The 2022 Holiday messages


Those of you who have been reading the AAUGH Blog for a while have seen me do my annual holiday note, usually earlier in the season than this. Both Chanukah and Hanukkah start on the 18th, with Christmas rolling in a week after that, so present-acquiring mode is at full blast. With that in mind, I have some thoughts (which I’m not referencing past notes for, but I reckon are much the same.)

  1. Presence is more important than presents. Gifties are cool, but no one wants you so tied up in hunting for The Right Thing that you’re not taking the time to be in their life. The people you love will know that you love them even if you don’t get them a giftie.
  2. Charity makes a great gift. You can show someone how much you care about what they care about by donating to a favorite charity in their name. Don’t know the right charity? Their local food bank makes their entire community better.
  3. There is much to be said for shopping locally. As wonderful as the world of online shopping is, buying locally not only supports your local businesses and community, it also means you have the gift right in your hand, rather than hoping that the delivery drone comes as promised.
  4. But when your gift recipient is far away… then online shopping makes a lot of sense. Have your gift shipped right to your recipient. Even if the online service you’re shopping with doesn’t offer gift wrapping, you can put in the name field of who it’s being sent to “Jane Smith DON’T OPEN TIL XMAS” (although if you’re getting Jane something big like, say, a toaster oven, that’s going to come in a toaster oven box, which is a pretty strong giveaway.)
  5. If you’re going to be celebrating far away: In years when we’re visiting our Christmas-celebrating in-laws many states from here, we have our gifts for our kids shipped to them and then just wrap them when we get there. It saves a lot of luggage space on the way out (of course, we then have to lug it all back!)
  6. A preorder makes a fine gift. There are several great things about ordering someone a book that hasn’t been published yet. For one thing, you can be sure that they don’t already have it. For another, you get counted as giving them a gift twice — once on the holiday when you give them a note saying “your gift is that I have preordered that Funny Things biography of Schulz for you”, and then again in August when the gift arrives. And if for some reason it’s blatantly not the right gift, you have plenty of time to cancel the  order and get something else.
  7. If you’re going to be shopping on Amazon anyway: this blog makes money to cover its expenses (not just website expenses, but buying books to review; I rarely get review copies from publishers) by directing people to Amazon. If you click on any of the book links here and then, once you’re at Amazon, buy anything — not just the book you clicked the link on, but TVs, toothpaste, toad costumes, whatever — Amazon slides me a little cut, at no added expense to you. So what I’m suggesting is that if you’re going to shop at Amazon anyway, stop by the blog first, click on any of the book links to get there, then go ahead and do your shopping. You’ll be supporting this odd little information stream that I’ve been pumping out for decades now.


If you’re here, I presume that your the sort of person who gives Peanuts books for gifts. Here are some recent releases that are giftworthy:

  • I would be exercising false modesty if I didn’t recommend Charles M. Schulz: The Art and Life of the Peanuts Creator in 100 Objects, the oversized full color Schulz Museum book that I cowrote with the museum’s curator, Benjamin L. Clark.
  • The final boxed set of Peanuts Every Sunday just dropped, including all of the Sundays from the 1990s. If you like gifts with some serious weight to them, there ya go!
  • If you’re looking for a gift for the younger set, something both lighter to lift and much lighter on the wallet, the Peanuts for Kids series of full-color paperback strip collections does a perfectly fine job of getting Peanuts strips into young hands. The most recent volume is Snoopy: Cannonball!
  • And hey, the new year is just around the corner, and everyone will need a calendar.

Be kind to all this holiday season… and that includes being kind to yourself.


The AAUGH Blogger


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