Friday, December 12, 2008

All You Want For Christmas...

...I hope!

What do you get for the person who has everything. Or, more likely, what do you get for the person who has everything but things you can't afford?

I quickly compiled a list of Christmas gifts I would think about giving because each one of them means something to me. They are fairly inexpensive and one or two are kinda unique. One thing that may surprise a few of you: only one of them is a Christian gift. None are anti-Christian, but some are purely secular.

Gifts I Would Give:
1. Amazon Prime.
I probably buy more online than at retail stores. That's especially true of books and media. Because of that, I consider Amazon Prime one of the best purchases I made this year. For $79, you can purchase one year of membership. This entitles you to free 2-day shipping on most products sells. Many products can be shipped overnight for $3.99. I love it and use it all the time. If you give this as a gift, I recommend you use an Gift Card.

I use my exercise time listening to audio books on my iPod and I have found no service I prefer to Audible. Audible users can select from over 50,000 audio programs including a vast selection of books. Select a book, download it and listen to it on computer or a player. It's that easy! I have had annual membership for a number of years and listen to over 20 books a year. Once again, you can give this in the form of a gift certificate.

3. iTunes Gift Card.
This one is easy to get at almost any department store. It's also a gift that will have value for almost anyone under 40! (Or me, but I only think I'm young.)

4. Starbucks Gift Card (or anything else from there!)
Pop into any Starbucks anywhere and pick up a gift card for that person you love. If you don't love anyone, send it to me. (Just kidding -- Sorta!)

5. The Omnivore's Dilemma.
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan may be the most fascinating non-fiction book I read this year. If you want a page-turning picture into our food supply-chain, this is it. I was totally captivated and that says a lot.

6. Consumer Reports Magazine.
No, I don't agree with all of Consumer Reports' view on politics. What I do love, however, is their unbiased view of the products and services that we interact with every day. They don't take any advertising and that means they stay fairly neutral on their reviews. By the way, we originally gave this as a gift to our son-in-law The Engineer and that's how I discovered that I wanted a subscription for myself.

7. One Year Bible.
For those of you who follow Christ, or those who are considering it, The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: New Living Translation) is a simple plan that takes you daily through passages in the Old Testament and the New Testament, in addition to daily passages from Psalms and Proverbs. I have used this Bible Plan almost every year for over 20 years. It can be accessed online via computer or mobile web. There's an online community to help with questions along the way. And the New Living Translation is a pretty accurate rendering of the original languages in today's American vernacular. I hope many of you might join me as I daily read through the plan next year.

That's my list. What ONE other item would you add?


Liz said...

I read The Omnivore's Dilemma a couple of years ago- very eye opening!

beckiwithani said...

The Omnivore's Dilemma is one of those books that sticks with you. I read it about a year ago, I guess, and recommended it to you and Mom right after that. (I'm so glad you guys liked it!) Things I learned from that book still come to mind almost daily as I am making food choices.

C. Beth said...

Great suggestions, Dad!

I really enjoy using an online Bible reading plan. The ones here have lots of flexibility--choose your translation (I'm doing tNIV), your start date on the 1st or 15th of any month (I started 9/1), and your plan (I'm doing chronological.) I like being able to just click on the daily reading while I'm online.

As for what I'd add to the list...hmm...if they don't have it already, maybe a Netflix membership. We use ours so much. We watch more TV series on DVD than movies, though we use it to keep up with movies too.

beckiwithani said...

I just thought of another one. The Joy of Cooking is one of those books I go back to over and over, even though I usually get my recipes off the internet. It is always right when I ask it how to cook broccoli in the microwave, or how long potatoes need to be boiled if they are cut to a certain size, or how to make a basic fritatta ... Anyone who doesn't have it should be given one. It is the only non-online recipe book I ever crack.

Dina said...

I have been a huge fan of Michael Pollan's writing ever since I read the Omnivore's Dilemma. He has such a terrific commen sense way of writing. I would also suggest his most recent book - In Defense of Food. It is a little bit shorter read and equally eye opening.

Chris Bowers said...

That Amazon Prime is super cool! My brother-in-law uses Amazon for everything and he is very hard to buy for. Thanks

Sam said...

Thanks to you all for your recommendations. Chris, I think Amazon has a special Prime offer for new users right now.

Sandra said...

What an excellent list of suggested gifts! I think I'm going to try to figure out how to give our hard-to-buy-for son-in-law the Amazon Prime. Wish me luck!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Last year I was one of a group of people who did a 'secret santa' but by writing stories for one another (based on the likes of the person you were writing for). Free, yet priceless.

Sam said...

Wow, Rachel, I'm enthused about that idea! I have been reading a bit of your writing and anyone receiving your words would be blessed.