I started Christmas shopping today. . . without leaving the house. I got a little lost in etsy. . . I didn't buy anything there except these funny thought-balloon barrettes (for myself) -- but mine say "Don't make me get my ninjas" and "La la la I can't hear you." Aren't they great?
If you're looking for furry monster boots with claws, or a furry panda bear hat with earflaps. . . (I have an animal hat with cat ears, and last night I freaked my mom's cat out with it. Unintentionally! He thought I was a really big bipedal red and pink cat coming to get him!)
Oh, oh my gosh. . .
Or maybe you have a biology enthusiast in the family. . . Maybe a biology/knitting enthusiast? I mean, who wouldn't want a knitted dissection frog? (Rats available too.)
Scrabble-tile pendants for the Twilight-obsessed? There are about a jillion to choose from, including the Cullen family crest, and "sparkle in sunlight" and stuff like that.
And look at this cute pillow girl! It's easy for me to see how Jim got carried away on etsy for our anniversary this summer and bought me too many things!
But yeah, I didn't buy any gifts on etsy -- YET -- though I most certainly will. I mean, why not just put $$ right into the pockets of artists, instead of shopping at chains? Or, ooh, check this out. When you purchase a t-shirt at Common Threadz (unrelated to etsy; I'm jumping around a little), a school uniform is donated to an orphaned or needy child in Africa. Awesome! And the shirts are really beautiful, with art like this. I, er, sorta sent Jim a link to one I like. tee hee, hint hint. (And, remember the days before sending email link hints?)
I also found a most unusual gift in Portugal today of all places, for Jim, something he will never ever ever guess. Such fun to find unique things around the world! I might never leave the house this holiday season. No, not true. I will go to craft fairs and the Saturday Market, at least. Buy art! Put bread in artists' bellies!
Oh, goodness, speaking of art, I have to evangelize for a second time on behalf of possibly my favorite movie of the year, which is now out on DVD -- The Fall.
It's soOoOoOoOoOoOo beautiful! Check out this list of the film's locations. Amazing! One movie, filmed in Prague, the Maldives, South Africa, Argentina, Rome, all over India, Namibia, Fiji, China, and more. You MUST see this movie. It is not only gorgeous to look at, but a wonderful and compelling story with the most natural and memorable performance by a child actor I've ever seen. SEE IT.
And while I'm in rave mode, I might as well add an effusive book recommendation. Oh, the joy of discovering, within the unpromising covers of a book that would never catch your eye. . . a truly captivating and original story. The part of my day not taken up with etsy and grocery shopping was stolen by The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner, and I am full of total love and adoration for it! Never mind the cover -- don't even look at it. This is not a prissy hairstyle book. It is a menacing and magical story set in Paris and London during the Reign of Terror. The characters are Yann, an orphaned gypsy boy who uses his unusual magical gifts reading minds and making an automaton speak in a third-rate theater; and Sidonie, a motherless and unloved aristocratic girl locked away in an opulent chateau filled with secret passageways. One frigid and fateful night, the magician Yann works for is summoned to perform at the chateau. A murder is committed, and lives interlace. A wonderful historical fantasy that plunges you deep in "the fictional dream" from start to finish. A chilling villain, a beautifully wrought vision of the excesses of the French aristocracy, and the nightmare they brought down on themselves.
Oh, and something I learned by nerdily googling "Dr. Guillotin" while on page 1 of the book -- the physician who dreamed up the "humane" execution device was himself against capital punishment! He didn't even invent the guillotine, but his outspokenness about execution got his name into a comical song, and that's probably why his name is linked to the blade. Isn't that wild? That poor bastard!