Tuesday, November 17, 2009


stack of books Pictures, Images and Photos

Bill has Christmas down to a science. Want a stress free holiday? Do it The Bill Way.

Make a list containing every single item you need to get for Christmas. All presents. All food items. All the extraneous little things that make you life hell later (ie: stamps, Christmas cards, Santa napkins, Chocolate Oranges... etc.)

Next, plan a day (and a budget) that you'll use to get it all done. Mid November works nicely.

Come home with everything. Sort it out. Begin wrapping or stocking your pantry.

To tell you the truth, this used to bother me. BB (Before Bill) I loved meandering at the Malls a couple of days before Christmas. I do tend to embrace chaos. So for all you chaos lovers, this plan will NOT work for you. Have at your Christmas Eve runs. I'm finished.

Why? Because three kids, novel writing, spousing, PhD ing, teaching, and a 9-5 job later... I have no damn time to peruse. So Bill's way works. And I'm starting to enjoy that "One Shopping Day."

It was yesterday. We left early and got coffee and looked over our lists to plan the attack.

We went to stores and split up with two carriages knowing exactly what we needed and then met back up for the fun stuff. TOYS!

He does the homegoods. I do the books. Well, of course I do!

And let me tell you! The books I bought. I bought so many books I wanted to take a bath in them! And I looked around, and you know what? EVERYONE was buying books! There were certain books I wanted that were sold out (Thank GOD for Amazon!) And many books I already know about by writers who blog (I bought all those, yes I did. Good networking works, right?)

And then... I got a little emotional. Two major things hit home for me as I knelt and then stood, bent and flipped through fine pages with all those thoughts and delicious lines. First, I still love books. Even though I write them, even though I know more about the industry than I ever needed to know. It hasn't taken away the bliss. I love books so much I always feel like I have to go to the bathroom. It's really THAT exciting. TMI? So what.

The second thing that hit me was that next year I'll be buying books that are set for publication next fall and are written by people I've watched on their journey. I will buy books by bloggers who have become true friends. Think about that. I will be buying books written by people I know. Their words will become part of the fabric of my family. Stories we will share, and take turns reading out loud to one another, and talk about years from now. "That Christmas... those books.... you remember...."

Anyway. I just wanted to share.

OH! And another share. I may be late to the party, but ummmmm.... for that person who has everything? Forget all other shopping. Go HERE. Etsy. Handmade and simply divine. Well priced too. Not bad shipping rates. Really. Go. Now.



  1. I tend to do some shopping last minute, mostly stocking stuffers (or people I didn't realize I was going to have to buy something for), and I enjoy the look of the season at the stores, but there aren't that many to buy for anymore (one of the perks of being old!), except the grandkids. I'm already buying them some stocking stuffers on petfinder.

    I agree with you on the books. It's such a visceral feeling to go to the book store and be surrounded by so much drama, laughter, and adventure, and knowing you really can only buy so many!

    I'm not a writer, but in this last few months I've stumbled across and enjoyed tremendously writer's like yourself. It's enriched my life on so many levels, and I look forward to hearing more from you in the years to come.

  2. Even when I have no money, I love to wander the bookstore and dream. Just the smell of the books is enough to make me happy. Libraries are beautiful. Also, saddening, because I know I'll never live long enough to read all the books I want to. But hey, I'll have fun reading (and writing) 'em for as long as I can.

    And congrats on the early Xmas shopping! I'm inspired.

  3. Oh, Etsy. I heart Etsy. A good deal of my shopping is done there.

    And oh, how I get a thrill every time I go into a bookstore! I don't think that ever changes!

  4. Totally looking forward to buying the books of people I "know", lol!

    What a great post!

  5. Hey, I may try that shopping in one day (Before December?! Great idea). Maybe it will make Christmas more enjoyable!

    I love that some of my friends will have books out next year. They will make awesome gifts in 2010. =)

  6. There's just something about a bookstore isn't there? All those books, I'll admit that sometimes I get overwhelmed. I don't even know where to begin! And ever since we've started writing bookstores feel more personal, more real. We've just started seeing our friend's books hit the shelves and can't wait for more!

  7. Oh, I love books too. We decided give books to most of our family members this year. I bought everyone books I loved (and then I wished I could keep them all). I'm excited for next year too! It will be so fun to buy books written by people I know and love!

