I’m not a math professor. However, I think it is pretty insulting that the media (news outlets) are reporting that people are not spending as much this holiday season like it is a bad thing. I mean, how can we say we have an economic issue and then still “live it up” just because these four months hold the most important holidays for many of the world’s religions.

I’m an author, I get it. I want sales just like every other retail outlet wants sales. I just think items should be priced fairly. Some books I can have a say in the pricing, others I have no control whatsoever. It varies by publisher.  What I do know is that I am an author, a professor at a community college, and a full-time PhD student. I don’t have endless dollar to toss around. Both of my professions are suffering from a variety of evolutionary events rendering my almost complete degree potentially worth less than I will have paid to attain it. I get it. We all need sales to make ends meet.

Nevertheless, I think it is a good thing people are cutting back and being more selective about the choices they make. I like that my family does a name raffle where there is a dollar amount and one couple or person to buy for. I like that many reader and author groups also do a “Secret Santa” event. Again, it makes the gifting manageable.

I also miss home and hand-made gifts. This year I am in Virginia. I won’t get a loaf of homemade bread from a dear friend and author I know in California because she can’t drop it by. Maybe she will still mail it, but it is so good the day it is made.

I will get cookies, one of my favorite things in the world, homemade from at least 3  dear friends because they know I would rather have their cookies than any gift they buy.

My friend (and editor at one of my publishers) knits me something each year. I wear my scarf and gloves all winter and tell everyone just how special I am because she took the time to make them for me.

Not everyone is good at homemade gifts. I am better at baking, but I haven’t passed a 75% edible rating yet. I usually undercook or overcook the first few batches of cookies. I have crocheted a few things, but I only give them to family because they have to smile and say it is okay one side is longer than the other. I still try. I like the imperfections of homemade gifts.

When it comes to purchased gifts, the top 10 I have ever received for the holidays are:

1. My Cocker Spaniel (she is 10 now)

2. My Beagle (he was a shelter dog)

3. My Marine Corps Shadowbox with my rank, ribbons, and marksmen badges

4. My Kindle Fire (I use it almost everyday)

5. My Henry Killinger Earrings (From Stella Price, Henry Killinger is from The Venture Brothers)

6. Pajama bottoms. (I get the best, softest!)

7. Socks (Again, interesting prints, soft material)

8. Cups my nephews decorated and sent to me when they were still kids (they have babies of their own now). I use them as pen holders.

9. Ornaments (It is more than one item from a variety of people, but they all make the list)

10. Hand written cards and/or pictures. I love mail (maybe it is from boot camp, but mail always makes me happy).

I don’t know how anyone else feels about the economic situation of our nation. I just know that I would rather spend time than money and I would rather get time in return. I would be devastated to find out someone bought something for me when they needed that money for something else.

Therefore, as one of the people living off of the sales of her products, I hope I have reasonably priced books that won’t break your bank. I hope that you get amazing gifts this year, more from the heart than from the credit card unless the gift is purchased and given with love and knowledge of your interest in it, and I wish you all had time to be with those you love. I’ve spent holidays out of this country, away from family, and I would trade almost any gift I have received (not my dogs) to spend that time with family and friends.