Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Whether you call it Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or simply: the holiday season. I love this time of year from the hustle and bustle of shoppers to the profusion of Christmas lights springing up like a verdant field of wild, glowing flowers in the night. Some areas are decorated to the nines, with specialized themes or stories told in imagery while others are simply lights spilling out like gems for the night sky to admire.
Finding the Perfect Gift
The season is a challenge to how much you know about the people you love. Do you find them the gifts they asked for? The gifts that they would appreciate? Do some items stand up, waving their arms and yell: I would be perfect for him or her! The retail stores are packed to the gills with new items from clothes to books to music and electronics. Video games are often popular and the tried and true stuffed animal remains a seasonal favorite.
It doesn't matter that the stores have been laden with holiday ornamentation since October (and sometimes even earlier). They take on an ethereal shine when we are in the thick of the holiday shopping. We examine each item with care giving as much thought and consideration to the Jack Sparrow nutcracker as we do the thick, plush blanket and the warm snuggle of holiday pajama. We take the time to look at the crystal and how it catches the light as we do the fat turkeys, hams and roasts that beg to be served for the holiday supper.
It is a time of magic and wonder as more people donate their time, their energy, their money and their items during the holiday season than any other. We ask ourselves: would she like this? Would he appreciate that? What do I get him or her? How do I make that magic of the holidays happen so that when they open the gift, that warm, rosy pleasure spreads up from their bellies to light up faces brighter than any star decorating the top of a tree?
That is the challenge of the holiday season. This season, I've picked out a few gifts for people that I know will make them smile, will make them laugh and in some cases, even jump up and down with the simple joy of it all. The sound of the ripping paper, the fire crackling in the fireplace and the music of the holidays drifting through the air – yes, I do so love this time of the year.
It is a sure bet that I will give books at the holidays, I always do. From picture books to young adult reading to romantic suspense, science fiction and even a zombie or two this year, I will sort through the stacks at the bookstore to find the perfect book for each of the members of my family. They know they will get at least one and I work so hard to match book to personality and taste that I am often rewarded with thrilled smiles in the weeks to come as they read those books. Therefore, my holiday picks for gifts this year (and in no particular order) are:
*The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
*The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
*The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
*39 Clues: Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
*The Dog Who Thought He Was Santa by Bill Wallace
*Iridessa Lost at Sea by Lisa Papademetriou
*Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
*Imager's Challenge: The Second Book of the Imager Portfolio by L.E. Modesitt, JR
*No Regrets by Shannon K. Butcher
*First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera Book 6) by Jim Butcher
*I Shot You Babe by Leslie Langtry
And those are just a few. What books will you give this year?