Tag Archives: gifts

Podcast 40: Holiday Episode: Cornucopia of Try-This-at-Homes from Listeners, and Thoughts on Decorations.

It’s time for the next installment of  “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

Very Special Episode, Holiday edition! Don’t miss the bonus at the end of the episode, when Elizabeth’s son Jack recites a holiday poem.

Update: Elizabeth and I talk about how we divide up our holidays.

Listener Try This at Home: We asked everyone, “What’s your Try This at Home for staying happier, healthier, and more productive over the holidays? We got so many great answers.

One listener suggested reading my post about “8 tips for dealing with difficult relatives during holidays.

I mention being an under-buyer. Want to read about under-buyer vs. over-buyer?

Questioner for Listeners: We also asked, “What’s the thing that’s the essential element of the holiday for you?” For instance, for Elizabeth, the essential element of Thanksgiving is stuffing — and the hanging-out time.

Elizabeth’s Demerit:  Elizabeth has non-functioning twinkle lights dangling off her house.

Gretchen’s Gold Star: I gave a gold star to our mother, who gave me a pre-assembled set of holiday decorations for Halloween. See photo! And note that although tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I still haven’t put away our Halloween decorations.

Call for comments, questions, observations!

In a few weeks, we’re going to do a round-up episode on the Four Tendencies. We’ve had so many great comments from listeners, so we want to highlight some responses — and we want more. In particular, we want to throw out a few questions.

How does your career align with your Tendency, for better or worse?

If you use the Four Tendencies at work — you’re a doctor, a teacher, a manager — how do use them?

How does your Tendency influence your relationship with your sweetheart?


As always, thanks to our terrific sponsors

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Listen at Happiercast.com/40

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Need a Good Gift for Mother’s Day? Guess What I’ll Suggest.

Next Sunday, May 10, is Mother’s Day in the United States and Canada.

If you’re looking for a thoughtful gift for a mother in your life, may I suggest my new (bestselling) book, Better Than Before?

I’ve heard from a lot of people who are giving the book as a gift. I offer free, signed bookplates, to make books more special, but because I’m traveling on my book tour, I’m not sure I could get those back to you in time for Mother’s Day. But I’ll try, or if you’re willing to wait a few extra days, you can request bookplates here, and I’ll get them to you as quickly as possible. (U.S. and Canada only, sorry–mailing costs.)

If you’d like to read an excerpt, to see if you think the book would be a good gift, read here.

If you’re considering giving the audio-book, listen to a clip here.

I love all my books equally, but a surprising number of people have told me that of all my books, Better Than Before is their favorite.

I know some people think that days like “Mother’s Day” are artificial and forced, but for myself, I find it helpful to have reminders to think about the important people in my life.

Interested in Habits? Want a Free Bonus Gift? Of Course!

My new book, Better Than Before, explains how we can master our habits. In it, I reveal the secret to changing habits—really!

It turns out that changing habits isn’t that hard, when you know what to do. The book hits the shelves on March 17, 2015.

Pre-orders really help a book, by building buzz among the media, booksellers, and readers. If you’re inclined to buy Better Than Before, pre-ordering now is a big help.

So, as a thank-you to readers who pre-order the book, my publisher is offering a limited-edition bonus set. As you see in the image, you’ll get…

  • A Better Than Before cell-phone case (for the iPhone 5 or 6, or Samsung 5)
  • A wallet card with my Habits Manifesto
  • A bookplate signed by me


To receive your gift, pre-order the book from your favorite retailer, save your receipt, and click here to fill out the form with your order confirmation. If you’ve already pre-ordered, don’t worry — there are instructions telling you what to do. (And thank you!)

Want more information before you commit yourself to a pre-order?

To read an excerpt, look here.

To listen to a clip of the audio-book, listen here (that’s me, reading).

To check out other habit-related materials, click here. (For instance, you can get one-pagers on “Eating Better Than Before,” “Working Better Than Before, ” “Exercising Better Than Before,” and my favorite, “Reading Better Than Before.”)

