I know, it’s only December and yes, like everyone else I’m buying Christmas gifts.  But as far as I’m concerned, it’s never too early to start shopping for next summer’s stint at the shore. It makes the cold more bearable and it’s way more acceptable than spiking your morning coffee with Kahlua. Not that I’ve ever done that, but I can imagine.

On days like today, when I’m kicking myself for not taking the window boxes down and putting the outside lights up when it was sixty-three degrees, I like to think about what I’ll pack (bathing suit, blender, sunblock), what I’ll leave home (laptop, the aforementioned sunblock, and of course a variety of Stu’s meds which will result in frantic calls to the doctor and several trips to the local pharmacy, which is fine because I’ll be headed there for sunblock anyway), what I’ll drink (wine, margaritas, and more wine), and what I’ll read.

On my beach read list this gray December day is Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck (because I do feel bad about my neck, not to mention my forehead, and beause no matter how many times I read it I laugh out loud), her new book, I Remember Nothing (because I know how she feels or at least I think I do. I don’t know; I can’t remember.), Jen Lancaster’s My Fair Lazy (because that woman kills me), and Paul Rudnick’s I Shudder which I’ve read at least three times and cannot recommend highly enough. If you love to laugh, check it out. The man is a master.

Oh Lord, help me hang on ’til next summer. Sun, sand, surf, a glass of chardonnay, and I Shudder. No really, I do.

I tingle, too. Why? Because next August (the height of beach season!), eight months from today* in fact, 500 Acres and No Place to Hide comes out. You can pre-order a copy right now on Amazon. And I really, truly, shamelessly beg you to do so. 🙂 You won’t get it for awhile, but at least you’ll know it’s coming and you can make room for it in your beach bag.

Just pack it with your margarita mix, big bottle of tequila, and blender. (Yes, the one from home. Take it from me: never put the fate of happy hour in the hands of a vacation place appliance!)  Oh, and don’t forget your loved ones’ meds and your sunblock. Having to run to the store cuts down on beach time, which cuts down on beach reading time, and we just can’t have that, can we? I didn’t think so.

Happy holiday shopping, all, and more importantly, happy holidays. Thanks for thinking of 500 Acres when you’re on Amazon!

*I started writing this post on December 2nd. I hope to hit “Publish” before January 2nd!