This week is the week of last-minute Christmas shopping. The rush to find the perfect gift to send to your aunt, the last person on your list that you forgot about, or maybe your whole list in general if you like to live life on the edge (I don't, but some people do). Finding the right gift may not be easy, but luckily this list has you covered! Here is this year's top 30 Christmas gifts for literature-loving souls.
1. Composition notebooks, pens, and journals
I always grab empty notebooks whenever they're on sale (usually the ones with the cutest covers) because I carry one with me EVERYWHERE. It comes in handy when I have a moment and want to brainstorm a chapter, or when I feel like jotting down a random idea that pops into my head.Yes, I know I could easily do this on my phone, but nothing beats the nostalgic feeling of actual paper. While I don't usually splurge on notebooks, I do with pens. My current favorite are the G2 gel ones because they're smooth and last a long time. Another handy tool is a journal. I use mine for mostly therapeutic purposes, but it also serves to keep my writing reflexes sharp on days when I don't get around to working on my book. You can buy notebooks and pens for cheap at Walmart and other retailers. Barnes and Noble has a great selection of journals, but I would check places like Marshalls first as there's a pretty drastic price difference.
2. Mugs with writing quotes or literary references
This one is great because it's something that can be used every day, and can also be personalized to show that there was some thought behind gifting it. It can be dressed up with candy and other small goodies to create a smaller version of a gift basket. This is a quick fix for coworker gifts, and is a great option if you're on a tighter budget. You can find these at places like TJ Maxx, Homegoods, and Amazon.
This one is a win-win no matter what you choose! For those who love to read, you can't go wrong by providing the written word. My friend and I exchange books we think the other will like every year (we're both writers) and I have to say it's one of my favorite gifts each year. It's always interesting to find out what someone else thinks is interesting/entertaining, but it also provides insight into new styles of writing and genres that I may not be inclined to find and read on my own. Books of craft are also a great option because they help keep me updated on the latest in writing tips and tricks. A great craft book is On Writing Well by William Zinsser. The link is included below.
4. A subscription to a writing magazine
This one is similar to #3. A subscription to a writing magazine such as Writer's Digest or Poets & Writers can be invaluable. These publications are PACKED with all the latest information about the literary industry. They have tips on writing, editing, marketing, and publishing. Reference materials that can help find agents, writing conferences, publishers, M.F.A. programs, and so much more! Not to mention that with a yearly subscription it becomes the gift that keeps on giving.
5. Gift cards
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Gift cards make wonderful stocking stuffers! Better still when they are to Barnes and Nobles or Amazon, which both have a wide selection of literary-related products. Personally, I love it when people give me gift cards. Not only does it allow me to choose what books or other products I want, but it gives me the experience of shopping (which I also love). It also solves a last-minute gift giving dilemma, especially if you're buying for someone who has everything.
6. Fuzzy blankets and other cozy feel-good things
I am such a fan of this one! As a writer, I spend most of my time indoors in front of a computer. The #1 thing that keeps me motivated is being comfortable. Not only am I a fan of anything soft and fuzzy that I can cuddle up with, but I also love soft pj's, slippers, pillows, socks, jackets, etc. The cozier the better! Luckily, I've seen plenty of sales this holiday season on all of these items, so it doesn't really matter where you go, you're sure to find a great selection.
7. Writer's t-shirts
You can never go wrong with a humorous t-shirt. For those who write, having a good sense of humor goes a long way, especially during those long months of solitary writing and revisions. Not to mention that sometimes we want to show off who we are with cute merchandise.
8. An experience!
This is a more unique option, but tons of fun. Writers could always use more inspiration, and what better way to find some than by experiencing something new? Tickets to the theater, a trip to a museum or art exhibit, seats at the hottest concert, or even a night out are all fantastic ways to enjoy spending time with your loved one while giving them a chance to recharge their muse.
9. A favorite movie or show
Snuggle up and enjoy a night in watching your loved one's favorite movie or show. From Game of Thrones to a movie on Disney+, you can't go wrong with giving the gift of cinematic inspiration.
Need I say more? Food baskets are the ultimate gift idea. There's a wide variety of them out there, from chocolate, to mixed munchies, to wine and cheese, and it's easy to find one in your price range.
11. Coffee, hot chocolate, and teas
This one goes hand-in-hand with the mug idea from #2. I rely heavily on coffee to keep me going and appreciate anything coffee-related when it comes to gifts. This comes in handy because a) I'm not a morning person, and b) I'm usually coming off of a late night writing binge. Recently I saw that Macy's has the cutest Starbucks gift baskets on sale (and of course I bought one!). They come with fun add-ons and tons of options when it comes to packaging for an all-in-one shopping experience. If you want to DIY this option or personalize it, simply buy your own mug and add whatever extras you find suitable. Be creative! Hot chocolate or tea are great alternatives if your intended doesn't drink caffeine!
12. Writing prompt journals
These are super cool because they provide a wealth of ideas and inspiration for a writer in dire need of a new idea or a way to break out of writer's block. Depending on which one you get, they range in creativity from simple "finish this story" prompts, to a more abstract approach of "use these five words in a story". Whichever way you go, it's sure to be a hit!
If you're unfamiliar, Scrivener is a software program designed specifically for writers. It allows you to write a manuscript and keep all your ideas organized in one place. If your writer doesn't already have this installed on their computer (especially if they're new to writing) then this is the ultimate Christmas surprise.
14. The latest tech gear
Another great idea is to expand your writer's world with the latest gadgets. This comes in handy if your writer is a journalist, blogger, or avid traveler. I highly suggest go pros, high resolution cameras, and Ipads as these are all travel-friendly and easy to carry around.
