I love holiday shopping, I really do. I love agonizing forever and finding exactly the right present for everyone on my list. Heck, I like having a list! And I love crossing off each name as gift-giving perfection is achieved. Accomplishing this is always a challenge—I’m an academic, and it’s a busy time of year for me, especially because most of my family lives far away enough that I need to plan shipping time into the grand scheme of things. But I’ve done it for years and I’ve enjoyed it.
This year, though, I’m doing something a little different.
I had an epiphany one day while I was driving around town, listening to pre-election coverage on the car radio. I decided that there was a little too much capitalism in my life, a little too much pursuit of things.
So this year, my kids are still getting presents because they’re kids, and because it’s hard to explain anti-capitalistic epiphanies to a 9-year-old. We’ll get them a few nice things and they’ll be happy. My 13-year-old has asked for haggis, and that’s what she’s getting—as long as I don’t have to eat it!
But my adult friends and relatives are getting donations in their names to favorite charities. I still get to think of the perfect match for each recipient, but in this case I’ll be finding exactly the right organization to receive a donation in their name. I’ve already informed them about this, and now the whole family is on board. They’ll be giving donations for me too.
Present-opening is fun, though, so we’ll also give everyone a small gift. But these gifts will not come from big box stores. I’m going to buy from small business, craftspeople, artists, and—of course!—writers. People who toil for really long hours to produce something that has their heart in it. My brother and his wife, for example, are getting a really nice little ceramic bowl I bought directly from the friendly potter at a farmers’ market. I think they’ll like it.
If you want to give a story as a gift to someone—including yourself!—I have three new releases this month. Brute is a full-length novel, a m/m fantasy about a maimed giant and his challenging new job. A Great Miracle Happened There is a Hanukkah-themed short story, and Joys R Us is a short with a Christmas theme.
About the author: Kim Fielding is very pleased every time someone calls her eclectic. She has migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States and currently lives in California, where she long ago ran out of bookshelf space. She's a university professor who dreams of being able to travel and write full-time. She also dreams of having two perfectly-behaved children, a husband who isn't obsessed with football, and a house that cleans itself. Some dreams are more easily obtained than others.
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