I do a giveaway every week with this blog and this is for reasons. I know my readers are all pretty capable of looking out for themselves, but when I send out a book or a box of chocolate, I feel more connected to my tribe. I like to think of somebody seeing a package and wondering, “I haven’t ordered any–Oh, yeah! I won a book from Grace!”
You get a smile, and I get a smile. The neuroscience says I actually get the bigger smile. When we give to somebody else, we get a bigger dopamine reward than when we self-indulge. The parts of our brain associated with happiness and altruism light up when we’re generous, and our blood pressure drops. People who can keep the generous habit going into old age report better spirits, and the generous among us tend to live longer. And you don’t have give a lot for it to make you happy–just be thoughtful within your means.
BUT there’s a difficulty here. You good folks reading this blog mostly have my books. You also have a lot of the books of my writin’ buddies, so what to give away become a challenge. My mom was one of those people who could spot the perfect blouse for you from a geosynchronous orbital altitude of eight miles. I didn’t get that gene. I’m not big on stuff myself, so the idea that I’d send somebody something they didn’t need or want makes me cringe.
Then I read John Scalzi’s blog post, an annual tradition with him. He opens up his blog once a year for everybody else to post books, crafts, albums, fave charities, art, anything that might make a good holiday thought for somebody with a shopping list of names and not enough ideas. I will be cruising John’s blog daily for the next week.
But I’d like some help with MY blog. I need giveaway ideas, Christmas gift ideas, links to anything you saw that would be perfect for Aunt Impossible or that brand new six-week-old nephoo. If you have a favorite charity (I’m fond of Heifer International, and that’s one of their hand-knitted Peruvian ornaments to the right) then put that in the comments.
Then I’ll chose three of your suggestions and send out those gifts to commenters. If you’ve been very good this year (or even if you haven’t), then it’s fair game to list the thing you’d like to come across this holiday season–with your name on it. I just might end up sending it to you. (Or you might get the fuzzy socks, just sayin’).
And that’s what I’d start with: I love Maggie’s organic wool hiking socks. They are the gift I bring my hostesses, my condolence gift to the bereaved, and what I sent to my editor and my web team last year as a token of holiday appreciation. If there’s a sock hound on your list, consider a pair of Maggie’s. They are spendy, but they last and last and are like a hug for your feet.
Your turn, and didja see the website got its holiday decorations, didja huh?