- from Susan
“Best holiday gifts” for me or from me, I wonder? Okay, okay, ‘tis better to give than to receive, so I’ll concentrate on that.
Nicolas pondering the possible contents, 2008
For kids? Legos, pretty much hands down. The urge to build, to understand how things work, and to create is so strong and so important in children. The process is educational on a visceral as well as a logical thinking level. And I think they can get jobs at NASA after building one of those 1,374-piece contraptions. I can’t even figure out the directions, which are all in illustrations that require you to look intensely in order to interpret correctly that a short-dark-gray-two-bump-rectangle needs to fit precisely here. My role is to find the itsy-bitsy pieces hidden in one of the dozens of plastic bags that come inside the big box. I bond with the grandkids who take pity on my slowness and love me for giving them such cool presents.
For families with kids? Memberships. The SF Bay Area is rich with art, science, and cultural spaces, but they usually cost a lot, as much as $25 for one adult entrance ticket. Wave a membership pass instead and the whole family can come as often as they like, which is often when you have the chance to make Balinese shadow puppets, step into a real rain forest, or conduct hands-on physics experiments.
For writers? Chocolate. It’s soothing, rewarding, properly distracting, sensual, and doesn’t make you tipsy while working. I suppose you could get the sugar-free kind but that hardly seems like a present, more like a warning. (In case anyone wants to know, I prefer dark chocolate with nuts.)
For readers? Books, of course. Your own if your friends haven’t already supported you by buying them. (Thank you from the bottom of my heart!) Your friends’ books next since you support your fellow writers. Your friends’ friends’ books when you’ve heard some buzz about particular books that other writers admire. Books about gardening for gardeners, about food for amateur chefs, about France and India for travelers…oh, what the heck. Books, for all people all the time!
Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Peaceful Kwanzaa to you!