Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things I've noticed: Christmas shopping can be tricky

I enjoy Christmas shopping as much as the next person, and as I have many friends who, like me enjoy the weird and wonderful worlds of Fantasy, Horror and Science Fiction, I find each year that shopping for my friends specialized gifts can take up a lot of my time.

I thought that today I would talk a little bit about my Christmas shopping habits without necessarily going into too many specifics as a number of my friends read this blog. If I can help other genre fans simplify their own shopping, I feel I'll have done a good job.

Bookmonkey's Top Five Shopping Tips for the Genre Fan
1) Realize that you should be done by December 1st
Here's the thing, Genre stuff is pretty specialized and unless you want to relive the plot of Jingle All The Way (and why, on God's green earth would you want to do that?), it should be pretty obvious - if you want the good stuff, you have to buy it early. In my opinion only the stuff picked over by everyone else is still sitting on the shelves in December.

1a) Chocolate can be purchased until the last minute - also I love Turtles.

2) Your local comic book store is your best friend
These are the guys who actually have all the cool stuff your friends want - Zombie-themed energy drinks? Doctor Who memorabilia? Scott Pilgrim plushies? They have them all - simplify your life and start here - also your genre-loving friends shop here as well so the staff might be able to help give you great suggestions.

3) is your second-best friend
Mostly because they sell hard to find stuff and if you are willing to pay a little bit more you won't have to go further than your living room to get the great genre stuff your friends want.

4) Call Dibs
...and yes, by that I mean enact the ancient school yard rule of declaring that you and only you are allowed to purchase a specific item for someone. I cannot count the number of times I've found the perfect Star Wars related gift for someone only to find out that I'm the fourth or even fifth person bearing that gift.

5) Talk to your friends
Simple enough, but in a perfect world you should do it in July and actually ask questions like, "What kind of things would you rather get as gifts, and what things would you rather get yourself?" Your friends will happily answer and you (if you can remember until Christmas Shopping Season) will be getting them the best gifts of the season.

In the end I like doing Christmas shopping, I just like doing it in the simplest way possible, which for me involves a few lists and some preparation, and perhaps some Turtles.

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