Like an unfriendly ghost, a past embarrassing moment drifts to the present with the power to make us cringe years later. Afraid you've stumbled on a lost Halloween blog post? No, worse, a 1970’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange. It haunted me the other day like the Ghost of Christmas Past. The scene? Giggling Girl Scouts. Holiday packages filled with pink lip gloss and Love’s Baby Soft drug store perfume. Candy wrapped in crinkly cellophane dotted with Rudolphs and red noses. I couldn't wait to open my box.
Like Scrooge, I had to learn the hard way about gifting. My lesson? The beauty of the polite cover-up. I felt eyes, a Girl Scout friend, watching me open the box. Inside? A pen. A lovely pen, probably, but it wasn't pink or sparkly, and at ten who notices quality? What on earth had I done to earn the most boring gift in the room? Then I heard the friend mumble, “You said you want to be a writer.”
She was right, I did. I hide my Scrooge face better these days, but I still don't want a pen under the tree!
SO . . . What gifts might warm the heart of a writer in your life?
* Books. Obviously! 4RV books! Link right here! http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/
* Goofy writer gifts abound on internet shopping sites, like legal-pad designed napkins for when hunger—and the next great bestseller idea—strike at the same time.
* Keep inspired with a desk knickknack that represents the main character in a work in progress, or frame a motivating quotation from a favorite writer.
The best gift? Time… to listen, to work, to brainstorm.
* Offer to read a manuscript and give an honest critique.
* Create homemade coupons, each good for an hour of uninterrupted time to write or listen or read.
* Invite the writer to a coffee shop for an expenses-paid session to chat up their latest work.
Santa’s hint . . . Print the list. Let it mysteriously land on the family computer keyboard, or maybe accidentally-on-purpose stuffed in the cookie jar.
Have a wonderful holiday! And share—if you dare, what shadow haunts from your Christmas past? (Careful, story ideas lie buried there!)