It’s two days before the majority of Americans feel that gifts are generally supposed to be opened. (One day if you do Swedish Christmas, and several days late if you do Hanukah.) And I have my draft open, staring at me with big metaphorical puppy-dog eyes. So. PERFECT TIME for a Procrastinating Writer to try to think of gifts that can be purchased before time ticks down.
If you have a procrastinating writer in your life, here’s a list of the things I’ve found handy the past year.
1. Coffee: Dark roast and freshly ground. Or not. I’m a lazy coffee maker–boiling a handful of grounds on the stove, pouring them over a sieve and then dumping ice in because coffee is best enjoyed cold or at least lukewarm–but there’s a Starbucks above my subway stop so generally I go there when I’m out of coffee. Although for those days I’m too lazy to walk literally one block (in my defense it is a long block) to the Starbucks, there is always the pre-ground stuff in the supermarket. Or Café Bustelo Instant, for when I’m also too lazy to boil water.
2. Netflix Subscription: When I’m really avoiding rewrites, my favorite thing to do is fire up a streaming video and shrink it down to the corner of my screen so I can pretend to still be working on the manuscript and fooling no one but myself.
3. New Books: Any of them. All of them. I just bought Brown Girl Dreaming and I recommend you do to. But there are tons of book lists that come out this time of year with great ideas. This is actually a good gift idea for any writer. Or really any person. There is nothing that cures my writer’s block like reading an excellent book.
4. Donations: This is actually another good idea. You can make donations in people’s names to causes they love or would love if they knew about them. A few years ago, my husband got me a Kiva card, which allows you to make microloans to people who are starting small businesses. Every few months, the loans are repaid enough for me to make another loan, and every time that happens, I feel reconnected to the gift he gave me and to people around the world.
And for those who want to make a big impression, how about a:
*obviously don’t get a cat for a person who doesn’t already have a cat. pets make terrible holiday gifts, no matter how awesome they are at Roomba riding.