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Monday, December 17, 2012



Gifts by Kim Fielding

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.

My gift to one of you: Comment here with the name of your favorite charity and your email. The randomly chosen winner will receive an eBook copy of Brute, plus I’ll make a $10 donation to your charity of choice.

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.

Find the author online at

Kim Fielding’s blog
Kim Fielding on Facebook


Anonymous said...

Such a lovely and thoughtful thing to do. It seems like more and more people are doing this and I think it's wonderful. :)

Zahra said...

I tries Haggis in Edinburgh this year. I think it's an acquired taste ;-)
Love the sound of this story!

chaoskir said...

I like your idea! It's a great idea.
I do things different this year too. Because the life changing which has happened this year to me has changed a few things and has also caused the fact that I've ways less money now than all the years before. I think I should take this idea for the next year too. I'll think about it. Thanks for the idea!

Marie said...

We do a group charity donation at work. My family... well, it would be hard to wrest them from their capitalistic ways, but we do give out a lot of home-made gifts, too.

Anonymous said...

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network means a lot to me since I lost my dad...


Anonymous said...

No haggis for me either.

Brute sounds like a great story.

My sister tells me that in Bryant Park, behind the library in Manhattan, there are booths set up even before Thanksgiving. She gets the best stuff there. Unfortunately, down here in SW Fl, I can't find a place like that. :-P

elaing8 said...

What a great idea.
As for charity, Breast Cancer Association.


Urb said...

Thank you. My charity of choice is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Diabetes is a pain, be nice if one day. no more children had to face it.

brendurbanist at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Doctors without Borders.

The whole idea of giving donations for those in actual need as a gift is indeed a growing industry world wide and I think it's great. Lots of people'll receive a goat or a leg (prosthetic), condoms(!) etc. from well-meaning people in my country.

We're still giving each other acutal gifts for Christmas in my family but we grownups ought to do what you do because it's getting harder and harder to come up with ideas/wishes. And that should tell us something about needing those gifts in the first place!

Anonymous said...

I actually work for a charity at the moment (Barnardos) and it's been such an eye-opener. The amount of money people are willing to give is amazing!


Penumbra said...

You know I don't have a favorite charity right now. We used to have some but haven't continued with the donations.


nancy said...

No need to get me haggis "urk". The charity I would pick is Habitat for Humanity.

Debby said...

I love to give gifts but I hate shopping.
debby36 at gmail dot com

Michelle said...

Brute sounds very good so it already on my wishlist..Count me in please. My charity this year is the It gets Better...
Thank you, chellebee66(at)gmail(dot)com

ellasmommy06 said...

I mostly try to donate to local charities, help out my community an way I can. Our local animal shelter seems to be a repeat.

Mountain Laurel said...

Wow...narrowing down to my one favorite charity is a bit tough...but I think I would have to say the Trisha Creasey Foundation "cure for colon cancer" research. Trisha had a remarkable story in her battle, yet lost her battle with cancer this past year. Trisha was my first cousin by marriage and she left behind 3 wonderful little girls who are really missing their mother this Christmas! thanks for sharing your story!

Anonymous said...

I don't have one specific favorite charity, since they are special in their own way. So, I'll just chose Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.

strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

Kim Fielding said...

Thank you all for stopping by! Urb is the randomly chosen commenter. :-)