This is my favorite time of year.
I love the lights and good tidings, not to mention all the crazy shows on TLC and HGTV about Christmas-themed weddings and competing with your neighbors to decorate your house (which I like to watch while gorging on peppermint bark).
(A festively decorated Key West house, with a holiday dolphin theme, of course!)
I also love all the stories about strangers paying off the lay-aways of single moms at K-mart and I TOTALLY love all the crazy “gift guides” celebrities put on their blogs because we’re so going to give someone an ugly $45,000 watch as suggested by Rachel Zoe.
But this time of year I also start having stress dreams that I’m still working at the first real job I ever had (as a gift wrapper in a bookstore), and I’ve accidentally wrapped someone’s perfect gift wrong, ruining their ENTIRE holiday.
The truth is I think I’m better at choosing (and wrapping) gifts for my fictional characters (check out the What Would Meg Cabot’s Characters Want Holiday Pinterest page) than real life friends and family (and store customers).
(Something John Hayden from the Abandon series might receive.)
If you’re like me and waited until now to start your holiday shopping, there’s still time! Here is MY celebrity gift guide, the nicest thing about which is that most of the gifts are free or next to free:
Give someone this FREE online booklet of some cartoons I did (yes. I draw too)!
The best part about this gift? IT IS FREE (it’s also good. Well, in my opinion).
If you know someone who is Brazilian and speaks/reads Brazilian Portuguese, Size 12 and Ready to Rock was just released there on December 9 (read a free sample here). So you could give them a copy. Also FREE (well, the sample is. The book itself costs money).
Of course, the sequel, The Bride Wore Size 12, is already out in the US and Canada as a trade paperback and e-book, which makes it the perfect stocking stuffer, if you ask me (but I’ve already read it, so I hope no one gets it for me). However, this costs money, unless you go to the many websites online where you can find pirated versions. I am not going to link to them however, since I can’t make it THAT easy!
You could also try surprising a loved one with the gift of a copy of Holiday Princess (we’re giving you a chance to win one here).
But since the contest ends AFTER the holidays, this suggestion probably defeats the purpose.
People keep asking me, “But Meg, what do YOU want for Christmas?”
I already got what I wanted for Christmas: a sabbatical. For those of you who don’t know what this word means, here is the definition:
Any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc.
I’ve been taking a little break from writing to do other things (such as drawing) . . . although my sabbatical hasn’t been too successful as it turns out I can’t help writing, so I can’t help sneaking bits of that in.
Other than that, though, it’s been LOVELY. I got to spend time (the entire month of October!) with family and friends in Europe. My good friend Michele Jaffe has been spending the winter in Key West (she even helped decorate our tree)!
I even have a secret project I’ve been working on that no one knows about! Shh! Don’t tell.
The project does not involve Slutty-McSlut-A-Lot. She just looks cute in this photo.
All in all, if I’d been on that Westjet flight where Santa asked all the passengers what they wanted (and at the end of the flight, everyone got what they asked for at baggage claim!), I wouldn’t have known what to say to Santa! Because I truly have everything I ever dreamed of . . .
Well, except this unicorn from the movie Legend.
I wish the same for all of you in 2014, and much, much more!