  8. I love books, too. Sometimes I just sit and look at my collection and smile and pick up random ones I've already read and immerse myself in a chapter or two just to enjoy reliving that particular story. I love coming across books by people I know, either in the bookstore or online and it makes me endeavor to pursue my own dream of publication with even more fervor.

  9. Etsy is the best place ever to shop...people are really creative...and not to mention i also have a shop. :)

  10. I'm a combo last minute and year round holiday shopper. The problem with the year round part is I can't remember what I've already bought, much less where I've hidden everything! Etsy is great, but it can be as time consuming as wandering around the mall. I'm liking this "The Bill Way." :) PS - Do you read the books before you give them away? I often do, and feel slightly bad about it and wonder if I'm the only one

  11. What a great system. I do what you do. Random buying here and there. Grocery store a couple times a day. Whatever. It's nice.

    And I love books too! Can't wait for YOURS to come out. ;)

  12. What a cool idea Bill had! Think I might have to try that. Already have a lot of stuff done, but it's those last minute things (like the Santa napkins!) that drive me nuts.

    Going to go make my list now ....

  13. I think I'm just as impatient as the writers of said books for said books to be published. The anticipation is killing me!

  14. Brilliant idea!

    I love books too. I love the way they feel, the fun they bring, the soul in the page. I'm so estatic for book buying in 2010. I have a feeling I'll be seeing more out there than I planned on. ;)

  15. I love Bill's idea, but at the moment, can't get a mid-week day off to do it, and weekends just wouldn't work.
    My hubbie does almost all his shopping online, and gets it sent direct to the person, so no wrapping.But me, I couldn't be without the shops! Have just come in from a late-night "Customer evening" complete with hot chocolate, up to 50% discounts, and raffle...now that's right up my street. But I bought nothing, so I'm no nearer to finishing my list!
    I hope that next year, we'll all be buying your book, Suzyhaze.

  16. I am buying that moon clock! Thanks for the wonderful post Suzanne :)

  17. Learning about publishing hasn't diminished my love of books either. If anything, it's probably strengthened it. I appreciate how much work and sweat and pain and sacrifice and weight gain (just me?) goes into taking a sparkly idea and making it into a sparkly book that has the power to touch many lives. Even if I don't necessarily like the book, I appreciate it. And I think that's kind of cool.

    I am a Christmas Ever and ashamed of it. Once I used to be a "One Shopping Day" person, but those days are long gone. Being organized is just too much WORK, you know?

  18. Okay, really cool thought...that next year we will be buying books that people we know wrote on this crazy road!
    Thanks for that today.
    ~ Wendy

  19. We used to have an almost "Bill Way" (I never remember to plan for holiday napkins) down to a science. Then life changed, and we live for on line shopping. This year the budget is going to be tight...so back to a totally planned a "Bill Way" sounds like a good idea. Regardless of the year, I'd shoot myself to avoid shopping on Christmas Eve. Oh yes, and like everyone else...books, books, books, books, books!

  20. Can I borrow Bill? The only thing I'd hate about the one day thing is the money spent in one day. I convince myself that I am spending far less if I break it up over several excursions...even though it is probably more...


  21. Can I borrow Bill after 'Story Queen'? A One Day shop sounds divine. Organized and Divine! I am so not divine at the moment. I'll pay Bill's airfare and he can do Christmas for me... oh wait... that will be more expensive then just kicking my butt into action. Action it is.

  22. hi dear
    it seems you simply have an inevitable inclination for books....

  23. I love Christmas but hate the shopping so Amazon it is for me, in more ways than just books!

  24. If we lived closer, we'd have some great times together. So much in common.

    I'm shopping online a lot this year, and of course and as always, lotsa books. DH (Deer Hunter) buys the guy gifts and I buy the girl.

    Fab stuff to be had (without crowds!) on Christmas Eve at the local hardware store. Done it many a time. :D

  25. Suzy, I always think books are the best gifts, for all the right reasons.


  26. You have inspired me. This Christmas I will be hitting up Barnes and Noble and getting books for EVERYONE - yes, even the people who "hate to read." (What IS that, by the way? How can someone "hate" to read? Weirdos.) I am head over heels in love with books too and I know the feeling of being so excited about them that I have to pee. LOL! This is why I refuse to get a Kindle (although I will try one out sometime, just to say I did). I want the feel of paper between my hands - there's nothing like it in the whole wide world!