Well, that time of year is upon us once again, and in the spirit of St. Nicholas (today is his day, after all) I thought I’d share a few ideas on what to get the tea and books lover in your life. Of course all of our tastes are different, but let’s just assume for this post’s sake that they like the same things I do. Because this is totally my own Christmas list in disguise.*
*Cue evil cackle
Since moving to MN a year ago, I’ve come to fully embrace the Caribou Coffee chain, which I’m pretty sure outnumbers Starbucks here in Minnesota (at least outside of Target stores). And the one thing that I love about the ‘Bou is their selection of drinkware – hot and cold tumblers, mugs, and cups that are well-made and fun to look at. I currently use an ugly plastic tumbler from Perkins that I stole from my parents as my tea tumbler at work, and I definitely could use an upgrade. My favorite is the ceramic tumbler with the silicone cover with all the cute drawings all over it depicting “things to stay awake for”, coming from Caribou’s unofficial slogan that I love: “What do you stay awake for?”
Fancy, Expensive Teas
I’m just going to come out and say it – if you drink a lot of tea like I do, you’re probably not spending a whole lot of money on the habit. I tend to buy inexpensive teas like Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, and Market Pantry (aka Target brand), all which are great anyway so it’s not a huge deal. But trust me when I say that once in a while we cheap tea drinkers want to drink something we would never spend money on. Like the $8.00 boxes of Mighty Leaf I see at Whole Foods , or the $10 tins of The Republic of Tea that look so pretty on the shelves. Trust me – these are things we want to see in our stockings.
With the convenience of library sales and ebooks and what-not, I don’t know too many people who shell out $20 for a hardcover book from Barnes and Noble these days. That being said, it’s still something that we would love to receive. There’s simply nothing quite like unwrapping a Christmas present and finding a beautiful, brand-new hard cover book inside that you didn’t have to buy yourself, all yours to open up and breathe in the new-book smell. Especially if it’s a book that you simply cannot find at any library or one in which you’re WAY down on the waiting list, like the following:
– Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
– The Selection by Kiera Cass
– Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
– Reached by Ally Condie
– Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
Coffee Table Books
Everyone loves a good book they can place on their coffee table or on their bookshelves to make their house look extra fancy or give them something to page through when they’re bored. We have a lot of books like that, but the one that I’ve always wanted but never bought is Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Art of the Animated Series. Since it’s my favorite animated series of all time, I would love to look at all the beautiful art that went into making and shaping the show. I would also accept any art book that involves Lord of the Rings / Hobbit, Star Wars, or anything about Disney animation, because all that stuff looks great on coffee tables.
The Ultimate Book Bag
I don’t know about you, but I always have to bring a bag with me when making trips to the library. Also, since I bring a book with me wherever I go, my purse has to be big enough to fit one (I make my decisions based on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – if it fits, it’ll hold anything). So a bag that’s big enough to hold any number of books is something that we’d love to receive. You can find book bags at many places, but I tend to find the ones I really want on sites like Etsy (for something cute and original), Zappos (for a huge selection), and Zazzle (for something more personalized).
Personally, I don’t listen to music while I read. If anything I’ll have on my white noise machine or a hair dryer (I know it’s totally weird, but if I’m cold sometimes I turn on a hair dryer while I read – the sound and the heat are oddly comforting to me). But if you like to have on soft music while you read, I suggest anything that’s instrumental so the words don’t distract you from the words on the page. Might I suggest the upcoming soundtrack to The Hobbit, a two-disc score that will be available December 11? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, pinch, pinch, KICK.
An Awesome Teapot
I’m usually a teabag kind of girl, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the occasional loose tea leaf. And the only way to truly enjoy the loose tea experience is to get a awesome teapot. Teapots come in many shapes in sizes – I have one for multiple cups and one for single servings, and you can find some really cool ones out there in the interwebs. A great place to find an original teapot that will look great on your counter is Etsy or Think Geek, where you can find such kinds as a TARDIS teapot (for the Doctor Who fan) and a magic lamp teapot (for the Aladdin fan).
And When All Else Fails…The Gift Card
People say that gift cards are impersonal, but I say nay, nay. People who love tea and books most certainly love gift cards to Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and iTunes because it’s simply more fuel for their passion. And it puts all those questions the buyer may have – “But do they like green tea or herbal tea?” or “Do they already have this book?” to rest. And even though a place like Target carries books and tea, I don’t suggest getting them a Target gift card. Because you know what they’ll end up buying with it? Toilet paper and milk. So stick with the tea and book-specific places – we’ll have loads of fun deciding what to buy with our gift cards. Seriously. Gift cards awesome. Don’t be afraid.