I’ve run a holiday gift guide almost all 12 years of this website's life, and while I still love giving you ideas for ethical gift-giving (and thus supporting companies that do good work), I admittedly didn’t have the bandwidth or time this year, what with Shadow & Light’s release.

So this year — for AoS’ final year, mind you — I’ve decided to showcase my favorite thing ever …books. I believe books are just about the best gift to give anyone. You’re giving the gift of other worlds, other ways of thinking, encouragement, inspiration, humor, healthy escapism, and art. Not much better in my book (get it?).

Here are my book suggestions, divided into categories: non-fiction and fiction favorites, as well as suggestions for young children, middle-grade readers, and teens. I’m adding more as I find them, so check as you can!

Along with this, I encourage us all to prioritize small businesses when we can, both locally and online. Shop the big-box stores when you need to; shop the mom-and-pop shops that keep our communities alive when you can.

Here are my gift ideas on Etsy — and likewise, I’m continually adding more as I discover them! Check back frequently, and remember to order early because sometimes patience is needed with handmade or slower-shipping stores.

And as always, whenever you make a purchase through one of my links, you’re supporting me as a small business as well. At no extra cost to you, I’ll receive a small commission — thanks for supporting for work here at AoS for so many years, as well as the work of my podcasts, newsletters, and other indie work I’m grateful to share with you.

Be generous in your giving this year, both to others and to yourself — with encouragement, grace, and rest most especially. It’s needed like never before.