The holidays are just around the corner. People are writing for ficathons, creating fandom Advent calendars, sending out holiday cards, doing Holiday feedbacking, writing holiday themed stories, creating holiday themed fan art and vids, and gift shopping for the fans in their life… That shopping one is the one I’m going to focus on. If you’re a fangirl/fanboy, what should you be asking for or what should you be buying for the fangirls/fanboys in your life?
* A Netbook. I have this particular model but there are a number of other models and companies out there making them including this one on Tiger Direct. If you’re going to a convention and want a place to dump your pictures, this works. It is portable enough that it can be shoved in a large purse or messenger bag and light enough not to way you down. If you’re waiting to meet up with another fan at a coffee shop before a movie, small and functional enough to take out and surf the Internet for five minutes. It is great for viewing fan vids and reading fan fiction in bed. You can hop on it and blog about the meet up you went to while taking the train home, not having to wait until you get home. It won’t replace your regular desktop or laptop but great for that person who wants to be able to continue their fanac on the road.
* Paid time on a favorite service like LiveJournal, InsaneJournal, Salon.Com, RockFic, IMVU, NetFlix, DreamHost, etc. Paying for them means you frequently don’t have to view ads and/or gain access to features not available to non-paid members. If you’re really devoted to a service, like I am to LiveJournal, this can be a great gift that a person can use all year.
* Gift certificates to a favorite bookstore, comics store, music store or electronics store. Yeah, they can seem lame an impersonal but one of the advantages is that you won’t accidentally buy them season 2 of CSI when they really just needed season 3 of CSI to complete their DVD collection. Or that you buy your favorite manga fan a volume of manga that they’ve read already or they hate because you totally misread their taste. If you’re doing this, you can be really creative, show your fangirl/fanboy something new by introducing them to some place new and support local businesses. If you’re in the Elgin, Illinois area, skip Borders and Barnes N Noble. Instead, get a gift certificate for Books at Sunset.
* Homemade coupons for things you might not be willing to do otherwise. The coupons can be for things like attending a convention so your fangirl/fanboy doesn’t have to go by themselves, attending a movie with them, sitting through their favorite television with them and not complaining about how bad the show is, letting them use your printer so they can read their favorite stories in print, going to a comics or manga store with them, offering to let them TiVo their favorite show on your machine and letting them watch it on your television, etc. This is about doing what makes them happy and it can be greatly appreciated, especially for the more introverted geeks who aren’t comfortable attending social functions on their own.
* Printing the fangirl/fanboy’s creations. If they are a fan fiction writer, compile all their work in a Word file, format it and then print and bind it using a service like Lulu or Kinkos. Consider printing up 5 total copies so that they can share that present with their fandom friends. If they are a fan artists, find their favorite piece and do a large print of it and frame it. For some fans who hope to go pro, this can be a glimpse into what could be for them: Seeing their work in print, seeing their work on display.
* Event tickets. I’m a huge sports fan. I have a friend who is a fan of musicals. I have another friend who loves seeing bands play live. And I have yet another friend who loves actors and attending conventions. If you got me tickets for the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, White Sox, Rush, Sky, Bandits, Fire, I’d be ecstatic because I love seeing these events live. I’d be even happier if you got a pair and went with me. I know the same would be true for my music, actor and musical loving friends.
* Other electronics. These can be expensive but can really help enhance a fangirl/fanboy’s fannish experience. A DVR means they can catch things that the might not be able to watch otherwise. An iPhone means they can listen to music, find events, catch up with fan related news when they are far away from the computer, and be super hip. A flat screen television can save them space in their apartment and be a step up from their tube set. It can also help increase their screen resolution so that they can swoon, giggle, sigh and flail over Johnny Depp that much better. A GPS device can get your fangirl/fanboy to conventions, movies, meetups with out getting lost all the time and calling you for directions. A wii can help your fangirl/fanboy continue with their latest gaming obsession or get fit so they can look good for that meetup. Guitar Hero means your favorite music fan can jam like and with their favorite bands.
Besides these ideas, what else would you recommend for your favorite fangirl/fanboy? Or as a fangirl/fanboy, what do you want to get this holiday season?