Some thoughts and anecdotes about giving from Here Be Magic authors:
TIA NEVITT: The magic of giving is … when a child says a real and genuine “Thank you!”
SHAWNA THOMAS: For me the magic of giving is that moment when someone's eyes light up with joy because you've given them something they love! Giving for me is also intertwined with memories of my grandmother. She had a way of making unexpected guests feel welcome. One Christmas eve on impulse my aunt brought someone home for Christmas who would have spent the holiday alone. I will never forget the look on that person's face when she discovered she had a stocking and presents under the tree. That Christmas I decided I wanted to grow up to be like my grandma. She defined for me the heart of hospitality and generosity.
R L NAQUIN: One of my best friends now lives happily with my ex-husband—a hilarious story in itself that we won’t go into right now. After moving in with him, she discovered some truly awful, completely out-of-character decorations I’d left behind over twelve years before. She was especially horrified by the decorative broom made of twigs and sticks. I swear, when I bought it I had some weird ideas about glue guns, ribbons, and fake flowers. Decorated, I’m sure it would have been horrendous.
So, my dear friend wrapped it up and gave it to me for Christmas last year. I’m sure the look of shock on my face when I unwrapped it was priceless.
This year, she’ll never see it coming. My kids are going to smuggle it over there and slide it under the tree with the rest of the presents. Since I won’t be there at the time, she won’t realize what it is until it’s too late. The ugly thing will be back in her custody, and I will be free!
I just need to add a few blobs of glue and some smiley-face buttons on it. Maybe a gold ribbon. Now to find the right box to disguise it…
JENNY SCHWARTZ: For me, the magic of giving definitely includes having an excuse to SHOP! I love wandering around local markets, especially the Christmas ones, finding gifts that have been made by people in the community and thinking who they'd be perfect for. In addition, local markets mean chances are you'll bump into friends. It's a lovely seasonal thing to do and a way to connect with your neighbours. Plus, the food stalls are usually awesome!
JODY WALLACE & MEANKITTY: For years now, I have I hand-make at least one item apiece for the members of my family who come together on Christmas Day. In 2012, I spent all day on Black Friday crocheting and crafting instead of shopping...or otherwise setting foot outside the house. I sense a tradition coming on, sort of an anti-commercialism response, which is a funny thing for an author whose job depends on people purchasing her books to cultivate, isn't it? Well, there's room in all my split personalities for a little hypocrisy to go with the holiday spirit.
CINDY SPENCER PAPE: I grew up in the shadow of a much older brother who married and moved away when I was 5. So although I can’t remember living with him, I remember being told how perfect he was from our mother my whole life. No matter what I achieved, it seemed he had always done it younger or better than me, at least in our mother’s eyes. It was years before I figured out she was just missing him.
When his kids were grown, and I was married with young kids of my own, he moved back to our home state. Suddenly, he was there for Christmas for the first time in my memory. He bought me a pretty decorative lizard one year, that I loved and still have out. (Lizards were the animal used in my thesis research, so they’re a favorite of mine.) The next Christmas, he gave me a lovely carved, articulated cobra.
I opened the box, screamed at the top of my lungs, and threw the box across the room. In all the time he’d been away, he’d never picked up on the fact that I’m horrifically afraid of snakes, particularly hooded ones, even though I trained as a herpetologist. Eventually everyone laughed. My son is quite happy with the wooden snake. But the best gift that year? It’s the only time in my life I ever heard my mom call the “perfect” child an idiot. That part was priceless.
JAX GARREN: I prefer experience gifts to items--a pedicure with a friend, a fancy dinner with my family, a theater outing with my husband. This year my darling parents got me a plane ticket to Kansas City so I could attend Romantic Times Con. It'll be my first convention as a published author, and I'm SO excited.(I’m on the list!) (More exclamation points!!!!!)
Wishing everyone happy holidays and a peaceful winter season ~ Veronica Scott on behalf of Here Be Magic!