I love these gifts!

I was doing a little catalogue shopping, and thought, “before I order this stuff, let me see if any of it is on Amazon, and a bit cheaper.”

Turns out, quite a few things I was looking to buy were sold through Amazon, and in every case cheaper than the catalogue prices.

This, I fell in love with: a clever bit of the auld sod for an Irish-mad friend who -like me- is married to a Man of Italy.

It is all “official” Irish dirt, with shamrocks you raise in a Belleek china bowl. My husband, who is constantly amused at how we Irish can get excited over dirt, rocks and peat, rolled his eyes and said of our friends, “I admit, it’s perfect for her. Get him some whiskey so he can deal with it.”

I of course huffed, “as though we Irish are so difficult to live with…” but the, I realized he had a point.

One of my pre-teen nieces, who needs to explore new avenues, is getting
this beading kit; I remember liking such a thing when I was about 12, and the colors are nice, although the monochromatic-themed ones are pretty, too.

Another niece, who is very smart but needs help to sit quietly, sometimes, will enjoy making this little quilt. It doesn’t look like much as shown, but I’ve seen another little girl knotting it and it was really very nice, and soft.

Another niece, who doesn’t think she can do this, will -I hope- learn that she can.

And my “big girl” niece, whom you might call Auntie Lillie’s namesake gets these adorable Lilypad Earrings, which I like so much I almost want them for myself.

They all get books, too, and there I find myself running into some trouble. The “Wiz of Oz” obsessed 4-year old is getting ruby slippers and this great pop-up book, and I know she’ll go nuts for them both. The Lilypad is going to be introduced to the most hilarious of the Georgette Heyer books, but I’m at a loss to know what books to select for 8 & 12 year-old girls with some reading disabilities. Any suggestions, out there? I could really use them!

I do have nephews, but they all want car-cleaning stuff (it’s an especially good gift for volunteer firefighters) or folding knives or camping gear and other boy things, like that. Not as much fun to shop for, in my book.

We actually have that emergency radio, btw, and it’s pretty good. It is the only radio that actually Limbaugh into the house, when I really want to listen.

For my nieces and nephs who commute to school,
I’m also adding Mystic Monk Travel Mugs, and everyone gets the soaps, cremes & lipbalms from the Summit Nuns, and they all get mad if I forget them. The Lilypad was not terribly amused when I recently gave her a copy of their book, Fast-Knit to Christ along with her Confirmation gift.

“Auntie, are you trying to get me to become a nun?” she asked in a deeply suspicious voice.

“Child, you wound me with your accusations,” I answered. “Why would I do that? I just thought you might be interested in seeing a life that is utterly different from yours.”

I am pretty sure I heard a snorting sound when I turned my back, but she’s been thumbing threw it, I know.

Heh.

In case you’re wondering, none of my siblings or their kids knows about my blog, nor would they care enough to check it out, if they did know. My Irish friend is computer-phobic, but even if she were not, she wouldn’t be interested in the blog. Actually none of my friends or family read me. I think Elder Son’s Sweet Girlfriend peeks in once in a while, but she works full-time and goes to school full-time, straddles two states doing it, and is the busiest person I know, so I doubt she has time to check in, right now. And none of these gifts are for her, so there you go!

I’d be interested in hearing in book ideas for my nieces (Sherry has some interesting suggestions here) and in what you folks are choosing as gifts this year. Monastic consumables, (the coffee, the candies and cheese I wrote about here) will still be making up the bulk of our gift-giving, particularly with adults, hosts & hostesses and co-workers, but you know kids and teenagers, they want both the monastic candy and real presents, too!

UPDATE: I’ve been listening to my Pandora station while shopping; it’s mostly set tonight for Vince Guaraldi, Bill Evans, Duke Ellington and Miss Ella, but they slipped in a recording that -at first- sounded to me like a young Frank Sinatra, singing “All of Me.” Instead it turns out to be that young red-headed kid from a few seasons back, on American Idol – the one who sang swing and songs from the American songbook – John Stevens. Turns out he put up an album when he was 17, and it ain’t half bad for a kid that age. Give that voice -which sounds like bourbon on ice- a few years, and who knows?

Oops, I forgot the disclaimer: when you acccess Amazon through these links or the Amazon search box in the right-hand sidebar, you generate income for the site, for which I am profoundly grateful. Same for any of the Mystic Monk, but not for the other monastic products, all of which are great.

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