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Christmas gift ideas for your Star Wars nerd

Star Wars ShakespeareFor nearly forty years, Star Wars has been a cultural phenomenon. I remember receiving Star Wars action figures and playsets as a child, from Jabba the Hutt to the Ewok Village. They were always my absolute favorite gifts. Whether your Star Wars nerd is four or forty, you can’t go wrong with books and merchandise from a galaxy far, far away.

There are several titles being released related to The Force Awakens, and while I have not had an opportunity to personally review them, I have little doubt that they will be amazing. Most of these titles are available for pre-order only as they will not be released until Friday when the movies debuts.

The Force Awakens

Again, if your Star Wars nerd isn’t a reader, you can’t go wrong with the soundtrack, action figures, or this sweet clock. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with a calendar. If you’re buying for dad, you can select from a wide array of Star Wars neckties. The possibilities are endlessthere is Star Warsthemed merchandise for everything.

Christmas gift ideas for the baseball fanatic

Baseball is the one sport whose history is every bit as important as what is happening on the field. The record books are held in reverence, and the heroes of the past loom over the stars of today. With that in mind, here are some fantastic books that the baseball fanatic in your life will love.

League of Outsider Baseball

If your baseball fan is younger, I would recommend Dan Gutman’s excellent Baseball Card Adventures series that just concluded with Willie & Me earlier this year.

TroutNot everyone likes to read. I get that. Well, maybe I don’t get that, but I am aware of that fact at least. So here are some other ideas for the baseball fan on your list.

Christmas gift ideas for your aspiring comic book writer/artist

Writing and drawing for comic books is a true art form, and the skills needed to succeed are much different than what a short story writer or novelist might utilize. Here are some books to help those who are exploring their talents in the comic art form.

Words for Pictures

Most writers who dream of working in comics love to read them as well, so they may also enjoy the books below.

Christmas gift ideas for your aspiring writer

There are innumerable books on the market targeted toward aspiring authors. Some are more worthwhile than others. Here is a short list of some books that writers might find useful.

Strunk and White

While those books can be very beneficial, there are three that are indispensable. Find out if the books listed below are on your friend’s bookshelf, and if not, you have a perfect Christmas gift.

Tomorrow: ideas for an aspiring comic book writer and/or artist.

Christmas gift ideas for your rock ‘n’ roll fan

Rock isn’t dead, and here are ten records to prove it. If the rocker in your life likes classic hard rock, there’s a good chance he’ll love some of these albums. They are not all brand new, but there are some hidden gems that even the most grizzled rockers have not heard.

Scorpions

Of course, if your special rocker is into stuff off the beaten path, check out these bluegrass records that really rock:
Possum Kingdom Ramblers

And then there are books about music…

Christmas gift ideas for your Cincinnati Reds fan

There have been several good books published over the past few years about the Cincinnati Reds. If you’re having trouble deciding what to buy for the Reds fan in your life this holiday season, here are a few suggestions:

Reds Legends

Mr Redlegs
If your Cincinnati Reds fan is not a reader, slap him because books are awesome. And then think about some of the other things you can find that don’t involve too many printed words…

I will share some ideas in the coming days for general baseball fans, horror fans, and writers.

Merry Christmas (He-Man style)!

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas

Wishing you and yours a wonderful night tonight,
and an even better day tomorrow.

Movie night with the kids

I don’t put a religious emphasis on Christmas. So many elements of what is accepted as the “Christmas story” are misinterpreted, taken out of context, and flat-out wrong. I have tried to teach my children the truth of what the Bible says as opposed to what the world at large believes.

However, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is one of the cutest holiday novels-turned-movies of my generation. Written by Barbara Robinson in 1971, it follows the exploits of the Herdman children, the rottenest kids in town who bully the other kids into letting them be the “stars” of the church’s Christmas pageant.

I would highly recommend reading the book first. We read it a few nights ago, and it took a little over an hour with each of us taking turns reading a chapter out loud. Tonight, I fired up the trusty old YouTube and found the movie. If you don’t have time to read the book, or just prefer to watch instead, here you go…

Purchase The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson before next Christmas and start a tradition of reading it with your family.

Are there stories or movies that your family enjoys together each year?

CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story by CC Sabathia with Ray Negron, illustrated by Laura Seeley (2014)

CC CLAUS

CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story
by CC Sabathia with Ray Negron, illustrated by Laura Seeley
Ecco, 2014
40 pages

A letter for Santa is mistakenly delivered to CC Sabathia, and at the urging of his son Carsten, Sabathia sets out for the North Pole to make sure Santa gets the Christmas request. When they arrive, they find that Santa is behind schedule and is worried that all the toys might not get finished. Sabathia pulls out his telephone and calls George Steinbrenner, who shows up to save the day. Recruiting the help of baseball stars and legends such as Billy Martin, Roberto Clemente, Babe Ruth, Bob Feller and others, the toys are built and ready to go. Unfortunately, Santa is ill and unable to make the global delivery. Sabathia again steps up, and he and Carsten take the toys to their destinations all around the world.

A cute story, illustrated beautifully by Laura Seeley, CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story is a great way to introduce youngsters to baseball stars who have passed on. In addition to those already mentioned, Paul Blair, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Elston Howard, Catfish Hunter, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Jackie Mitchell, Thurman Munson, Bobby Murcer, Satchel Paige, Phil Rizzuto, Jackie Robinson, Willie Stargell, and Ted Williams also appear. In the back of the book, each player is given a small blurb that could kindle the curiosity of a child to learn more about the greats of America’s pastime.

Learn more about Ecco.

Purchase CC Claus: A Baseball Christmas Story by CC Sabathia with Ray Negron, illustrated by Laura Seeley.

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