.

My brother-in-law really liked PEOPLE OF THE BOOK by Geraldine Brooks, my mother loved SAVING CEE CEE HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman, and A SICK DAY FOR AMOS MCGEE was perfect for my nephew.

I loved those Betsy-Tacy books, too! And the Little House books and Anne of Green Gables - bought the first ones of LH and AGG for two girls I know. :)

Anonymous said...

Love love love the Hunger Games books. Or at least the first two.

I had to laugh because once upon a time I owned a little indie book store, and for those years EVERYONE got books for every gift event. I loved it, since I had easy access to anything I wanted, and people pretty much knew they were going to read. Or look at the pictures.

I got my mom and brother each an enormous book on the Civil War, that had the most amazing illustrations. My brother is a huge Civil War buff, and my mom was just envious and wanted it. :)She's now passed away so I have it now...something from her, and from my old store!

Anonymous said...

I had to laugh about the birthday party. My son is 4 1/2 and, let's just say between his friends and our friends with children, we are at birthday parties about every other week. I finally got tired of walking through the toy store on a month basis and started getting books. The parents love the gifts and, for the most part, so do the children. I only had one complaint...a six-year-old was unhappy that I did not get her a Disney Princess book. Oh, well, live and learn! ;)

Unknown said...

Give yourself one afternoon and you'll start and finish Holidays On Ice! Hilarious, entertaining, and wonderfully-written. Enjoy it! It's one of my favorites.

Terry McLaughlin said...

I can't think of anything better than a good read to give to people I care about. Thanks for sharing these titles--I've already added the children's books to my shopping list ;-).

Kate Douglas said...

I gave gift certificates to a local indie bookstore. It's sort of a tradition now, and all five cousins and a few extras go and shop together for books. (they run from age two to nine) Also get a HUGE GC for my son-in-law who is an avid reader and can thus indulge w/o guilt. It makes lots of mother-in-law points for me!

Michelle Miller said...

As the mother of multiple boys, the only regret I have ever had is that I had no one to pass my favorite books from girlhood on to. I do have a god-daughter, though, and this year she was finally old enough that I could give her the entire Betsy-Tacy series for Christmas. I can't tell you how excited I was finally to be able to share them!
Next year, I'm thinking Anne of Green Gables.

Sheila Deeth said...

Nice list. We didn't gift many books, unless you count chess books. But I got a lot so now my reading shelf looks very full. Got hooked on Warriors with Mum (a cat-lover).

Bethany said...

I love the Betsy-Tacy books. I have the whole series on my bookshelf and have read them over and over, so I commend you getting them for your gift-giving purposes :-)

bfav said...

I love that Clockwork Angel came from Santa. It fell into my shopping cart when I was shopping recently too. I flew through it faster than The Immortal Instruments series...but now I'm waiting for the next.

I hate becoming hooked on a series when only the first book is out. The Hunger Games almost put me in a home waiting for Mockingjay.

Bron said...

Did you enjoy Clockwork Angel? I just finished reading it and liked it, but I haven't read the Mortal Instruments series. I'm curious as to what people who have read both thought. bfav, it sounds like you enjoyed it.

Jenn McKinlay said...

Oh, cool, I just got three new titles off of your list. Nice!
Birthdays are coming!

Dell Smith said...

Thanks for posting this list. Books are really the perfect gift. Half the fun is browsing the bookstore shelves to line up the right book for each giftee. I'll have to print this out and bring it with me next time.

Lori Rader-Day said...

Now I have to re-read Little House.

Anna said...

Excellent choice on the Betsy-Tacy! My mom bought me the first when I was five and read it aloud to me. I was instantly hooked, and try to reread the whole series annually. I just gave Betsy-Tacy to my seven-year-old niece this year. I hope she loves it too.