Giving a soft pair of pajamas is the ultimate gift in my mind, but I’m partial. I want everyone to feel as comfy cozy as me when they’re just hanging around the house. Think about it, though. A book doesn’t get threadbare or pilly in the dryer, you don’t have to worry about which color or size to buy, and it costs much less. If you stick to books for everyone on your list, the only decision to make is what subject they’d all like to read about. And when you think about it, decisions and mall madness are probably the main cause of so much stress this time of year. One year I found unique books for everyone at the used bookstore in town. 
     Slowly browsing the shelves and tables in a bookstore gives you ideas you hadn’t thought of before, and you can just order any title you don’t find. They’re very efficient at this. I know this bucks the online ordering and e-book trend, but there really is nothing like brick and mortar, where one stack always beckons you to peek at another just around the corner. Non-fiction feeds your curiosity, fiction provides escape, and inspiration give us all the courage to change. 
      Finding a subject that a child on your list will love, and feeding it with words on a page, educates and fuels their imagination. Pointing them to the book path gives them a hunger and curiosity for what might be in all those other books. And jump starting their reading habit inevitably leads to a loyal library habit. Yea!  
     A reminder that my own book, A Patchwork of Comforts, makes a great gift for most of the adults on your list. To quote a review, “This unique book will take the sting out of even the worst day.” It’s a lighthearted look at the ways people comfort themselves and offers new ideas on how to deal with stress. A relaxing read and, well… comforting. My website  www.carolwiseman.com offers a glimpse inside.
      In spite of thrift shop donating, 50-year-old pajamas just can’t exist. (and would you want them to?) But wonderful old books are still out in the world, recycling themselves from home to home… from lap to lap.