December 6, 2007

Books Make the Best Gifts

Powell's has a great set of holiday picks for kids of different age groups (birth to 2, 3-4, 5-7, and up). Check them out. Everyone needs more books in the house and if they have it, they can exchange it at any bookstore that carries that title. There are rules of course. It has to be in good condition and it can't be written in. So save the inscribing for the card, especially with popular titles--just in case. The link above is just they're picks for kids. If it's a grown-up you'll either know exactly what kind of book to get them, or you won't. Just remember: it's for them, not you. Some teachers were sitting around last year trying to think what to get a collegue for her birthday. It was a conservitive area, but the woman was a die-hard Democrat. My mom suggested Bill Clinton's book My Life. The other teachers looked dismayed at first, but that's exactly what they got her because they knew it was what she wanted. They were right and she was happy.

The next best thing is to give money to a charity in their name. I like People for the American Way myself, or the one I mentioned below. Or the Foundation to Decrease World Suck. It's better if it's one they actually support. Don't use it to needle them, like I used to do. My grandfather was from Alabama and liked to make openly racist comments. I don't think they were his true feelings because we knew he cried at a black co-worker's funeral. Anyway, on Christmas I gave him a card that showed a donation I'd given to the United Negro College Fund in his name. He just laughed and said, "They need all the help they can get."

Don't we all.