The holiday catalogues have started to arrive in my mailbox. And while I’m admiring how pretty they are as decorations for my recycling bin, I felt the need to write a little guidance on surviving this annual season of materialism. Here’s my top-20 list of reasons to make it easy on yourself — buy poetry books for everyone on your list. (My kids helped with this, so please forgive the sarcasms!)
#20 – Won’t go out of fashion (because it isn’t fashionable to begin with).
#19 – They probably don’t already have it.
#18 – Everyone needs more poetry!
#17 – Shows that you think of them as extremely intelligent, emotionally sensitive, and spiritually evolved people.
#16 – Makes you seem quite intelligent, emotionally sensitive, and spiritually evolved.
#15 – Non-perishable.
#14 – Cheaper than a great bottle of wine.
#13 – Invites reading lines aloud (i.e., more fun at a party than a bottle of wine).
#12 – Re-giftable (even after they enjoy it).
#11 – Unexpected gifts are the best.
#10 – So that your friends can’t say they “don’t get” poetry, because, um, they just got it (get it?).
#9 – No one else is getting it for them. You’re the cool friend who knows that they secretly LOVE poetry.
#8 – Maybe they will give you a poetry book, too!
#7 – Easier and less potentially embarrassing than writing them a poem yourself.
#6 – Bargain! You could pay $3.75 for one lackluster poem in a greeting card, or about $0.32 per poem in an award-winning collection.
#5 – So you can skip getting them a greeting card. (That would be redundant.)
#4 – Media-rate postage is cheap, and you get a tracking number, so you know it has been delivered properly.
#3 – Easy to wrap these slim rectangles of bliss.
#2 – A very pretty gift! Poetry collections have the most beautiful covers. Just tie a ribbon around, which can serve as a lovely bookmark.
#1 – Poetry is purified love, distilled from language, breath, and deep longing. Who could imagine a more loving and sincere gift?