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Friday, December 23, 2011

Stuff Your Stocking Blogfest: Shermaine Williams

Benefits of the Recession

As the Christmas season approaches—introduced by festive television advertisements in November and seasonal goods in the shops— it is clear that the message of consumerism cannot be avoided. In fact, much like every year around this time, it has only intensified when compared to the levels throughout the rest of the year.

When there is a new financial crisis reported in the news almost everyday, I would have thought that this would have a knock-on effect. How naive I am. Maybe it has had an effect and the public intend to tighten their belts, but the advertisers didn’t get the memo.

I don’t know why people feel the need to accumulate a load of stuff when there are so many more important things to consider, like the sound of a child’s laughter, the beauty of a crisp winter day, good health and being around family. Not that I want to get too sentimental but there has to be some upside to the world being in financial turmoil.

Isn’t it satisfying when you know someone so well that you can get them the perfect gift without having to resort to seeking out the biggest price tag? That is the thought process of Robert, the hero of Future Present, my Christmas tale published with Phaze. Not only does Robert know his beloved girlfriend Anna well, but he is also adept at keeping a secret and does so until the big reveal.

Like Robert, some talented and selfless people will be able to give a gift without the recipient even realising they’ve received it.

“Hi, baby.”

“Hello,” she trilled, with affected cheer. “I was going to take a shower…after cleaning.”

Robert gave her a strange look, as if her words were incomprehensible, making her pull her stomach in and hold her breath. “Forget that.” Lifting his arm, he beckoned her back downstairs. “I need to speak to you.”

Breathing rapidly, the need intensified by the exertion of running up the stairs, she walked back down, each footstep like a thunderclap. Watching his face as she went to him, Anna found his expression unreadable.

“I’ve got great news.” He grinned triumphantly, squeezed her hand and kissed her before taking off his coat.

The knot in her stomach loosened as she blindly followed him to the kitchen, listening to him talk about a cottage in Oxford. She looked at him doubtfully. “You want us to spend Christmas in Oxford? Why?”

“My boss was going to use it, but he can’t go so he offered it.” Robert’s warm smile was alluring, immediately and powerfully persuasive. By the time he finished his speech, she agreed to go.

“Oh, Harris forgot something or other last night. Did he call? I gave him your number.”

“Gloves,” Anna blurted unthinkingly, opening her mouth again before having second thoughts. Suddenly, she could smell Harris, like the aroma of sex, sweat and crisp aftershave was emanating from her own body.

“Did he call?" He repeated.

Hesitating, she feared a lie would give her away. “Yes. He came and got them this morning,” she recited carefully.

“Where did those flowers come from?”

Having completely forgotten about them, the question made stiffened Anna’s body, her breath caught in her throat. “Um, Harris. He gave them to me for…” She tailed off, suddenly thinking about the fact he had a condom within easy reach. Was his sole intention to seduce me?

“For last night?” he suggested.

She beamed a little too wide. “Yes.”

“That was nice of him.” He touched his finger to a bloom. “He didn’t mention anything to me.”

Anna stiffened, frantically seeking an easy change of subject and wishing Robert wasn’t standing so close.

“Have you finished cleaning up already?”

Anna sighed with relief.

Think about what you would give if you had no money and leave a comment for your chance to win an ebook copy of Future Present.

Shermaine Williams


Debby said...

If I had no money I would make my presents. They are nicer.
debby236 at gmail dot com

elaing8 said...

I would also make a present.Maybe an ornament for their Christmas tree.


Jean P said...

Would make presents too, used to sew little ornaments for people, but eyesight isn't as good anymore, don't do that anymore.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

GladysMP said...

You are so right about the real joys of Christmas not being expensive presents. And people surely do need to keep their spending within boundaries. Small gifts are often more welcome than more expensive ones. It is the thought that counts.

June M. said...

Thoughtful, handmade gifts are wonderful. They tell others that you took the time to want to make something special for them. Giving a cherished item is also great, passing on an object that has special meaning to you both will mean a lot to others. Also, one great thing is giving of your time and self. Volunteer to help with chores for someone who can not do them alone, spending time with the elderly who may not have many visitors, or offering childcare or pet care for others.
Have a happy holiday season!
June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

VampedChik said...

I would definitely have to make my presents or do something for someone. Which I like to do anyway because that's what the holidays are about. giving. Thanks so much!

shadow_kohler said...

Your excerpt sounds great! I would handmake a gift. There fun and they comem from the heart. I love a homemade gift. ;) Thanks for sharing! Happy holidays!

GladysMP said...

Your mentioned the commercialism of Christmas, today's paper had a picture of a mob waiting to buy $180 tennis shoes and everyone in the mob looked like they likely could be on food stamps. It is no wonder there are so many needing help, when they have no thought for how to wisely spend their money. It is sad, really.

PaParanormalFan said...

If I didn't have any money, to purchase gifts, I love to cook & bake, I would make a nice Christmas Meal (because I would have to eat to) or make Cookies, cakes or pies for people.
Take Care & have a Happy Holiday Season,
Renee' S.

Joanne said...

I would make something to give, maybe an ornament or some cookies. I'd could even give the gift of time, for example watch your kids, etc. while you go on a date with your husband or while you go shopping.


flchen1 said...

I think that one of the best gifts is time and consideration--offering to help a friend with a project or with watching their kids; writing a heartfelt letter about all the things you appreciate about someone; doing something you do well for someone who might have trouble with that activity... It isn't something you might be able to wrap and put under the tree, but these things will be remembered for long after.

Thanks for the great post and excerpt, Shermaine!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone who posted with wonderful comments on great recession Christmas gifts. I hope the ideas came in handy and that everyone had a great Christmas.

I'm pleased to announce June M as the randomly chosen winner of Future Present.

Wishing everyone a wonderful new year!