When Our Book Club Meets in December

Christmas in CanadaWhen my book group gathers in December, we break from our usual practice of discussing a book we’ve all read. One year I read aloud to the group a story from Rick Book’s Christmas in Canada. Another year we all brought a short Christmas story or poem that we liked. Last year we laughed along to a cd of Stuart Maclean’s story about the Christmas turkey.

Someone at our November meeting this week (after we’d discussed Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay) that we do a little gift exchange this December. The idea met with mixed reactions and lots of questions — until my brilliant moment of inspiration. (I have them occasionally.)

I suggested that each of us find a book on our shelves at home that we were ready to part with (not one we’d discussed at a meeting), wrap it up, and each of us could then simply choose one of the packages we hadn’t brought. We rarely agree in our assessments of the books we read (which is half the fun of a book group), but all agreed that this was a perfect way for our book group to have a gift exchange.

It’s going to be fun choosing which book to wrap — and unwrap. I already hope this becomes an annual tradition! Along with Liz’s mince tarts, but that’s a subject for another posting.

Happy December reading!

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on December 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

    What a fabulous idea! It offers a chance to exchange gifts without anyone having to spend any money, and to free up space on your bookshelf too (at least until you come home with the one you receive)!

  2. Kathy Stinson on December 1, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Aside from saving money, it also saves the trouble of trying to figure out what someone in the book group might like. Odds are if someone is in a book group, a book is a pretty good choice. 🙂

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