Remember, you won’t be charged for the book until it ships.

This offer runs until February 15, 2015. Alas, my publisher can offer this in the U.S. only, and has a limited amount, so I apologize in advance if we run out.

As always, readers, I so appreciate your support and enthusiasm. If you live in a tour city, I hope I see you this spring. If you live in L.A., San Diego, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Princeton, Washington D.C., Boston, Madison CT, Cedar Rapids, Philadelphia, or of course New York City, I’m headed your way. Please come, tell your friends. (Tour dates in Canada, UK., and Australia coming soon.)

Better Than Before  was very tough to write; habit change is a very challenging, large subject.  But I loved writing this book.

As always, readers, thank you for your support and enthusiasm.

Need an Idea for a Holiday Gift?

Warning: self-promotion to follow. If you don’t like this sort of thing, stop reading now!

Holiday season is upon us, and many people exchange gifts. If you’re trying to think of a good gift for someone, may I suggest…one of my books.


This is certainly my best-known book. I can’t help mentioning: it was on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. Yes, two. It’s a book about the year I spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

Read a sample chapter; watch the 1-minute video; request the book-group discussion guide. Or read more about it here.


I love all my books equally, but my sister says that she thinks that this is my best book. It was such a pleasure to go deeper into the fascinating subject of happiness.  The fact is, if you’re not happy at home, it’s hard to be happy anywhere.  New York Times and international bestseller.

Read a a sample chapter; watch the 1-minute video; request the book-group discussion guide. Or read more about it here.


I intended this to be the gateway-drug biography that would introduce Churchill to an audience who knows nothing about him, but I’ve since learned that the people who respond most to the book are those who have already read a lot of books about Churchill. What a subject! It was a joy to write this book.

Read an interview; test your knowledge.

I love getting, and giving, books as gifts.  In my whole life, no gifts have pleased me more than the hardback Little House books that my parents gave me, one each year–with those marvelous illustrations by Garth Williams.

In fact, if you want to give yourself a little holiday treat, re-read the chapter, “Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus” in Little House on the Prairie. I get choked up just thinking about it. “Pa and Ma and Mr. Edwards acted as if they were almost crying. Laura didn’t know why.” I love the detail that Mr. Edwards throws in: “Santa Claus rode well for a man of his weight and build.” Okay, I have to stop, or I will quote the entire chapter.

Want Personalized Bookplates for Holiday Gifts? Don’t Delay!

Many people give Happier at Home and The Happiness Project as holiday gifts. A trend that I very much appreciate.

If you’d like to make your gift more special and personalized, sign up here, and I’ll send you a bookplate that’s personalized for the recipient and signed by me (as shown in the photo). Think how happy you’ll be to cross some gift-giving tasks off your list! U.S. and Canada only — so sorry about that.

I can be a little slow, so to make sure that neither of us has to worry about whether you’ll receive the bookplates in time, request as soon as possible.

If you’re not able to envision what I’m talking about, look here.

If you’re wondering if The Happiness Project would make a good gift, I can’t resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller, and a bestseller for more than two years. That’s right, TWO.

–  order your copy

check out the gallery of foreign covers; so interesting to see what different countries put on the cover

watch the one-minute book video

listen to a sample of the audiobook

If you’re wondering whether Happier at Home would make a good gift, it was also a New York Times bestseller, and you can…

– read a sample chapter on the subject of “time”

– watch the one-minute book trailer, “Ten ways to be happier at home” (guess which suggestion proved controversial?)

– listen to a sample of the audiobook

– request the one-page book club discussion guide

– read the Behind-the-Scenes extra (I had a great time writing this)

Obviously, I’m happy to sign and personalize a bookplate for you–it doesn’t have to be a gift! Request as many as you want — within reason. Although I’m flattered when people request 100, I can’t send that many. Again, I’m very sorry that because of mailing issues, this is limited to U.S. and Canada.