5 Gift Ideas for a Reader

This holiday season I am bringing you a two-part series of gift guides for the readers and writers in your life. In these posts, I am giving you recommendations for gifts of all sizes. Whether you are willing to spend $10 or $200 on your recipient, I’ve got you covered–and in plenty of time to make online orders.

As you consider what to buy the reader in your life, be mindful of helping them create an environment that allows for the mental escape that reading requires. By setting a scene that indulges all the body’s senses, readers can find themselves quickly thrust into the world and words of the pages in front of them. When you buy a gift for a reader, you are also buying them an experience, and showing them that you value their life as a reader.

I am not an affiliate for any of these items. All of these recommendations are things I genuinely enjoy and am choosing to share with you because I am so fond of them.

1. Books

This may be the most obvious of the gifts ideas, but if you are struggling to come up with a title for the reader in your life let me offer some suggestions:

  1. The Measure by Nikki Erlick (Bestseller)
  2. Verity by Colleen Hoover (Thriller)
  3. Book Lovers by Emily Henry (Romance)
  4. The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams (Historical Fiction)
  5. Remember God by Annie F. Downs (Christian/Memoir)
  6. Good Boundaries and Good Byes by Lysa TerKeurst (Christian/Self-Help)
  7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Bestseller)

2. Candles

Setting the scene for a quiet night of reading is one of my favorite ways to settle into a new book. I gather all of my comfort items and light a candle to set the ambiance. This weekend I went to a local Bath and Body Works to test their new Holiday scents for the 3-wick candles. Here are my favorites:

  1. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
  2. Frosted Cranberry
  3. Sugared Snickerdoodle
  4. Winter Candy Apple
  5. Fresh Flurries

3. Coffee

I’ve told you all about my favorite coffee brand before, but a fresh pot of Silverbridge coffee is another way that I like to awaken my senses as I settle into a comfy spot for a session of reading. This Ohio-based coffee company crafts unique flavors with strong and delicious aromas. My favorite flavors:

  1. Highlander Grogg
  2. Jamaican Me Crazy
  3. Snow Angel
  4. Cinnamon Sticky Bun
  5. Southern Pecan

4. Notebook

Not everyone likes to annotate as they read, but getting a beautiful notebook for the reader in your life is never a bad idea. I love to use a standard A4 notebook for journaling and notetaking. Barnes and Noble is one of my favorite online stationery shops. Many of the B&N stores are also increasing their inventory of all things a writer will love. My current favorite is this Book Lover XL Notebook from Studio Oh!

5. Noise Cancelling Headphones

In a world of noise and commotion, sometimes we need to drown out the things that try to take our peace and attention away from our reading moments. This is a more expensive gift idea, but if you are looking for quality, noise-cancelling headphones I cannot recommend the Beats Solo 3 enough. These are comfortable and amazing for setting a the mood for a tranquil reading session. Additionally, if your reader is more into audiobooks than hard copies, these can be a great way to listen without distraction.

Remember that when you buy for a reader, you are buying an experience. Your gift helps them transport into the pages of a book and walk around in another’s shoes for a bit. Consider how to best cultivate your reader’s scene by appealing to their senses–and the reader will be grateful for these thoughtful ways of providing them the peace and space for their entry into another world.

The Ameri Brit Mom


My Christmas Gift

As always, my husband found a thoughtful and perfect gift for me this year.

I am so excited about my one year subscription to SkillShare. This is an online platform for learning different skills from others through a variety of online “classes”. There are some courses on bullet journaling, blogging, hand lettering, and photography that I am so excited to dive into. Additionally, I have found classes to support me during the launching of big changes to the blog in January.

Yesterday, I took a short class on using the Cricut to make sticker sheets by Maya Madrid because I also got a new printer and sticker pages for Christmas. Hopefully, I will share more of the skills I learn using this app in 2022.

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. We spent most of the day at home playing with and setting up our new gifts. The girls absolutely loved their new Gabby’s Dollhouse and Oculus VR headset. My husband received a full digital keyboard which he is pumped about. I am thankful for my community and church for helping me get that for him at a decent price. In the afternoon, we Facetimed our British family and visited with family in Ohio.

Our family will be heading to the beach tomorrow and I plan to share photos and memories with you to brighten your wintry news feeds. After the long semester of grad school I needed a short trip to look forward to so this trip is somewhat of a graduation gift.

Also, I am less than a week away from launching some of the changes to this blog and I want to make sure you are up-to-date with everything The Ameri Brit Mom has coming in 2022. Please consider joining the email list below to be one of the first to get all the inside information.

In the comments, I would love to hear some of your favorite gifts you received for Christmas this year.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Family · Uncategorized

My Christmas Recap

This Christmas was such a blessing. I spent several days in celebrations with friends and family whose company I cherish. Watching my daughter as she grasped the true meaning of Christmas this year was priceless. She sang songs about Jesus’ birth and relayed the story of the wise men bringing gifts to Jesus over and over again. Over the past week our family received so many gifts and items that we were so excited about, but above all we were thankful for the gift of Jesus and what that gift has meant for our family.

Later this week we will be heading on a short vacation to Indianapolis where we will be watching the Pacers vs. Bulls NBA game. (A gift from me to my husband.) It’s been a while since we have gone on a trip so even though it isn’t a long one it is much anticipated to get away and make some memories in a new setting.

My daughter received an abundance of gifts. With clothes, multiple pairs of pajamas, Barbies, a bike, art supplies, and quite a few games she is well set for another year.

