Monday, December 9, 2013

what to buy the people on your Christmas list...

I like to be helpful. And I know that Christmas is coming, and you’re wondering what gifts to buy your loved ones. I also know that you love to support writers and artists, because, let’s face it, that’s the kind of people my beloved blog readers are. You have a keen appreciation for the years of work, the heart, and soul, and love that we creative types pour into everything we do.

So in the spirit of giving, of supporting independent musicians and writers (or small business owners, as politicians like to call us), of thoughtful gifts that people will treasure for a lifetime, might I suggest a few of my favorite things for your holiday purchases? (Rhetorical. I’m gonna suggest.)

If you want to play something that will put a smile on your face and delight you while at the same time being achingly beautiful, then get the CD Somewhere Beautiful. It is absolutely happy-making music. And who couldn't use that?! It will warm your heart, especially when you read the genesis of the project. Here is the link to purchase and read the incredibly moving story behind its creation by Tanya Leah. Somewhere Beautiful CD

Do you love New York, L.A., celebrities, pop culture, or all of the above? Oh, and do you like finding the hidden gems of locations that only people in the know are aware of? Then you totally want to buy the books My City, My Los Angeles and My City, My New York for the people on your gift list. Written by the incomparable Jeryl Brunner, these books even give the natives of these cities insights into places heretofore unknown. Here is the link to purchase: Books by Jeryl Brunner

This next CD sort of defies description for me, really. The night I met Garry Novikoff, he was playing a song he was working on, called “A Normal Life.” It was a tour de force. He was a tour de force. So when it became the title song for his album, I couldn’t wait to hear more of what he wrote. It was hysterically funny. It was tragically sad. It was the human experience portrayed in a way that only Garry can. So take a listen, and click on “buy.” A Normal Life CD

Do you love sass? Do you love bluesy country music? Do you love gorgeous harmonies sung by great singers? Have I got a group for you! They are called Queen of Hearts and are comprised of BethAnne Clayton, Helen Lewis Moore, Ellen Britton and April Amick Caughman. Here is the link to their website, where you can order their CD's. But if you ever get the chance, boys and girls, you must see and hear them live! They are not only spectacular sounding, but they make banter an art form. Seriously. And I love that. Queen of Hearts

I would be remiss in peddling everyone else’s wares and not my own, so if you need an entertaining romp through, well, a chunk of my life, (and really, who doesn’t?), then might I suggest my memoir, In Search of George Stephanopoulos – a True Story of Life, Love, and the Pursuit of a Short Greek Guy! It makes a lovely gift for that special someone. Plus, it’s funny. Here’s the link: In Search of George Stephanopoulos

So now that I've just solved all your holiday shopping conundrums, what will you do with all your free time? I, for one, think you should bake me some cookies. 

But all kidding aside, it would be great if everyone supported local artists, crafts people, and businesses. We really do pour our hearts, souls, and love into what we do. So thank you for stopping by and reading this...and for appreciating us.

Peace and Blessing to you!!


  1. I am so honored and touched to be included with such talented people! Thank you so much Ilene for the very generous words. And here's a giant shout out to you and your touching, honest and heartfelt book, In Search of George Stephanopoulos. It's wonderful like you! Sending you loads and loads of virtual chocolate chip cookies your way!

  2. You are an honorary queen, my dear Ilene! Thanks for graciously and generously supporting your fellow artists -- back at you...

  3. What anonymous said. No, seriously, I couldn't say it any better - generous, supportive, gracious... THANK YOU, ILENE. You are a treasure.