Running With Quills, Blogsite for Jayne Ann Krentz, Elizabeth Lowell, Stella Cameron, and Suzanne Simmons
Susan Andersen
Suzanne Simmons

Stella Cameron
Stella Cameron

Kate Douglas
Kate Douglas

Lori Foster
Lori Foster

Jayne Ann Krentz, Photo credit Marc von Borstel
Jayne Ann Krentz

Elizabeth Lowell
Elizabeth Lowell

Carla Neggers
Carla Neggers

  • Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    Gift Giving


    Hey all,

    Stella is traveling, Kate is still in Hawaii, and Carla is in NY.
    Busy, busy Quills!

    Hope y'all won't be sick of seeing me two blogs in a row. :-)

    I survived my Black Friday shopping and got lots of fun stuff for the nieces. This year, I have done more than my fair share to help spur the economy!

    A few days ago I took my five-year old grandson shopping with me at Toys R Us to get some things for Toys for Tots. For a few months now, hubby and I saved change in a special jar, then he and the grandson rolled it, and the grandson and I shopped.
    We got quite the haul and truly enjoyed ourselves.
    It did my heart good to hear my grandson decide what a "little girl" or "little boy" might like best. He was very enthusiastic, and very into the idea of giving to those with special needs.

    One cute toy we saw, we loved so much that I have to share it. In fact, I want one! When I get a chance, I'll be back at Toys R Us for my own.

    Isn't that adorable? It makes all these long funny noises, and that mouth! LOL. Love it.

    If you're like me and like to pick up stuff for your animals too, take a look at this fun cat game/toy. Liger and KiKi love it, but Grim doesn't quite understand. He tends to pounce on the ball, and then run away.

    For some of those "hard to buy for" relatives, I picked out memory boards. I like them because you can easily change out the photos so visitors always have some new pictures to look at.

    I have a lot of the family gatherings at my house, and I try to always take pictures and later share them in the memory boards.

    I have two right by my front door!

    While everyone was at my house for Thanksgiving, I took some good photos, and put them into memory boards before wrapping them as gifts.

    The personal touch!

    This is the first Christmas without my dad, and it's bound to have some pretty sad moments. But I hope everyone will remember him with a smile. He enjoyed the big get togethers, and he was always the first to go around and say "Hi" to everyone.

    Will you be missing someone special this Christmas?
    Do you have any special gifts planned, or are you a gift certificate kind of person?
    Have you ever seen a kid's toy that you had to have for yourself? LOL. I'm terrible for doing that!
    Do you buy for your pets?

    By the way, if you're not on my Facebook Fan Page, now's the time to get there.
    Go to the "Discussions" to get in on some holiday giving from me. :-)

    Whatever your plans, I hope you're enjoying the Holiday Season!

    L. L. Foster


    Anonymous Christine MIlone said...

    First Lori, I would like to thank you for writing books that are so enjoyable to read, when I need an escape from reality, the first thing I do is pick up a book and hit the recliner.
    I love the cat pictures, they are adorable, and like mine a bit
    I used to be a gift certificate kind of person, but the last few years I started to get away from that. I bake and give that as gifts. I do buy for the nieces and nephews, and of course for the pets. Each year they get new toys to tear up.
    Have a wonderful Christmas, and again, Thank you for the wonderful books..

    3:33 AM  
    Anonymous kris b said...

    Lori we Never get tired of you! :)

    I do love toys! I want a buzz light year! LOL my kids think I am weird but target has the coolest one! and I havent even seen toy story 3 I just like buzz!
    yep buy my cats toys they love them they make a mess with them and then we start over again!
    I am a gift person but sometimes it doesnt work out like my dad who buys everything he wants before we know he wants it, he ends up with gift cards because it is much easier!
    there arent that many people left on my hubbys side of the family it was small to begin with so we miss those family members, and we do try to meet up with everyone else at one time or another. getting together is the very best part we have lots of fun! I remember in my 20's my sisters and I were never all together at one time for probably a period of 5 years or more it was a rare thing but now we try to make it happen more often and my mom and dad love it! :)
    well rambled long enough! LOL saturday is almost here and I am tring to be ready for it! can't wait!

    Kris b

    3:45 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Thank YOU. Without readers, what success would I have? :-)
    Baked goods as gifts would sure work for me! I LOVE cookies at Christmas. I used to make tons of them. I'd start in Oct and freeze different kinds, then set them out early on Christmas Eve for all the family that visits. The last few years I've made only a few dozen and rely on others in cookie exchanges and such to help fill out the tables! LOL

    Bless you. :-) Thank you. I'm looking forward to Saturday too. I'll take some pictures, okay?
    Hugs to all,


    4:40 AM  
    Blogger Tee said...

