Here we are, ladies and gents, at the last GeekDame’s Holiday Gift-Giving Guide for the Discerning Geek: The Final Countdown Edition! Do da da! Do da do dooo!
That’s right, as of today, you have a mere four days until Christmas Eve. Which means only five until Christmas. If you don’t have whatever shopping you intend to do done by now, you’re in for a round of aggravating real-world shopping or you’ll potentially be dropping a ridiculous amount in shipping charges to get your Internet purchases here on time. Luckily, I have some tips for avoiding just such maddening inconvenience. Read on!
WHEN YOU’VE WAITED UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE AND DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GIFTEE REALLY WANTS ANYWAY:
There is no shame in the giftcard. Almost every retailer has them or can arrange to honor them, from the biggest to the smallest. Does your giftee love all things geek chic? ThinkGeek. Does your giftee appreciate the widest selection possible? Amazon. Does your giftee love gaming? GamersGate. If your giftee appreciates more unique, one of a kind gifts, check with various Etsy sellers as some of them will offer store credit. Otherwise, just go to their favorite retail emporium and sniff out the giftcard section.
WHEN YOU’RE DON’T KNOW MUCH, BUT YOU DO KNOW THEY SURE LIKE TV:
Netflix has made some serious missteps in the way they do business lately, but it cannot be denied that they still maintain the best streaming library around. Get your giftee a subscription so they can spend time catching up on The IT Crowd, Spaced, Lost, The X-Files, The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and the list seriously goes on. And on.
WHEN YOU’RE SURE THEY LOVE READING AND YOU WANT A GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING AT REGULAR INTERVALS:
A magazine subscription is a fine thing, although only when chosen with savvy and cunning. A knitting magazine for someone utterly uninterested in fiber arts won’t go over very well. However, a subscription to Weird Tales, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, or The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction may well make you a star in the eyes of your SFF geek giftee.
WHEN YOU WANT TO REVEL IN THE AWESOME PRAISE DUE THOSE WHO GIVE TRULY CUSTOM GIFTS:
An artist’s commission!
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most SFF geeks love having custom artwork done, whether it’s of their RPG character or favorite Doctor Who characters in unlikely Inspector Spacetime crossovers. Your fandoms may vary. Custom art is an excellent gift – offer to purchase a commission (or part of one, best to have a spending cap) just for them! Mock up a certificate if you feel like mucking about in Photoshop or just scribble something savvy in a card. After the holiday season, your giftee can locate the perfect artist open to commissions and away you both go with one open pocketbook in tow.
Might I suggest two excellent artists who I’ve worked with in the past?
Lorraine Schleter did the fantastic artwork for my website, and is proficient in quite a few illustration styles.
Paula Arwen Friedlander does gorgeous handcut work, and did the banner and logo respectively for my author site and SRN: The Signal.
This custom solution also applies to items like Converse, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Timbuk2, and the like. Of course, you can also just get gift cards to those larger manufacturers, but it makes it more of an intimate gift if you work together with your giftee post-holidays.
WHEN THEY SPEND TRULY AWESOME AMOUNTS OF TIME ONLINE & MOST OF THAT TIME BEING SOCIALLY INTERACTIVE ON VARIOUS SITES:
Paid time to a site that offers more features for premium accounts may please your giftee this holiday season! Users of sites like Livejournal or Dreamdwidth receive access to more icons, photo-hosting space, and layout opportunities when they have paid subscriptions. Flickr members receive a greater number of uploads and gallery choices when they pay. Check in to your giftee’s favorite social site and see if there are premium features you can snag for them.
That’s it. That’s all I got. Go forth, my readers, and I hope you’ll soon be spending no more.
… er, because you’ve finished all your shopping, of course. Cheers!