Evenin’ all! Today I present to you some ideas for those most insidious people on your list…you know the ones…they’ve already finished their Christmas shopping by August at the latest, they’ve printed out all those digital family snaps and arranged them artistically in some sort of scrapbook, and they use words like “reflecting” and “goal setting” and “making dreams a reality”.
And then there’s some suggestions for that other lot – the ones who spill tea on that brand new first edition hardback you bought them for their birthday; the ones who write phone messages in crayon on the wall because they couldn’t find pen and paper, the ones who tear out pages and use them to wrap gifts because it’s more eco-friendly than buying wrapping paper….
Honestly, it makes one shudder to think about it. Yet still, gifts must be exchanged….so I have made your job easy. You can thank me with appreciative glances and quiet murmurs of praise.
Look no further than The A-Z Book of Curious Lists: A Journal for the Impossibliy Imaginative. This cracker of a book provides fresh fodder for those obsessive little munchkins who cannot make it through a day without making a list. With a list idea for every occasion, this will keep them so busy that their “To-do” List will remain untouched for days. Some of my favourites are:
- Other Names Besides Harold for an Elephant
- Indecent Attire in Which to Attend the Opera
- and Unpromising Haiku Beginnings (in response to which, my fleshling owner has written “There once was a man from Nantucket”)
For a twist on the run-of-the-mill diary experience or for those who are time- and imagination-poor, Q&A a Day: A 5 Year Journal is just the ticket. This pocket-sized memory-protector provides enough space to write a single answer to a given question five times over, to cover the same date over five consecutive years. The advantage of this is that you only have to write one sentence a day and you can cheat off last year’s answer if you can’t think of an original one. My favourite questions from this one so far are:
- What is your Achille’s Heel?
- What can you smell right now?
- and What new word have you learned? (to which my fleshling owner has responded: “Moral turpitude”….which is quite obviously two words, not one. It really is a wonder I’m not presiding over piles of books that begin with “See Dick Run”…)
For this most difficult group, one cannot go past Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.
This licence to spill, mess up and generally destroy is perfect for anyone who wants to break free from the shackles of conformity…and anyone who’s just a bit bored in work-related meetings. While I am yet to become guardian of this tome on my personal shelf (my fleshling owner obviously being more kindred with the precocious group of list-makers and diary-keepers), I have searched for some examples of work completed in this book to give you an idea of what you may be in for. Such as this:
So once again dear readers, I hope these suggestions aid you in your neverending and ultimately unsatisfying search for that perfect gift. And if Santa happens to be reading, Mad Martha would love a copy of Wreck this Journal (being a firm encumbent of the book-wrecking population).
Until next time,