By Heather Nichols, Tawfik Zone contributor
Season’s greetings everyone! No matter what holiday you are celebrating this year we all know shopping can be really stressful, especially when you don’t know what to get someone. Personally, I am not a fan of going the gift card route. I want to give something that has a bit more meaning behind it.
Every year Oprah Winfrey releases a list of her favorite things, but let’s face it you have to have an Oprah sized salary to afford about 90% of that list. This is why I’m making one of my own, most of which will be under $20. So without further ado, here are some of my favorite gift ideas I found while browsing the net. Oh yeah, all of them are geek/nerd/pop culture friendly, whether their love is for film, books, or music there’s something out there for everyone. So here we go!
When it comes to online shopping, most people’s first thought is Amazon. There’s no need to worry if you missed out on Black Friday or cyber Monday, Amazon will continue to add new deals throughout the season. I’m not going to go into much detail here since Amazon is so well advertised and most people know how to get what they’re looking for.
One of my favorite online places to shop is Etsy. This is for two reasons; one, you’re supporting artists running their own independent businesses, and the other is you can find pretty much anything you want. Here’s just a small sampling of stores I decided to check out for this holiday shopping season.
Home decor– If you’re shopping for someone who may have just moved out or is a collector of a particular fandom getting them a nice ornament might be a good route to go. The Perfect Cup has a wide assortment of ornaments including super heroes and video game designs. Additionally you can personalize your gift and the site offers a small selection of other items such as keychains and blankets.
Comic Decor could be a good place to look for the comic book lover in your life. They have frames, boxes and other decorative items for your home.
Another shop I liked for decorations was Burrito Princess. The highlights are the 8-bit inspired frames and magnets. The Adventure Time set is absolutely adorable. And even though we mainly rely on our smart phones to tell the time, a handsome clock could still bring the room together, especially if it features the fab four on its face.
American Dreamy also features other various wall hangings that lovers of anything pop culture will enjoy.
Candles– Candles are usually a good holiday gift. They smell nice and can literally brighten up the room. Tracks On Wax and Old Glow Candles step your candle game up to the next level. Tracks on Wax is pretty self-explanatory, candles created using music as their inspiration. Included in the selection are Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time,” and Adam Sandler’s “Chanukah Song.” For those of you who know me well, you’ll immediately know why the second shop caught my attention. In addition to the Miyazaki inspired candles, this shop has various scents inspired from film and literature. The description for “The Shire,” inspired by The Lord of the Rings series, reads –“fresh hobbiton grass, English garden flowers and a hint of a cozy log fire.” If that doesn’t sound pleasant and inviting, I don’t know what is.
And of course we can’t forget what goes inside. I found this delicious looking coffee merchant, Free the Green Bean who even has some festive blends available. And if coffee isn’t exactly your cup of tea, might I suggest Duval Tea?
And how about a nice treat to go with your hot beverage? Sweet Belle Cakes has several to choose from, including truffles that are Han Solo frozen in carbonite from that iconic Star Wars scene.
Kitchen Equipment- Whether it’s a present for your friend who loves being in the kitchen or for you to make them a more personalized basket of treats, there are so many shops that feature everything from personalized cooking boards to Super Mario cookie cutters. These are a few shops I liked; Star Cookies, La Boite a Cookies, and Rainbow Rolling Pins. They mainly cater to video game fans but there are a few other fandoms included.
Jewelry- Full disclosure here I’m not into super expensive jewelry. Most of my necklaces are butterflies and dragonflies, nothing super fancy. That being said I really enjoyed what these shops had to offer. First up, Sun and Stars Jewelry covers the whole spectrum of fandoms. I also like their science inspired jewelry, particularly the solar system bracelet. If you have a Disney or young adult literature lover Amanda Jane might be the place for you. They have both charm bracelets and necklaces available.
Tomorrow, I’ll give you the rundown on the cutest apparel stores.