A Technical Glitch to “Christmas Shopping Made Easy”

I’m sorry to the subscribers to my blog. When I hit subscribe today for my post, “Christmas Shopping Made Easy,” WordPress sent you something else. This is what I meant to have sent:

Christmas Shopping Made Easy

Christmas, 2013

last year’s tree

This year I finished my Christmas shopping early. Hurray! I’m so proud of myself. Most years I’m late—rushing around when the stores are too crowded and the best things are gone. Then I have to stand in a long line at the post office and pay extra so my box of gifts will get there on time.

But this year, here I am. It’s the first week of December, and all the gifts I bought are laid out on the dining room table ready to be wrapped. Blouses, socks, lotions, hankies, toys, games, a sweater, a jacket, a hat … and twelve books.

Wait! Did I really buy that many books? (Amazing since none of them are my book.)

The thing is, books make a great gift. They provide hours of pleasure (if you choose well), they’re inexpensive (except for the coffee table books), and they’re super easy to wrap.

Jocelyn Eikenburg

Jocelyn Eikenburg

Given what excellent gifts books make, I thought I’d share with you the books Jocelyn Eikenburg, a blogger I follow, recommends. She lists thirteen books, all helpfully described based on the person you’re buying for. Here are the categories:

“For fans of love stories with lots of drama,”

“For the armchair traveler fascinated by Asia,”

“For fans of Pearl Buck’s wartime China stories,”

“For anyone interested in interracial relationships,”

“For chick lit fans,”

“For the person who wants to be happier, but hates self-help books,”

“For anyone who loves comics and stories about the ups and downs of living abroad,”

“For fans of mysteries and thrillers,”

“For people who like reading about road trips and love stories,”

“For readers interested in the Asian American experience,”

“For readers who love coming-of-age stories,”

“For fans of travel stories with a little heart and soul.”

So … After seeing the list, do you know anyone who fits one of these categories? If so, check out Jocelyn’s blog, Speaking of China, to see her recommendations.

my cover, 5-27-14Confession: My novel, Tiger Tail Soup, is one of her choices. She describes it as being for fans of Pearl Buck’s wartime China stories.


Happy Christmas shopping.

Christmas, 2013my signature

About Nicki Chen

About Nicki Chen
Nicki Chen is a writer living in Edmonds, WA. Her first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, is set in China during the Japanese invasion and occupation, 1937-1945. She’s working on a second novel set in Vanuatu, a South Pacific nation where she and her late husband lived in the early ’90s.

blogging, book reviews, China, historical fiction, Tiger Tail Soup, WWII in China , , , , ,


  1. I wondered what happened. Thanks for posting again!
    I have yet to start Christmas shopping!

    • I’m usually late, L. Marie. My problem is indecisiveness. I have no problem buying things for myself, but it’s hard to choose for other people.

      I hope Jocelyn’s list will help you.

  2. Gretchen Houser

    Hurrah for you! I’m with you in getting Christmas tasks accomplished early, rather than late. I mailed all my out-of-town packages this morning, except those for my grandkids. I’m still waiting for those to arrive in the mail. It felt wonderful this morning greeting my small-town postmaster a cheery good morning. Yah for us kids!

  3. Glad that you are “ahead of the curve” this year, Nicki. We don’t buy much now that our nieces and nephews are older ~ just checks of the kids and a few consumables (food, wine, chocolates) for adults.

    BFF and I give ourselves a few “extra” treats this month, but most are experiential and can’t be wrapped and stashed under the tree.

  4. I’m just starting, Nicki. It’s a December thing for me and part of my ‘spirit of Christmas’ 🙂 I don’t buy lots and I certainly don’t push and shove to get it. Christmas for me is about the hugs (and cooking the darn dinner! 🙁 )

    • So many things add to the “spirit of Christmas.” Today I played Christmas music while addressing Christmas cards. One thing I’m looking forward to is the dinner theater we’re planning to attend: A Christmas Carol.

  5. Good for you, Nicki! You’re certainly on the ball. I don’t buy nearly as much as I used to which makes for a less stressful time leading up to Christmas. I can just relax and enjoy.

    • In my family we have some who like to shop and some who don’t. We tried to have rules to keep gifts to a minimum, but for the most part we follow our natural inclination. We never buy anything very expensive. One daughter comes up with some funny joke gifts; another makes great calenders with family photos; and another often gives me a CD with all the best songs of the year. I’d never be able to keep up with current music otherwise.

  6. Books make wonderful gifts and I’m glad that your book is on this list, Nicki. To all: Happy Holiday Season and Happy Reading.

  7. Thank you so much for mentioning my site! When I was thinking about a category for your book, Pearl Buck immediately came to mind. Your story definitely captures much of the elegance of many of her wartime novels.

  8. That is great that you have all of your Christmas shopping done. That means you can sit back and just enjoy the holidays. That is one thing I don’t miss about Christmas shopping in Canada – the long lines and the crowded malls.

    The feeling of Christmas is much different for me in Taiwan. It is more about getting together with friends and enjoying the joy and happiness that comes with the season, not what we get each other.

    • Yes, I’m glad I’m done shopping–although it wasn’t too difficult. Now I’m enjoying writing on Christmas cards to old friends. And today my neighbors and I wrapped gifts for needy families and decorated our hall for tomorrow’s Christmas party. Best of all, before long I’ll be flying off to spend the holiday with my family.


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