Santa's E-Sleigh - une femme d'un certain âge

Santa’s E-Sleigh


Buoy, Home At Sea

The presents may be wrapped and the stockings hung, but if you’re still looking for a special gift for any young readers in your life (or anyone who loves the sea regardless of age), I must recommend this wonderful book, Buoy, Home At Sea, now available as an e-book. Written in a simple, poetic style, this is a story about home, friendship, the interconnectedness and mystery of life, and of course, the beauty of the sea. (The author Bruce Balan is a member of our family, and has always loved the sea and sailing.) I think this would also be a beautiful story to read to young children.

Available from for Kindle, Barnes and Noble for Nook, and from the Apple store for their devices.

tish jett, forever chic, French women

Forever Chic by Tish Jett

Tish’s book Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance is back in stock at, and is also available in a Kindle edition for very-last-minute gift giving.

Charitable donations made in the recipient’s name are a wonderful idea for those who have sternly warned, “don’t get me anything; I have too much stuff!” With the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia still in dire need of assistance due to the typhoon, I’ll be making additional year-end donations to Doctors Without Borders. Oxfam is another outstanding organization providing relief worldwide and also here in the US. For animal lovers, a gift to the ASPCA or a local humane society, no-kill shelter or rescue organization in their name might be appreciated. This article from the New York Times offers some guidelines and resources to help you donate most effectively.

I know many don’t like the idea of gift cards, but there are some people on our list who prefer them, and they are always well-received by those folks. E-cards can be delivered almost instantly, no need to stand in line at the post office trying to ship overnight.

Nordstrom e-card // e-card // Macy’s e-card

Are you all set for Christmas, or do you still have loose ends to tie up? Do you have favorite books  to give as gifts?

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  1. Duchesse
    December 23, 2013 / 5:04 am

    While still give gifts, these days, they are dowinsized to allow more for giving to those in need. If I know a friend has a favourite cause, that’s done in her name; if not, I do it on my own. Nearly all my women friends prefer this. There was one who made it clear she wanted a (big) gift, and I noticed I am seeing much less of her- not just because of this, but it is indicative of our differering vlaues.

  2. December 23, 2013 / 5:53 am

    We don’t exchange gifts any more in my family – we all have too much stuff! But a good book is welcome any time of year, thanks for the rec’s.

  3. December 23, 2013 / 6:23 am

    Thank you for suggesting Guidestar because we do want as much of our donations as possible to go to the needy. I have made personalized calendars recounting our shared adventures to give to my travelling friends. Have a Merry Christmas!

  4. December 23, 2013 / 8:00 am

    Just bought my last gift so all ready for the big day. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and hope to meet up in Europe next year.

  5. Hostess
    December 23, 2013 / 8:16 am

    I love books so I must read this children’s book perhaps wee Henry will love the sea too.
    More and more of our friends and family are focusing on donating to the various charities and at Christmas with the spirit of giving this is such a no brainer.
    Merry Christmas !

  6. December 23, 2013 / 10:18 am

    That children’s book looks lovely. My funds are limited, but I definitely donated to the typhoon survivors; they have to get their lives back on track now. We’ve definitely been going the donations + small mementos route. My serious gifts are paintings, but I’ve had a hard time painting recently; must strive to get back on track.

  7. Susan
    December 23, 2013 / 2:17 pm

    We try to make to make sure that every gift we give is something truly useful, or something that will be consumed. We are giving my mother a down comforter because she is cold and shouldn’t have to pile on heavy blankets. The idea of a down comforter has never occurred to her. My sister is receiving books that she wants and hair products for a swimmer. No one wants to add to the “stuff” that people have to deal with. I love the idea of gifts to worthy causes. We do that too along with cutting back on the list of people we send gifts to. I do make one exception and that is a beloved aunt. She has lost one child (my age) and the other child is remote in his communications. It is our pleasure to make sure that she has gifts under her tree–mostly books (she loves to read), wonderful bath soap, and useful kitchen items.

  8. Jill
    December 23, 2013 / 5:54 pm

    Waiting for kids to go to bed so I can do the last of the wrapping! Just went to Macy’s Herald Square to see Santa today (total zoo, the worst line I have seen in 12 years) and decorated the tree yesterday (eek!). Everything was very last minute this year, not the way I like to operate, I am usually far more organized! We have cut back on gift giving this year but I love to give chocolate, red wine or books for presents so thank you for the reading recommendations! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas. Your blog is a pleasure and feels like a gift to read so I thank you for always lifting my spirits and making me think. And smile. Speaking of which, where is my buddy Lars? Ha. XO, Jill

  9. Kris
    December 25, 2013 / 8:22 pm

    Thanks for posting the excellent NYT article on charitable giving. And the book suggestions.

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