Books! The perfect gift for almost anyone.

I love books!  I have hundreds and love to give them as gifts, especially at Christmas.  My nieces and nephew are all under 4 years old but they know that Uncle J brings books!  Christmas is such a nice book giving time.  You can give Christmas books or other books.  Activity books, story books, sticker books, primers, or just a classic picture book.  Sports books, biographies, novels, how-to, and travel might fit the bill for older readers.  The challenge with books is finding them.  Of course you can find just about any book on-line, but you have to know what you’re looking for.  Roaming through a book store provides that chance of discovering the hidden and unexpected find.  The book you didn’t know was written that is perfect for someone.   With fewer and fewer traditional book stores, the shopper must find new ways to discover books.  Try finding that local book sale.  I stumbled upon one last weekend at the Washington County Library in Smithsburg, MD.  Most libraries, in addition to providing so many other amazing programs, regularly host used book sales.  Churches and schools do the same.  These are great opportunities to discover a new book.  Roaming the tables with books spread all over is just a great was to spend an early afternoon.  Books smell good too!

Giving books is a great tradition but the cost could be prohibitive.  New books are so expensive and I like to give more than one book as a gift.  A pair of books seems so much better!  To make your gifting dollar go further look for those used books.  In addition to the book sales you can get many great finds at your local garage or yard sales.  The most you might pay for a book there is maybe a dollar.   Remember at most yard sales the goal of the seller is to just get rid of stuff.  Find 5 or 6 books you want and make an offer- I bet they’ll take it.  The other great benefit of giving used books is you can read them all before giving them, so shop early and read up.  Tomorrow Natalie and I are off on a yard sale quest to find Christmas treasures and bargains. I have books on my list and hope to find a few classic holiday titles for my nieces and nephew.  We’ll be sharing our results on Monday’s podcast so be sure to check it out!


Five Gold Rings–Pineapple?

I was in the thrift store yesterday, and I saw four of the American Glass circa 1980’s  12 Days of Christmas glasses for sale, 50 cents each!  I was tempted to buy them and gift them to Jeremy, but on closer inspection, the decals were fairly worn, so I passed up five gold rings, and six geese a-laying, but now I’ve got my nose to the ground for a complete set of Christmas song glassware.

However, as I searched the internet for the glasses, I discovered many 12 Day of Christmas themed gifts, from costly Lennox and Waterford to inexpensive do-it-yourself gifts. A full set of the glasses I saw in the thrift store are an inexpensive purchase at

I found one website with suggestions for a Secret-Santa style gift extravaganza, beginning with a can of pears on the first day and progressing through the gifts to five gold rings (butterscotch Lifesavers) and eight swans a swimming (a recording of “Swan Lake”).  The entire list is here.  I think this is a genius idea for the adventurous.  I’m planning to try this next year to surprise my grandson.