Welcome to December, also known as the mad dash of holiday parties, gift exchanges, travel planning, decorating, and about 1,259 other things we’re trying to cram into the last few weeks of the year. Because is it even Christmas if we’re not simultaneously worried about what we gave Aunt Martha last year, whether the lights for the front porch still work, which neighbor asked us over for a cookie exchange, when we’re going to bake those cookies, and how on earth did we forget to book the pet sitter?
If you’re like me, the only thing that keeps me sane during the holidays (besides a good bourbon) is the joy of finding the perfect gift for each person on my list. But please notice I didn’t say shopping for the perfect gift, because trying to accomplish any shopping during the holidays is like trying to go to Target the weekend all of the dorms open up – it’s way too crowded, everyone is frustrated, and there’s no parking anywhere.
Because I loathe holiday shopping, I try to keep things as simple as possible while supporting my friends who own local businesses. This is why most of my friends and family members usually receive a book or three from the Midtown Reader, our local indie bookstore. And to make holiday shopping even easier this year, Midtown Reader is hosting a slew of events to help us find the perfect gifts while making the experience as enjoyable as possible.
First up: The Kidtown Holiday Party with a visit from the Man in Red himself on Dec. 2, complete with a reading of How The Grinch Lost Christmas, candy canes, and hot cocoa. Bonus: If your kids tell Santa about any special books they want for Christmas, you’ll be in the perfect place to check those gifts right off your list.
Just a few days later, on Dec. 5, Midtown Reader is hosting a virtual book discussion with author TJ Alexander and Timothy Janovsky about Alexander’s book, SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN. The book is a love story set “against the backdrop of one weird Floridian Christmas,” which – if we’re being honest – sounds a lot like most of our Christmases. All orders of SECOND CHANCES IN NEW PORT STEPHEN will receive a signed bookplate, an exclusive postcard, a curated playlist, and character art. Plus, you don’t even have to leave your house! Sign up here.
The next two days offer my kind of shopping event: perusing books while sipping an adult beverage. Reds and Reads on Dec. 6 offers a wine tasting paired with the booksellers’ favorite reads, and the Holiday Boozy Bookfair on Dec. 7 encourages shoppers to grab a beverage (or pie!) from the Piebrary while looking through the store. Sign. Me. Up.
Saturday, Dec. 9, offers Kidtown Story Time in the morning and an afternoon happy hour with three authors whose books are as different as the people you’re still trying to find gifts for. Mickey Dubrow’s ALWAYS AGNES is a time-traveling adventure about love, loss, and acceptance. Local author Ely Rosario’s 100 THINGS TO DO IN TALLAHASSEE BEFORE YOU DIE is the perfect book to pick up if you’re expecting guests or if you want to create new traditions with your friends and family. David Sangiao-Parga’s BLOOD IN THE HOLLER tells the story of a pro wrestler and his friends kidnapped by drug dealers and waiting on one last hope of rescue. With these three books and more to choose from, your shopping list is as good as done!
If you’re still undecided as Christmas gets nearer, 10 Books in 10 Minutes on Dec. 13 might be your saving grace. It’s quick, it’s fun, and it offers LOTS of ideas for that perfect last-minute purchase. Plus, the cheerful booksellers will always wrap gifts for you, although make sure you bring post-it notes so you don’t forget which wrapped book goes to whom. I’d rather not explain why I know this is a problem.
Even if you’re an overachiever and you’ve already finished your holiday shopping, there’s nowhere more joyful than an indie bookstore full of people who love books… and who maybe have had a slice of pie and a glass of wine. These are the holiday shoppers I’d rather be around this month, and there’s a good chance you’ll feel the same.
About the author:
Sandi Poreda has lived in Tallahassee for more than 20 years. She owns and operates Bulldog Strategy Group, a full service communication firm, and she actively supports several non profit organizations in the community. Sandi is a huge advocate of reading and owns more than 1,500 books; her To Read list is longer than she will probably ever have time to finish, but she does love a challenge.