Christmas Gift Ideas
It’s that time of year again! Time to get out all those dusty boxes of Christmas decorations. Fill in your calendar with lunches and dinners, pageants and concerts, get-togethers with friends, maybe a trip out of town or even out of state. Write an entertaining Christmas letter. Send out greeting cards—with those holiday stamps you bought at the post office.
Of course, it’s also time to fill out those lists of what to get for your friends, family members, loved ones, and colleagues. Some are easy, right? You know exactly what to get for some people. But if you’re like me, there are a few people on your list with question marks beside their names. You know you want to get them something special. But what?
Maybe I can help by making a few suggestions. (Warning: Some of these will seem blatantly self-promotional. But that doesn’t mean they’re not good ideas!)
If you follow my blog, I’ll bet you’ve got some writers on your list. Maybe even a freelance editor or two (or more). Sure, you could send them gift cards to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Starbucks. But they’re gonna buy stuff there anyway, right? How about something a little more personal. Like maybe:
- A copy of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. (Might as well get the most self-promotional one out of the way right off.) If your writer friends don’t already have a copy, you can get one for them at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It’s currently priced at $13.04 on both sites. (If you have several friends you’d like to give this book to, contact me about quantity discounts. If you wish, I’d be happy to autograph each copy individually.)
- Contributing membership in The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network. Great for any aspiring or established freelance editors on your list. $40.00 for the 2015 calendar year.
A lot of the authors and editors you know probably know one another, right? And they’re probably wondering what to get for the same people you are. How about putting your heads (and your resources) together and pooling your money to get something really special? For example:
- If someone you know lives in or near Pennsylvania, how about getting together and paying for him or her to go to the Cecil Murphey writing and publishing conference (Writer to Writer) in Hershey, PA, January 16-17. Registration is $299. So if you and five colleagues got together, it would only cost each of you about $50 each. (You’d probably spend that amount on a gift card anyway, right? And how much more special would this be?) If your friend is an editor (or has been thinking he/she might be interested in pursuing that field), you can add the January 18 Editor’s Book Camp free if you register by December 30.
- Here’s another great idea for aspiring or established editors: PENCON 2015. It’s the only conference that’s specifically for Christian editorial freelancers. For two days, May 1-2, in Austin, Texas, editors from beginners to seasoned professionals will network, fellowship, and share tips for success through more than twenty workshops and inspiring keynote presentations. Registration (before March 1) is $175. If you and four friends chip in together, you’d each pay just $35 to help someone you know establish a successful freelance editing career. Talk about a gift that will keep on giving!
Want to help a writer friend who needs instruction and encouragement? Consider purchasing him or her some time with a professional freelance editor. Some editors charge by the page or by the word; others by the hour.
- During the month of December, I’m offering a Christmas special for my blog readers. If you want to give the gift of professional editing to someone, I will reduce my hourly rate by $10/hour. You can pay for as many hours as you want. Even one hour of editing will provide feedback on a manuscript that your friend can apply to everything he or she writes.
- If you’d like to check out other established, professional freelance editors, go to ChristianEditor.com and fill out the form for Authors Seeking Editors. The Christian Editor Connection can help you find the right editor for your friend’s project—at a price you can afford.
Know a writer friend who’s crazy busy and would love nothing better than a little extra time? You can give that!
- You could offer to perform a variety of time-consuming tasks for your friend that would free him or her up to do some writing. Clean the house, do the dishes, take care of the laundry, walk the dog, babysit the kids—you know what your friend needs. And this would cost nothing more than your own time.
Wish someone would give you one or more of the above gifts? Why not put them on your Christmas wish list? Drop a few hints to your friends and family members. Or post something on your blog or social media outlets, letting people know about these unique opportunities.
If any of the above ideas appeals to you—to get for yourself or to give to someone else—please post about it here. Let me know which of these gifts you’d love to give or get. You never know who might see your post! 🙂
December 9, 2014 @ 8:02 am
A great stocking stuffer for writers and editors is William Safire’s Fumblerules–a lighthearted look at common PUGS mistakes. It’s a little book and will easily fit in a stocking or 5×7 envelope.
If you don’t have the 2013 Associated Press Stylebook, ask for it. Some rules and practices have changed.
December 9, 2014 @ 9:02 am
There are so many great how-to-write books out there that would be great gifts for aspiring and published authors. I’m looking forward to reading the new one by Steven James, and I love everything by Donald Maass.
I think your idea of purchasing time with a freelance editor is a great one for an aspiring author. A hour with a professional would worth its metaphorical weight in actual gold.
Me? I want to go to two writers conferences next year, so conference fees to one of them would be a great gift.
Susan K. Stewart
December 9, 2014 @ 9:50 am
I would put Cecil Murphey’s writing and publishing conference at the top of my list. I’m going to start saving now for the next one.
Honestly, I can’t think of much that I need. I have a good computer, a loving supportive husband, a roof over my head, and God who loves me (in o particular order).