    Lori what toy are you going to buy for yourself this year? As for me, my books are my toys! I buy them all year round. As for my five cats...yes we buy for them too. They have a better looking stocking than I do!

    Enjoy your holidays!

    5:58 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Tee, I'm going to get that talking thing - whatever it is - that's in the video. It cracks me up!
    5 cats! Wowzer. I thought we were overrun with 3. LOL


    6:02 AM  
    Blogger Carol Ann said...

    Hi Lori,
    Yes, I love kid toys! One year for our work Christmas exchange, I asked for a Baby Furby. My hubby and I both played with it. Fun! The funniest story I have about my cats' Christmas toys is purchasing some "octopus" or "spider" toys. They had tiny furry red bodies and plush dangly legs. I placed one in each of their stockings along with other goodies. On Christmas morning, we came downstairs and found they had jumped to the mantle and removed just that toy from each stocking. They were playing with them in the family room. What fun! They still have those toys, though they are a bit raggedy. I haven't been able to find them again.
    As for family gifts, this year I'm making coasters for each family. I purchased almond 4X4 ceramic tiles. I stamped them with rubber stamp designs, used artist pencils to color them, and then sprayed them with sealer. I put felt protectors on the bottom and signed them. They make great coasters and look nice.
    I love the memory boards idea!

    6:12 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Wow, Carol Ann, very personalized! I love the tile coaster idea.

    Fun on the cats too! They must've really loved those gifts!


    6:33 AM  
    Blogger Kate Douglas said...

    Hi Lori--unfortunately, Kate rolled into Cobb (and an ICE cold house) around midnight last night. We're both still on Hawaii temperatures and had the down comforter AND an electric blanket on last night! We haven't even started our Christmas shopping yet, but I do love your ideas. I guess it's time to get back to the real world.

    I always miss my dad at Christmas. He died shortly after the holiday many years ago, but I will never forget the special gifts from him under the tree, always labeled "with love, from Sandy Claws."

    And thank you SO much for holding the Quills together! Instead of Running WITH Quills, it's more like Chasing AFTER Quills!

    8:47 AM  
    Blogger William Kendall said...

    The cats are unbearably cute!

    9:31 AM  
    Blogger Norma Beishir said...

    I like the kitty toy--and I don't even have a cat. (My bird won't allow it.)

    9:38 AM  
    Blogger Tonya said...

    I give the people that are hard to buy for gift cards but I do wrap them in a box so that they have a present to open. I also wrap money in a box that I give my male teenage nephew & cousin. I really have no clue what to buy for teenage boys. Every year, my son's grandparents, great-grandparents, & aunts & uncles get a picture of him & an ornament or sun catcher that I let him make. My tree is decorated with ornaments made by my son (& I even have one I made in Kindergarten),& other handmade ornaments. We are big Jimmie Johnson & Clemson Tigers fans so we also have alot of those ornaments. I like to give special ornaments as gifts. We also play that ornament game but we buy the ugliest, gaudiest, tackiest ornaments we can find & hope we get stuck with the best of the worst.

    I hope you & your family have a Merry Christmas!

    Tonya Gentry

    10:11 AM  
    OpenID kimberlyloomis said...


    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and wish you much comfort in the forms of love and sharing company with friends and family this season. This is a first without my grandfather and, while it's difficult for me, my mother is hurting tremendously over it.

    Those gifts look awesome! We only buy for the kids in the family and only one (out of three) is shopped for right now. Adults and friends get loads of home made goodies: cakes, breads, cookies, lemon curd, and wine will all be featured in this year's baskets. Happy holidays to you and yours, Lori! [And your kitties are adorable!]


    12:46 PM  
    Blogger Rebecca Ringler said...

    Hi Lori - I love that kitty toy. I don't normally buy for my cat, but it looks awfully tempting. She is happy to play w/ a piece of wire & tear up the box she takes naps in. I'm glad to hear your grandson enjoyed shopping for other kids. - Rebecca

    1:54 PM  
    Blogger Mary said...

    That kitty toy is so cute. I do buy for my ratties. I just ordered a new fuzzy bed for them and some ratty treats. lol

    I love the kitties that toy is cute.

    This year I am doing something a little different, I am making homemade cookies for my family. I've got 4 different types that I am making this year. Peanut butter, Chocolate Almond, Chocolate oatmeal and Chocolate chip.

