Michaeline: Holiday Gifts for Writers, Redux

The Farm Cats of Tokachi. The Gang’s All Here! Captain Greebo, Mama Tabby, Large, Medium and Chibi gather on the porch for after-snacks fun. One of the kittens steals Christmas!

Just last Sunday, Jilly wrote about holiday gifts for writers, and I came up with a few ideas I thought might get lost in the progress of the blog, so I thought I’d repeat them here and maybe add to them.

Personally, right now, I would like a holiday gift set of drinks. Warming beverages, because I’m in the northern hemisphere. Caffeinated teas or cocoa for the morning writing session, and some herbal tea (chamomile, mint, non-tea spice mix, turmeric) for afternoons and evenings. If you are writing in the southern hemisphere, a sun tea kit, or teas that can be chilled, or fancy and hard-to-find sodas could be welcome. Writing is thirsty work, and I like to have a cup of something at a safe distance from my laptop.

Here’s another idea: how about Merch for Christmas? Or a birthday?

The easiest way to do this would be to

take the cover of your writer’s book, and get it printed on a mug, or tote bag, or memo pad.

If you have more time or are artistic yourself, you could draw some fan art of your writer’s character (characters?) and get that printed on something useful, or even have a full-sized poster made. Or, if you are very well connected, get it done on cardboard so your writer can have a life-sized cardboard cutout of Captain Greebo in her writing den. (Family, don’t do this for me . . . there’s no room in my writing den!)

I wonder if snow globes would be a possibility? Here’s how to make one if you are artistic and crafty . . . if not, maybe next year . . . .

Holiday gifts for writers (from left): Hot water bottle with red cover included. Sonbayu horse oil in plain and gardenia scents (from Yakushido), Oshima Tsubaki oil, wrapped presents that double as kitty toys. (E.M. Duskova)

Another thought I mentioned on Jilly’s post (inspired by Sara!) is a gift certificate for hand massages, to be redeemed when it’s safe.

But how about this? There are some excellent hand massage videos on YouTube. (I like the HM Massage channel with Spencer.) Set up a cardboard box (or better yet, a Tom Sawyer-style fence), and cut some holes in it. Wear masks, and use soap over a basin instead of massage oil.

You can give them a small bottle of massage oil for finishing touches. This year, I’ve been using horse oil – yes, poor horsies, but they aren’t culled FOR their oil; it’s just part of the culling process that would take place anyway – and tea seed oil, aka camellia oil. I found both absorb quite quickly, and let me get to typing right away without slipping across the keyboard into my warming beverage.

These folding foam screens block the wind and fit between double windows to keep more cold out and more warm in. Unless you are in Japan, you probably can’t get this one from Nitori, but I’m sure other countries have similar items. (8 mm thick, 60 cm tall and 200 cm wide, but in folding panels so you can adjust it.) It’s made a difference in my den! (E.M. Duskova)

My writing den feels particularly cold this year . . . I’m using my daughter’s room, and it’s got two windows. So, if your writer is in a garret, I suggest getting some Styrofoam blocking boards for the windows. And maybe a poncho for the writer. I’m using my mother’s ancient, hand-knit one, which keeps me warm and cozy on a physical and spiritual level. A hot water bottle for my toes would make things perfect.

Maybe a custom cover with Captain Greebo would make the perfect gift for my writerly Christmas.

If your writer is working from a southern hemisphere garret, a portable fan could fill the bill. Or a scarf with cooling gel packs that goes around the neck. Don’t forget a hachimaki (Japanese headband) to keep the sweat out of their eyes!

North, South, East or West,

Tell your writer that you love them best!

That’s what they really want, after all.

Traditional Japanese headband for when you’ve got hard work to do — thinking or physical. It’s traditional to enscribe a goal on the band. For a writer, maybe “WRITE! WRITE! WRITE!” or the name of their current work-in-progress. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

9 thoughts on “Michaeline: Holiday Gifts for Writers, Redux

  1. i love the idea of a headband to keep the sweat out of one’s eyes! I don’t need a headband as a gift, because I have a lot of scarves that will serve that purpose. So I got out a pretty blue one and tied it on, because I have a lot of writing and research work I want to get done today. And the best thing is: if I go outside, I can just lower it a few inches and wear it as a mask. Thanks for the ideas, Michaeline!

  2. A hand massage is a great idea for anyone who spends hours pecking at a keyboard! Your post inspired me to check the services offered by the (excellent) small salon near my house. Sadly they don’t do hand massage, but they do offer Indian head massage, which apparently is great for the neck, shoulders and upper back as well as the head. My shoulders get nearly as scrunched as my hands, so I’m definitely going to check this out. Thanks, Michaeline!

    • Oh, gosh, yes. Shoulders get so stiff when you’re at the keyboard.

      I’ve started sitting on an exercise ball at my desk, because my office chair isn’t great. Very much an improvement for my legs, butt and back . . . not so great for my elbows, wrists and fingers. I might have to look into a standing desk of some sort for the new year.

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