15. Self care packages
Self care is very important, and the #1 thing that writer's lose track of. With endless deadlines and getting lost in our own made-up worlds, it's no wonder that we tend to neglect ourselves physically and mentally. This is where we need the most help. Self care packages that contain soothing bath products, candles, and positivity books are always a welcome change of pace, as they remind us to take care of ourselves first and create second.
16. Book lights/book marks
This one is for the readers out there. These make great stocking stuffers due to their small size and really come in handy when traveling. They can also be paired with any of the other gifts on this list as a nice little add-on if you're feeling generous. Barnes and Nobles has a great selection up front by the registers.
17. Tickets to the next writing conference
Writing conferences happen year-round in various locations and provide a great opportunity for learning and networking. If you're looking for a gift for a writer who is ready to take the next step and get their work into the hands of a publisher or if they're in need of connections or feedback on their body of work, you may want to consider getting them a ticket to one of these events. You can search for conferences and other writing-related events below via the link.
18. Puzzles and trivia/word games
A fun way to keep a writer's brain sharp is to give them a new way to exercise it. Brain teasers, puzzles, and word games like Scrabble are a brilliant avenue for entertainment, family bonding, and creativity.
19. Gum. And lots of it!
This sounds silly, but chewing gum is another staple of mine. It helps keep me focused when writing, and keeps me from over-eating late at night (as that's usually when I find the time to sit down and be creative). I definitely find this helpful and think others might enjoy finding it in their stockings too!
20. Writer's retreat
If your writer is struggling to finish their work and has extra time on their hands to devote to writing, then you might want to look into a Writer's Retreat program. These can be pricey depending on what they entail, but well worth it. Basically, you rent a place for them to live and work that's in the middle of nowhere (someplace nice) where they can hole up and do nothing but write and possibly talk to others in the program for x amount of months. It's supposed to be a more complete form of solitude that allows a writer to finish their project without the distraction of their everyday life. Personally, I think it sounds wonderful! See the link below to find out more information about writer's retreats and where they are happening in 2020 courtesy of The Write Life.
21. Neck and back massager
Being hunched over a desk for days on end does take a tole on one's neck and back. I definitely feel the strain after a full day of typing and don't doubt that other writer's share the same problem. This is why products that target those trouble spots are ideal Christmas gifts. If you've got a larger budget, you could also purchase a voucher for a spa and send them to de-stress for the day!
22. Spend time with us
Along the lines of self care, interactions with friends and loved ones also tend to take the back burner. Most writers spend a lot of time by themselves, as writing is a solitary sport and also one that takes up a lot of time. While we don't mind being left to our own devices and working independently, we do still need time with those that we care about most. That's why I've included this on the list, even though technically it's not something you can gift wrap or buy. Make sure you draw your writer out of their shell this holiday season so they can enjoy the festivities too!
23. Read our work. Buy our book!
I can't stress this one enough. If you want to give your writer the BEST gift ever, then offer to read their work or buy a copy of their book (if they're already published). We spend so much of our time, energy, and hearts working on our projects that the best way to show us that you care about us is to invest some time in it yourselves. Plus, we want you to take an interest and to hear your thoughts on what we've been working on!
24. Sound-blocking headphones
Great for anyone who can't focus around excessive noise, gets distracted easily, or just really loves to blare their own music. These are great for spouses who work from home, writers who have children, or those who lack a quiet office and need to do their work in public places like coffee shops.
25. Bookshelf decorations
What writer or bookworm doesn't like to decorate their bookshelves and writing space? A fun way to express their personality and motivate them to write, there's all sorts of cool fan merchandise that you can purchase from their favorite TV shows, book series, or about writing in general. A fun example are the mini figurines from Game of Thrones, cute signs with quotes on them, or my personal favorite, tiny gnomes! Yes, the photo above is of one of my bookshelves!
26. Art supplies
I love to take a break from writing by being creative in another way. One of my favorite things to do is color, since it allows me to create without carrying the same stressors as writing. Doing another kind of creative activity helps refresh the muse and makes me feel more like returning to writing later. Art supplies like drawing pencils and a sketchpad also come in handy when it comes to world-building and drawing up maps and other cool elements of a story.
27. Exercise classes
Going back to self care and being stranded at a desk all day, it's important that writers take time out of their daily routines to remember to stretch and exercise physically. A great way to encourage that is to gift them with a voucher for an exercise class like Pilates, yoga, or cycling.
28. Calligraphy tools
I left this one separate from art supplies only because I feel like it closely relates to writing whereas the art supplies are mostly for blowing off creative steam. Calligraphy is a really neat hobby. I've tried it out as a kid, and let me tell you, it is so much fun! It definitely makes you appreciate the way words look once you give them a fancy flourish or two.
29. Take them on a trip
Who doesn't need a vacation? I know I do! But there's a specific reason why I added this to the list. Traveling is probably the best way to break out of writer's block and find inspiration. It gets you out of your comfort zone, doing new, oftentimes unfamiliar activities, and gives you the gift of exploration and new scenery. It doesn't matter where you go or how long you stay, it's sure to keep the ideas flowing!
I think this one is pretty obvious, as everyone appreciates having a little extra pocket change, but I think money is even more important to anyone pursing a creative profession. A lot of writers live in expensive cities where rent and the cost of living are ridiculously high. We've all felt the struggle to provide for ourselves without sacrificing our artistic dreams. Whether we need that extra cash for bills, writing classes, supplies, or food, it's probably not far from the truth to say that at some point in our lives, we've all struggled.
That's it! 30 AMAZING GIFT IDEAS FOR WRITERS. If you've read this entire post, you're awesome and thank you! I know this one was a bit lengthy. If you were here looking for gift ideas I hope this helped and that you now know what you need to get. Wishing you all a Happy Holiday and Happy Shopping!