Like Diane, I feel a bit torn about doing a holiday theme this week. But it isn’t really too early to think about holiday gift-giving. Or about snagging a Christmas anthology for oneself for that matter. 🙂

My goal every year is to lower stress, increase joy.

One way my family has de-stressed Christmas is by making a mutual agreement NOT to exchange presents with extended family members. When we get together Christmas morning at my parents’ house, these are the rules. Every adult gets something from his or her spouse; every child from his/her parents; the grandparents can do what they want for grandchildren (they would anyway).

It’s easy on time and budget and best of all, a radical strike against the nauseating commercialism imposed on our culture during the holidays under a false guise of increasing family closeness.

Still… there are some things I want for Christmas, of which I’ve duly informed my personal Santa (he happens to be Jewish but does a great job in the role anyway).

This year, I’d love a copy of the 10th anniversary limited edition DVD of Pride & Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. As an alternate (I always have to give Santa choices) I would happily take a DVD of Persuasion, with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.

The Research Nerd in me would like Life in Wellington’s Army, by Antony Brett-James and/or Wellington’s Rifles, by Mark Urban, among others. Sharpe videos are always a good idea, though Santa always wonders why I find them so intriguing. Santa does not share my passion for . . . um, history.

I’ve also informed Santa of the gaps in my collections of Laura Kinsale, Loretta Chase and Judith Ivory. I’m giving a copy of Julia Ross’s latest release, Clandestine, to my best friend and asking for one myself (will pick it up after Christmas if need be). I’d also like to try something by Anne Stuart. I have met her at conferences and enjoyed her warmth and humor and it’s positively a sin that I haven’t read one of her books yet.

Gourmet coffee, chocolate, candles, and artsy earrings always work for me, too.

Now for my dream wish list item: a Pause Button to make everything stop for a while so I can catch up. On manuscripts, house projects, my TBR list. Maybe I’d even take some time to paint my toenails…

So, for another chance at one of those 3 autographed copies of MISTLETOE KISSES, let us know any or all of the following:

What is your holiday shopping strategy? Any tips for stress reduction? What’s on your wish list? What’s your dream gift?

LADY DEARING’S MASQUERADE, RT Reviewers’ Choice, Best Regency Romance of 2005