    My daughter is still getting a gift certificate with her cookies though ebcause I know she could use it.

    3:28 PM  
    Blogger Judy F said...

    I love the flip videos. Sammy and my old cat Dusty had a toy like that. It drove Dusty nuts, she kept trying to get the ball out, Sammy could have cared less about it. LOL

    Its going to be a hard Christmas for us this year. A lot of good mememories keep me sane. HUgs.

    I really don't have any thing special planned for anyone. Got Amya some cute things.

    When she was a newborn I got her the cutest toy that you pulled on and it went back up. I loved that toy.

    4:54 PM  
    Blogger Jayne Ann Krentz said...

    Great blog, Lori. I've never been particularly clever in the gift-giving department. The most original gift idea I ever came up with was black tee shirts for my husband. I know, it doesn't seem all that original but you have to remember this is an engineer. They usually wear classic white tee shirts, or at least that's what his generation of engineers wore. For some reason, the notion of wearing a black tee shirt was just over-the-top wild. What can I say? It was a real fashion statement.

    8:32 PM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Kate, brrr... it made me cold to read your post. Going from balmy to freezing would have put me to bed for a couple of days! :-) Hope you get a chance to catch up on sleep real soon.

    William, thank you. I think the cats are adorable too. They're endlessly entertaining!

    Norma, oh wow. A bird would be in major trouble around here! LOL. The cats want to hunt anything and everything!

    Tonya, our tree is filled with ornaments that the boys made when they were younger, and now a few by my grandson. :-) I also get a lot of ornaments as gifts, so I put those on the tree, too.

    Hugs to all on this snowy morning!


    2:03 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Kimberly, big, big hugs to you and your mother. I know it's going to be difficult for anyone who's lost a loved one, but I like to try to think of them fondly, to let the good memories take over the sadness.
    My best to you!

    Hey Rebecca! It's so much fun to watch the cats play with that ball, that I think it was as much a gift to us as to them. LOL

    Mary, homemade cookies will always be a hit!

    Judy, it's so fun to have a kiddo to buy for, isn't it!? Hugs to you on your holidays. I know it's rough. I'll be thinking of you!


    2:08 AM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Jayne, LOL. I love it! What a great idea. ;-)


    2:18 AM  
    Blogger susan andersen said...

    Lori, the ping-pong ring was the first thing we got for our cats when they were kitties. It wasn't as high tech as yours--no flashing lights, but they'd play with it by the hour.

    8:18 AM  
    Anonymous Lori of Canada said...

    Hey Lori,

    My mom is claiming she doesn't want to celebrate Christmas this year. Since it is her birthday as well, I am going to get her gift cards to the grocery store she visits (and I have a souvenir bear from my Europe trip in March)

    My Dad is the hardest to buy for; I still haven't decided what to get him. I am leaning towards framing a nice B&W pic of my grandparents for him...but they are holding my uncle in the picture. I did buy him an engraved swiss army knife when I was in Switzerland and I bought a cool gardening tool for his wife.

    One of my closest friends is getting souvenirs from Alcatraz (that is what she asked for); another is getting a Snuggie. She mentioned wanted one on our plane back from San Francisco. I doubt she remembers but I picked one up for her.

    I so need to buy that cat toy!!! I can see my cat going nuts for it! I buy them stuff all the time so I am fairly certain they'll get a Christmas gift or two! I was laughing at the video so right now, one is snuggled behind me on the chair and the other is curled up at my feet. I love cuddle time...........

    Lori M.

    2:21 PM  
    Blogger Catherine said...

    HI Lori
    Love the memory boards! Especially love the idea of putting photos on them when giving as gifts.
    I've made one for me, some for my kids and a couple as gifts. They're so easy to make. The only big thing you need is a staple gun. Buy the fabric, fun buttons, some batting, ribbon and the canvas--you're all set. The best part--you can make any size you want!
    Merry Christmas

    4:06 PM  
    Blogger Lori Foster aka L. L. Foster said...

    Susan, I think watching animals play is a great stress reliever.

    Lori M., that's too bad your mom doesn't want to celebrate Christmas - at least in some way.
    I love the framed photo idea for your dad. If the uncle being in there is a problem, crop the photo so it's just them. :-)

    Catherine, I am not a handy person. I'd have NO idea how to make one of those! But it would be neat to be able to match fabric to your decorating scheme. I might have to figure out how!

    Hugs to all,

    Lori - who is heading out for a booksigning today, even though I don't have anything current to sign. LOL

    2:52 AM  
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