We started Christmas…

We started Christmas shopping yesterday -- well, actually, it was birthday shopping -- Sujata, Satya and I went out to look for Lakshmi's birthday present together. We got her something cool. But in the process of wandering around World Market, I ended up picking up Karina's Xmas presents, along with various little stocking stuffers for Kev's family.

I think we're not buying so many big presents this year; most of the people we'd be buying for are pretty well off, so I think we're going to try charity gifts in people's names and see how that goes. Plus something small that they can open, like a book.

Now the question is just what charity. I'm pretty fond of Asha for Education personally -- they're super-efficient in terms of finances and I like what they do. But organizations like World Vision are reasonably efficient and you get a card for your donor saying that they've given a cow, or a goat, or a flock of chickens. More fun for the holidays, I think. Is World Vision the best one for giving cows? Any advice on fun but still effective charities would be welcome.

Hmm...I also need to find some good books for Kevin's folks. They've already read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. What to read, what to read? They're not genre-readers, so that knocks out a large set. Are there good lawyer books? His mom's a lawyer and his dad's a judge. I wonder if they'd like The Hamilton Case -- that has a legal case in it, and it's a good book. What about good teacher books? His sister's a special-ed teacher...

In other news, I've really been taking it super-easy the last two-and-a-half weeks. I'm in vacation mode already, and the semester isn't over yet. I do need to do some work today, but not yet, I think. First, I read Rushdie, see if I can finish The Moor's Last Sigh. The writing is vibrant on the sentence level, and the story is good and satisfying, but somehow, the book is very easy to put down. I've been reading it, off and on, for months, and I need to finish it and move on to something else.

4 thoughts on “We started Christmas…”

  1. For the special education teacher, Torey Hayden has a new book out called “The Twilight Children”. I like Hayden’s “Somebody Else’s Kids” and “One Child” the best, but “Twilight Children” is still pretty good — I found myself really wanting to know what would happen.

    “My Sister’s Keeper” involves a legal case, although there is much that is contrived (serious conflicts of interest overlooked for the sake of drama). In this, a 13-year-old who was conceived to donate stem cells to a terminally ill older sibling sues her parents for the medical rights to her own body, as they now want her to donate a kidney. I couldn’t put this book down. It has alternating first-person chapters by different characters. Some of the metaphors are also contrived, but it was a really thought-provoking story and presented every side of the issue.

    Good luck!

  2. For the teacher: Frank McCourt has a new memoir out about his 30 years as an NYC public school teacher. Everyone who has read it, loves it. Also, I am a Pencil by Sam Swope is a good one for teachers who teach English/writing.

    Good luck!

  3. “Child’s Play”: http://www.childsplaycharity.org

    IIRC, 100% of the funds go toward the charity, which buys books, games, toys, video games and console systems for Children’s Hospitals across the US, Canada & (coming soon) Britian. It was started by two gamers who run the comic strip Penny Arcade and has grown beyond their wildest expectations. Maybe not what you want (not helping underpriveledged nor any cows, per se) but I wanted to mention it. The fun part could be a printout of what you chose from Amazon for the hospital.

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