With the Christmas countdown underway, we’re all thinking about gifts. The shops will soon be filled with boxes of bright candies and festive messages on everything. Actually everything. But what about the writer in your life? Whether you’re choosing a secret santa, a gift for a partner or the overworked content manager in your team; it can be hard to know what to choose.
Step away from the “Live, Laugh, Love” artwork and the books filled with motivational quotes. Put down the socks and don’t buy them a writing course. EEEK. Here’s my top 7 Christmas gift ideas for the writer in your life.
#1 Beautiful pens/ notepads
Most writers I know are ever so slightly obsessed with beautiful pens and notepads. There’s something about opening a new notepad and starting a fresh page that’s cathartic for our overthinking souls. Of course, we also hoard them. My bookshelf is filled with beautiful notepads just waiting for some deliciously brilliant words. Would I buy more? Yes absolutely. Would I love a notepad as a gift? Yes! And not just notebooks but beautiful pens, stationery, markers and post it notes. This floral pen set from Liberty London is on my Christmas hit list. I should probably mention at this point that none of the items on this list are in any way sponsored. The only influencer deals I have been offered involved my cat.
#2 A Temperature Controlled Mug
Most writers live on coffee. We mainline it throughout the day in between gasps of “I forgot my coffee” or “my tea went cold again”. Because we’re writers and frequently forget hot beverages mid story. And that’s why I’m obsessing over temperature-controlled mugs like this one from Ember. Set your desired drinking temperature. Start with 135°F (57°C) and adjust from there. Pair with the Ember app to set your temperature, customize presets, receive notifications and more. No more sad forgotten cups of tea writers. Always a hot beverage on your desk. This item is now reading like erotic fiction TBH.
#3 Noise-Cancelling Headphones
When it comes to writing, reaching a flow state is key but soooooo difficult. Having worked in busy marketing offices before, I really understand and appreciate the stresses of writers who work in them. And even if you work from home, repetitive noises can still disrupt your concentration. That electrical buzzing noise, your neighbour’s dog or just your partner or house mate who doesn’t know how to be quiet! A pair of noise-cancelling headphones like these from Bose can block out distractions or play you some calming beats. These connect through Bluetooth, so they won’t have to worry about wires or spare USB ports either. No more “huh?” during calls thanks to built-in microphones that filter out ambient noise to focus your voice and deliver conversations clearly. You don’t have to use them for your Zoom calls though. Stay huddled in your peace bubble dear writers.
#4 Voucher for a local bookstore
This gift list is perhaps somewhat cliché and not every writer likes to read. But a lot do. We also enjoy the peace and quiet of a wander around a quaint old bookstore, plus that old book smell in the vintage ones is amazing! Rather than try to second guess your writer’s book wish list (it might be less predictable that you think), give them a voucher for their local bookstore. This gift is supporting local businesses and giving your writer the enjoyment of choosing the book they want. I know so many delightful local bookstores, so I won’t favour one here – but do drop your own recommendations in the comments.
#5 Weekend retreat/ massage
Taking time away from the computer is a great thing for writers especially if it’s for something relaxing like a massage. We spend hours sitting at our desks wondering why our back and hands hurt. The reality is, we sit like Daddy Long Legs spiders, don’t take breaks when we should and really need a new office chair. A massage, spa afternoon or if you’re feeling generous, a weekend retreat, is the perfect gift for a writer. Throw in a forest setting, crackling fire and no work emails and you’re onto a winner. Personal side note on this one, I’m not camping, climbing any trees or getting muddy in any way. Think luxury meets forest.
#6 A gorgeous desk ornament, vase or bookends
My business partner Niki is the best at choosing these kinds of gifts. Like this gorgeous vase/bookend that she had engraved for me a few years back. A carefully chosen ornament, especially one that’s also functional, is a real winner for a writer.
At this point I will also mention my talented LinkedIn connection and wonderful friend Nadia Ivanova who painted these for my office. I love the serenity, autumnal colours and dreamlike vibe. And that brings me to another point, as creatives, we love to get gifts from other creatives. If you paint, make pottery or are a carpenter then please make us something.
#7 A handwritten card
I promise I’m not ending this gift list with a soppy Hallmark style plug about sending Christmas cards. I’m really not. But as a writer, I love to receive letters, cards and notes in your handwriting. It’s reminiscent of years of exchanging long letters with my grandmother and eagerly anticipating that spidery handwriting written with a black fountain pen. There’s something delightfully Christmassy about opening a card that has more than just a name written at the bottom. The point is, if you can’t spend money on a gift, then pen something to your writer. Let them know how much you value them or your favourite thing they wrote this year. Handwritten cards might be fading in popularity, but wouldn’t you rather receive that than an email or Facebook notification? I know I would.
So that’s my Christmas gift roundup. Writers, what would you add? Let’s write to Father Christmas together!
PS – If you wrap gifts beautifully then this is another thing writers will notice. Charming bows, perfect folds and enchanting paper. Sadly I wrap gifts like a T-Rex but the thought is still there.