I am beyond grateful for the gifts I received. My husband purchased some jewelry and a new outfit for me. My big gift from him, however, was two-fold. He sent the first ten pages of my manuscript to author, Mindy McGinnis, who provided critiques and comments. He also heeded her advice and purchased me a year’s membership into SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). This is a national organization which also has a local chapter in Columbus which I will now be able to attend once a month. I’m nervous, but so thankful for the opportunity to network with real authors and illustrators.

I was also blessed with an abundance of other gifts:

It’s easy to focus on the material on Christmas, but this year I really tried to set my eyes on the true meaning of this Holiday. Jesus is the purpose and the reason that we are able to love and appreciate others. With His life he showed us how to treat others and how to accept love. I am so glad to have people to share my love with and to give to them is an expression of Jesus’ love in me.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas.


The Ameri Brit Mom

fiction · Uncategorized

Writing a Present and Finding Your Voice

It sure was nice to take a few days off this week for Christmas. During that time I was able to unplug and enjoy my time with the people I care about so deeply. I received several gifts which I’m sure I’ll be sharing in the upcoming week and many of those thoughtful gifts were ones that encouraged me to hop back on my train of writing.

Usually, I read two chapters from Bird by Bird on Saturdays and post summaries immediately after reading. With the holidays, I’m a little off schedule so although it may be Tuesday it feels an awful lot like a Saturday to me.

I’m nearing the end of the book today and I’m starting a section entitled, “Publication and Other Reasons to Write.”


Writing a Present

Anne Lamott begins this chapter with, “Publication is not going to change your life or solve your problems.” (Lamott 185) The reason she makes this statement is to show that if you are only writing with the goal to be published then you will never be fulfilled. You have to find intrinsic reasons to write because having work published will leave you feeling empty if it is your only motivator.

Lamott has written several short stories for people in her life that were near death. Her father with a brain tumor was able to read a short story about Anne’s siblings and herself and how they were dealing with the diagnosis. Her best friend, Pammy, was given a short story before her death about memories that Lamott had made with her. In this chapter she gives several examples of times where she handed a story to someone she loved that made a difference in their demeanor and their lives.

For me, I could see myself giving the gift of stories to the people that mean the most to me. They may not be on their death beds, but to hear the words of their influence and effects on me through writing might be one way to show someone how much I treasure their relationship. This chapter was very inspiring and helped me to fix my gaze somewhere other than on the publishing world (which sucks by the way.)

Finding Your Voice

“We don’t have much to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not to go into.” -Anne Lamott

We all have our favorite writers. For many reasons we resonate with their style and when they describe the world we feel like they are seeing it from our perspective. Because we are so touched by their writing we try to emulate their voice, but in the process of trying to mimic the writing of another we trade our originality and become a fake.

Throughout the process of my first book it is obvious when I was reading certain works. I would take cadence and rhythm from people like Markus Zusak or Ray Bradbury and transpose them into my own work. (Which is why it is a good idea to read a different genre than what you are currently writing.) I love the way both of those authors pace their writing and when I go through my earlier drafts it’s clear when I made a trade with the sea witch and handed over my voice.

It has taken me years to uncover my unique voice. It took a lot of soul searching and honesty on my part. From feedback and responses to my work I think that my trademarks are forming and I’m slipping out of the comfort of someone else’s brand and into my own. As a new writer, it is okay to take inspiration from another, but as I’m trying to make a name for myself in the writing world it is time to assume my own persona.

Finding your voice isn’t easy. We all have a monster, but the writer’s job is to open those doors that the world says to keep closed. A writer’s task is to face those demons and slay them with language. It is a scary world as a writer, but when you face those giants and put the fears to rest then you are left with an original voice that has never been heard before.

*This Saturday I will be finishing Bird by Bird and giving away an ARC copy of the book. Come back Saturday for details on how to receive a copy of this book.

The Ameri Brit Mom


Fashion · Uncategorized

Last Minute Gift Guide


Six days and counting until the BIG morning. I envy each and every one of you who have finished all of your purchases (not to mention those over achievers out there who have already wrapped your gifts too!)

If your family is anything like mine the next six days will be full of fun gathered with the people you love. Christmas dinners. Church programs. Caroling. Holiday parties with friends. All of these precious moments are truly the reason for the season. One thing that shouldn’t get in the way of these celebrations is the daunting list of gifts that may still need to be purchased.

A quick way to take care of those fashion lovers in your life is to give them the gift of style. Ordering a Stitch Fix gift card takes only a few minutes and the digital gift card will appear in your email inbox.

You can give a gift card to someone who is currently enrolled in the Stitch Fix program or you can provide an opportunity for someone to try it for the very first time. With a Stitch Fix gift card you are allowing your loved ones to create their own style from the selection of informed stylists.

As we head into the final stretch of this Christmas season don’t let gift giving be a stressor. Use my link to the Stitch Fix website and select the gift card option in the upper right hand corner. Ever since I started with Stitch Fix I have been pleased with my shipments and now that I am a Stitch Fix Influencer I may receive compensation for your purchases and for spreading the love of fashion to those of you who cross paths with me in the blogosphere.

Whatever you decide to give this Holiday Season I hope you do so with love and that you remember that the reason for this season isn’t the decking of the halls, the expenses gifts, or the football games, but rather the celebration of the things most dear to our hearts.

Merry Christmas,

The Ameri Brit Mom