Update . . .
Have you ever read The Monster at the End of this Book? Grover — yes, Sesame Street Grover — makes a big deal about the monster at the end of the book and begs the reader not to keep turning the pages. At the end, the monster is Grover himself. Having made much out of not-so-much, Grover is very embarrassed.
So I’m feeling a little Grover-esque right about now. I was rather jazzed about this, my first go-get-some-deals post. If you saw it, you saw links, ads and images and the whole nine yards. I felt proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone and all.
Obviously, I didn’t read the rules. WordPress, when you’re not self-hosted, doesn’t allow the kinds of links I used. I learned this a few hours ago and immediately turned bright red. More than anything, I felt silly. Why did I assume? Why didn’t I think to look into this? I wondered.
Rather than delete the post, I’ve changed the links and kept the deals. So go get a bargain, friends! That hasn’t changed.
But I’m not about to let this rain on my tried-something-new parade. I’m going to count it as a lesson learned. In the words of James Joyce, “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.”
So my first attempt at Cyber Monday? Not a failure, not a mistake. Just a portal of discovery.
Friends . . . I wrote this eloquent, commercial-ese post about giving holiday gifts and Cyber Monday shenanigans and how I’m not exactly a gift-giver, but sentimental gift-giving is something I can get behind.
Mr. S. was kind enough to listen to me read the post aloud. Halfway through, we burst into laughter and couldn’t stop. Nothing about this post sounded remotely like me. I was trying crazy hard and not succeeding at all.
(Full disclosure? I used the sentence “Welcome to Inspiration-Driven Cyber Monday.” Does that help explain the laughter?)
The best thing about this Inspiration-Driven “brand” of mine is its authenticity. I try and I fail — we all try and fail! — and we celebrate the successes and embrace the grace we’re given each day.
So trying to commercialize it? Well, y’all are a little too smart for that. (Frankly, I like you like that.)
All of that said . . . I can’t ignore the calendar. It’s the holiday season and gifts are being purchased. Gift-giving isn’t my love language. Maybe someday it will be; the way we care for people is fluid, right?
If you’re going to give a gift, friends, let it be a heartfelt one. I’m not about to persuade you to build yourself a little inspiration-driven bundle under your tree. But if it’s sentiment you’re after, if it’s connection you seek, then I have a few suggestions. And a few Cyber Monday discounts never killed anyone.
Blurb: Photo Books
Mr. S. and I are smitten with each other, but that doesn’t always manifest itself in sexy photo shoots and gorgeous images. Everyday life is homemade dinner on date night, a cocktail at the end of a crazy day, a trip to Mizzou for Homecoming, moving things in and out of many U-Hauls, our many homes . . . and more. It may not be glamorous, but it’s absolutely worth celebrating.
The everyday matters. The everyday has value. The everyday is worth documenting.
Enter Blurb. On Cyber Monday (11/26), get 25% off with Blurb — a fantastic custom book publishing site! — when you use promo code HOLIDAYTHANKS. Blurb books make thoughtful gifts for friends and family and let you preserve the memories of the everyday. And if you’re like me, with most memories on Instagram and Facebook this site allows you to create a photo book by uploading those social media images.
Tiny Prints: Holiday Cards
Mail is the new e-mail. Maybe? Throw me a bone here. I’m trying.
Really, though, holiday cards are a meaningful way to reconnect. Just in time for the season, Tiny Prints is offering 30% off everything on their site. Custom holiday cards, Christmas cards, Hanukkah cards, holiday party invitations, custom photo gifts . . . you name it, it’s on sale for two days: Monday, November 26 and Tuesday, November 27. Promo code: CB12.
Custom cards are fantastic, and Tiny Prints offers simply beautiful options. Plus, the paper is simply sumptuous.
Do your card recipients a favor, though: write a little something. Seriously, grab a pen and dash off a note. Put some heart behind the cards, friends!
On the card, or even on the envelope — connect personally. “Miss you” is good. “Miss you and hope to see you at Homecoming!” is better. “Hope all is well” is good. “Hope you and the new puppy are doing well!” is better. Get personal. That’s what it means to love people.
Best wishes as you give the gifts, friends.