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The Female Perspective Gift Giving Guide

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s that time of year when people are frantically searching out the perfect gift for loved ones (or, in the case of so many commercials, all those totally random people in your life) and I thought I’d offer up some suggestions to help!

I am a huge Christmas geek. I love it. I wait patiently for Thanksgiving to arrive so I can finally decorate my house for Christmas. I enjoy picking out gifts for the people I love and in recent years, have had some fun sending out Christmas cards with my partner. It really is my favorite time of the year and I make no apologies for sounding like a total geek about it.

Sometimes it can be hard to come up with gifts. Some people just buy what they want when they want it, leaving not a lot on their list. Some people are just fussy. Some people just deserve coal in their stocking. For those that have been nice all year long, here are a few ideas!

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Gift Certificates are Super!

Yep. To some this seems like a cop-out but really, what is bad about getting some a gift card to their favorite store so they can go pick out something they really want? Why is that a bad thing? I personally have fun with gift cards I receive because I can spend some time really seeing what I need — whether it be cat litter or other household items or new clothes or even a massage or facial gift card. It’s all good and it’s fun to shop with pretend money! Makes you feel rich and fancy.

These Stores Are Pretty Amazing

Here are some of my personal favorite websites to pick up goodies.

ThinkGeek.com — They have so much stuff for the nerd in you life. From Star Wars to Star TrekGame of Thrones and so much more, it’s hard to NOT find something the geek in your life will … well, geek out over! I personally am drooling for this Spellbook wallet.

Shari’s Berries — Maybe you want to get your special someone a tasty treat for Christmas instead of a toy or clothing item. Maybe you hate baking, well then Shari’s Berries is perfect! They have amazing treats (their chocolate covered strawberries are amazing) and they deliver when you need them to. It can be a bit pricey, but it’s worth it for the quality product.

Etsy.com — Come now, haven’t we all sat on Etsy for hours pouring over all the cool handmade stuff? There is a lot to be had on Etsy and most of it is from small business owners, which is an amazing way to support local business and/or small business. Which makes this a win/win all around! Your loved one gets an awesome, one-of-a-kind gift and you’ve made a small business owners day by purchasing their items! FYI: I have a pretty cool shop on Etsy called JuiceyCreativeWorks.etsy.com, make sure to check it out!

When In Doubt, Spread Love and Joy!

Really for me Christmas is not about the gifts, sure it’s a blast getting and giving gifts, but Christmas has always been about time spent with family, that feeling of joy that abounds in the world. I know for a lot of people, Christmas can be a time of stress or sadness. Those people need love too. One thing you can do is make another’s Christmas holiday merry but donating to Toys For Tots  or find your local giving tree and pluck a card off of that and give gifts to families in need. It’s easy and it really does warm your heart.

This year there are many people suffering, whether it be out in South Dakota by the pipeline or in places like Flint, Michigan or all across the world in places like Syria and Afghanistan. No matter what anyone celebrates, December should be a time of love and joy and whatever we can do to help others is welcome. There is always donations to places like Planned Parenthood or the Red Cross. Whatever you support, try your best to give if you can. And if you cannot give, spread the word and spread cheer.

Happy Holidays, whatever one you celebrate! And if you have suggestions on places to shop or donate, please add them to the comments below!

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The Female Perspective: Some Of My Favorite Things

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


I thought for a bit about what I wanted to write about this week, I’ll admit to being still a bit heartsick over the election results and I’m not ashamed to admit it. While this is not a political blog and I do not want to get political, I also can’t pretend to be business as usual. So I decided to do another post about some things that make me happy in the hopes that it will cheer others or even inspire them to share what makes them happy as well!

Also, it’s a bit of a gift guide too since it’s that time of year again folks!

Christmas is my favorite time of year. It’s a time that has always felt hopeful. One year is nearing its end, while another looms before us, full of hope and opportunity. I admit that I am a bit frightened as to what is coming for us in 2017 and beyond, but I will not allow my fear to drive me, I will keep hoping for better things on the horizon.

I won’t give up and neither should you.

And now, onto some of my favorite things!

#1. SOCKS! 

