Ah yes. It’s the time for cheer and celebration and family.
Joy! Or…you know, not joy if you like to be by yourself and with a book. But don’t fret! There’s a way for you to be part of the festivities and still read.
Pro tip 1: When people ask what you want for the holidays, be sure you tell them books. Be specific, because if you just say you like horror novels and you mean H.P. Lovecraft, you’ll probably end up with a bunch of Stephen King. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll get nothing but books for the holidays, but chances are vastly increased that someone in your family will have listened to you and will get you a book. Now it’s not rude if you’re reading said gift-book during the holiday get together because it is you enjoying the gift that someone got you.
Pro tip 2: If you’re not from the kind of family that asks you what you want for the holidays, keep a list anyway. Start an Amazon or Borders wishlist. Post hints on Facebook. Bring up the books you want to your significant other or one parent so they can team up and get you the books you really want for the holidays. Again, this isn’t full proof, and you’ll still probably get an ugly sweater or two, but chances are you’ll end up with one book, at least, that you’ve hinted about and, again, spend the majority of your family gathering reading your gift-book.
Pro tip 3: Give the gift of books. This is not only a great way of sharing your love of reading with your family, but if everyone in your family is equipped with a book-gift and you just happen to have a book for yourself in the mix, your whole family can have some quiet time to read and appreciate their presents and you can sit back with the book you’ve self-selected and join in.
Pro tip 3.5: Really be sure to give the gift of books to the children in your family. Here I’m either going to sound practical or like a buzz kill: kids don’t need more toys and video games. They don’t need more plastic things that will wear and break with age or go out of fashion in a year or two. A book is timeless. A book can be enjoyed again and again, shared with friends and family, and passed down to children of their own someday (if they choose to procreate). And, a bonus, even if you’re not able to sneak away and read a book of your own, no one would frown on you reading the books you’ve gotten for the kids to the kids.
Pro tip 4: Pull a Jim from The Office:
Chat everyone up. Eat a little bit of all of the food. Stay for one memorable event, and then bolt when no one is paying attention. This way, the family has fond memories of you being at the gathering and you have a book or two or three waiting for you at home that you’ll still have time to get to and read.
You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.