Well, the holidays are upon us, and I hope you’re prepared and ready to take some well-deserved time off from work, rest, and relax with family and friends.

Hopefully you’ve got a tall stack of books and magazine to read, video games to play, movies to watch, and recipes to try. In case you need some more inspiration, or you need some help spending those Amazon gift cards you’re going to receive, here are some recommendations.

(Note: while these are affiliate links, I’m only sending these ideas along because I’m excited to jump into them. They’re authors I follow, books that have been on my own wish lists, and generally stuff I’ve collected over the course of the year that I can’t wait to read!)


The official “What to Do After Christmas While You’re in A Food and Candy Coma List”

1. Practice your drink-making skills with Death & Co. – Classic Modern Cocktails.

I just stumbled across this book, but so far it seems like the perfect answer for my closet bartender status. I’ve always loved mixing (and trying!) drinks, but I’ve gotten sick of the newfangled mixers, fancy-schmancy stuff, and weirdly-colored (read: bright green) cocktails of the modern drinker.

This classy book brings things back to the fundamentals and basics of drink design, in an approachable and modernized way.

2. Read all of your favorite authors’ books with a new Kindle Paperwhite.

I’m a huge Paperwhite fan. The gently-backlit screen allows you choose exactly how “paper white” your Paperwhite is. It’s a very elegant way to read, and when I’m reading mine, it’s very similar to reading a real book.

Head over to Amazon to see the many options they have available, and don’t forget to pick up some of my latest fiction!

3. Take pictures of the memories you’re making with a handy Canon Powershot camera.

My wife has one of these, and she loves it. Even though she has an iPhone, and we have access to a Canon 70D, she loves whipping out this little bad boy and snapping some candids.

It’s got wireless WIFI access, point-and-shoot simplicity, and reduced number of bells and whistles compared to a fancier DSLR, but it has the brand name of the best cameras on the market. If you’re looking for a great, simple camera, this is your best bet!

4. Play a game: Small WorldMerchants and Marauders, or Dominion

My wife and I love board games, from Monopoly to Risk to Cranium. But there’s a whole different breed of board game that’s been sweeping the United States lately, called Euro games. They’re basically just nerdier, smarter, and (my opinion!) more fun.

Our current favorite is Merchants and Marauders (a beautifully designed Caribbean pirate conquest game), but I’m asking for my favorite card-based deck-building game, Dominion, for Christmas.

5. Cozy up with an amazing book.

This is probably my favorite part of the holidays, after the craziness and festivities have died down. I love to read, and I have a long list of book I’m wanting to get to. Consider, if you haven’t already, the work of Mr. Kevin Tumlinson (I recommend his Evergreen book first) for fiction, and Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything is fantastic) for nonfiction.

What about you? 

What are you up to these days? I’d love to hear from you about your family’s traditions! Just leave a comment and let us know!