I admit to having a crazy obsession with socks. I’ve managed to temper it as the years have gone on mostly because I have such a massive collection I really cannot buy any new ones. That does not, however, stop others from indulging me in my obsession and I often get fun new socks for my birthday and/or Christmas. One of my favorite places to shop for socks is a Portland, Oregon shop called Sock Dreams. They seriously have a HUGE selection of the coolest socks. My favorites from there are by far what they call the “extraordinary tie dyed thigh high“. I LOOOOVE them so much I fear for the day they die and therefore only wear them sparingly! I really need to get a new pair one of these days.

SOCKS!
SOCKS!

What I love about them is that they have a wide range of prices and styles and their customer service is nothing short of spectacular. I have ordered socks from them to have them come, regular USPS shipping, in less than a week. It’s fantastic!

#2. Geeky Things from Think Geek

They have some of the funnest stuff around, from SHIELD logo yoga pants, to solar system glassware and more. It’s truly a plethora of geeky goodness. I can browse for hours when I am avoiding my real work and still not get through everything they have to offer.

Also, a Book of Spells Wallet!?!?! Are you kidding me??? So cool.

#3. Stuff on Etsy.

Who doesn’t love Etsy? It really is a wonderfully diverse and fun black hole of shopping exploration. With finds like a Narwhal Cardigan and or awesome prints of parody art by Dave Pollock, you cannot go wrong in terms of gift giving this year!

Photo By JL Metcalf
Photo By JL Metcalf

FYI, I have a nifty little shop on Etsy called Juicey Creative Works and it includes photographs, signed copies of my books and art by none other than Frankie B. Washington!

#4. Neighborhood Love Notes on social media

Inspired to create a love bubble around the world, I came across this just a day or so after the election. I thought it was such  beautiful and simple idea. Simple get some sidewalk chalk and write love notes to the world, to your neighbors on your sidewalk.

Let’s spread love and support for all people who may live in fear of the current events. While hateful groups feel emboldened to spread their bigotry via vandalism, let’s counter with colorful reminders that we are not alone in our fight against intolerance and our commitment to solidarity.

NOTE: You can do this anywhere, anytime, and anyplace! Modify, change, get creative. Just grab your crew and go.

Initially imagined by Ashley Horan, here are her own words from her Facebook page –

“A testimonial, and an invitation:

I was terribly unproductive today. I realized I needed to make something, rather than think about anything. Thinking about my queer and trans and Muslim and undocumented and poor neighbors, I realized that I needed to tell them – before doing anything else – that I see them and I love them. So I bought sidewalk chalk, and wrote love notes to my neighborhood.

As I was working, at least seven or eight kids in my neighborhood–none of them ones that I had known before –stopped and talked with me on their way home from school. They told me about their fears, their hopes, their dreams. One of them took the time to stop and create a square of his own.

Tomorrow, I am going to go to other places in the city where I know people are hurting and tell them in this way that I love them, too.

My unsolicited advice: go buy some sidewalk chalk, and meditate about who you love – rather than who you fear – for a little while. This will certainly not change the world. There is so much other work to do. But it saved my heart today.

Those of you who are part of congregations, religious communities, or other communal spaces where you will be gathering this week, an idea: one of my colleagues had the idea to do a “reverse offering” at her church this weekend, where she will pass out chalk to the congregation and charge people to go out and write notes to folks in their communities wherever they see the need. This is brilliant.

Please, if you do this in a communal OR an individual way, will you take photos and post them with the hashtag #NeighborhoodLoveNotes? Let’s spread the love!”

Ashley Horan
Ashley Horan

What could be better than that this time of year?

#5. You, Dear Readers

Yep, it’s true. For all those that read my blog, even if you never leave a comment, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I do this for fun and I do this in the hope that something I say inspires someone else to write their own blog, or to watch a movie I might suggest, or just to laugh a little when they feel sad. I take blogging seriously, even when it is a lighthearted blog like today’s. It’s important that we all feel heard and we all feel loved and I know for the last two years, it’s been a tough go for some/all of us. Let’s do our best to #SendLove to one another, to #BeLove to one another and to remember, we are all in this together. No matter who you voted for, we are all human beings deserving of love, respect and kindness. As I’ve seen online so many times (and apologies for the swears if it offends);

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As always, thank you for reading! See you next week!!!

And, please, share what makes YOU happy!