Before that, I hope you saw our review of a beautiful and informative new DVD series about C.S. Lewis, narrated nicely by Os Guinness. It is called C.S. Lewis: Reluctant Disciple -- Faith, Reason, and the Power of the Gospel. As I described, it is really, really nice.
I really hope you didn't miss one of the most anticipated releases of the year (at least for some in our circles), God in the Sink: Essays from Toad Hall by Margie Haack, published by the lovely literary imprint, Kalos Press. As I explained, Margie and her husband Denis have had a ministry for decades (helping others engage culture, learn the art of wise discernment, and winsomely present the gospel in socially-relevant ways) mostly out of their Minnesota home which their children dubbed Toad Hall. Margie has published her "Notes from Toad Hall" for years, and this is an anthology of some of her best writing. I enjoyed telling you about it, here.
Not only do I do BookNotes reviews, but sometimes I place my articles at the part of our website marked "columns" which means they are longer, even epic sometimes. Just the other night I posted a larger column there, an complex essay I had been working on for months, a description of an important set of books (6 volumes!) by Calvin Seerveld. I called it "the publishing event of the year." Find out why, here.
Perhaps you could forward some of these reviews or lists to somebody you know; invite them into a reading group, or a book of the month club for the new year, or at least invite them to sign up to receive BookNotes. It's free, and keeps you up on important new releases for the heart and for the mind.
Yeah, you saw what I did there.
It's simple, really; and fun. Let's do this.
Last, last minute, lots of fun, DIY Gift Certicate. You make it, you give it. Simple.
As do most real stores, we enjoy selling and sending out gift certificates. You may call them "gift cards" but ours aren't plastic, but nicely printed certificates; old school. Some customers really enjoy giving them and they are the perfect solution for gifts large or small. We make them for any amount you'd like, and can send them out anywhere.
But here is what is fun -- this time of year we invite a little homemade DIY action. Why not get crafty, use your imagination, open up that aesthetic dimension of life, and prettify something as a way to share some H&M joy? You can make your own gift certificate and we will honor it.
Yep, you can make your own gift card, for any amount, drawing it up in any way you'd like. Give them to your loved ones, and voila, they can be ordering whatever they like, whenever they like.
Here is how it works. On the secure order form page at our website, just type in that you are making your own gift card and tell us the dollar amount you want it to be for. We will send to you the cc receipt (or a bill, if you'd rather) to your address for your records. We will also reply promptly via email (as we always do) and give you a little gift certificate number that you can write on the card somewhere, just for everybody's records. (Be sure to give us YOUR email address, not the recipients, as we want to confirm with you.)
If you tell us to whom you are giving it, that would be helpful for our files, too. We won't correspond with them, but having a name would be good. That way, if they lose it -- heaven forbid, since it will be a work of art -- we can still honor it.
This is so easy, and if you'd rather do it over the phone, that is simple, too. Just call the shop at 717.246.3333.
Making and giving your own gift certificate is one last way for you to say Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, or to commemorate any of the Twelve Days of Christmas, including (our family favorite) Epiphany. The Persian astrologers brought gifts to Jesus on that day, so you could put Epiphany art on it. Smart thinking, eh? Or use it for a Christmas eve stocking stuffer or along with a thank you to someone who has blessed you this year.
Speaking of gift-giving, you all are a great gift to us. Beth and I and our staff thank you for caring about books, for supporting a real store, and for allowing us to inform you about books we think you'll like, all through the year. We enjoy our on-line friends and appreciate those who follow along, sharing in our efforts. You are part of this story and we are grateful, daily. At this glorious holiday time, though, we are especially aware of how we wouldn't be here if it were not for you, our friends and customers. Merry, merry Christmas.