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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Have yourself a Gothy little Christmas... with notes on buying gifts for your Gothlings

I was just happily reading a couple of other Goth-friendly Christmas posts, dreaming of the day when I can afford my own apartment and decorate a purple Christmas tree with the sparkly skull baubles they are selling in Paperchase, when I realised that, hey, perhaps I should actually write a Christmas post of my own. 

So... 'tis the season to be jolly - not something that's typically associated with us Gothy types. But if you're like me and you love the festive season (or even if you don't), may I present the Ultimate Goth Guide's (hopefully) delightful attempt at helping you achieve the Christmas of your darkest dreams...

First of all, I'd like to share with you the fantastic posts I was enjoying a minute ago; the first is 'Lolify Your Holiday' over at The Dark Victorian, yes, aimed mostly at Lolitas but certainly of relevance to Goths as well. After reading this post I am having a real case of Christmas tree envy... I would like my own apartment now, please.

Another music recommendation I would like to add to those in said post is the Dark Noel series of CDs, produced by the Projekt record label, which feature bands such as The Cruxshadows, Faith and the Muse, Unto Ashes and Voltaire covering classic Christmas songs and carols (I have the first CD in this series and love it!). Also, could there be a better time of year to start buying CDs from the band called Santa Hates You? No, didn't think so...

The second post is 'Gothic Christmas to all!' at the Gothic Tea Society, which features nothing less than a work of genius...

As you may have guessed from the lovely post on The Dark Victorian, many 'darkly inclined' types do not feel the need to stick with traditional Christmas decor. If like me you are still living under someone else's roof and are not allowed to run riot with pumpkin tinsel and Gothic angels, see if you can persuade your oldsters to let you decorate your room however you like. You can stand a mini-tree easily on your bedside table, on your desk, or in a corner; and really, you can never have enough skull- or ghost-shaped fairy lights. (Warning: you may end up like me and have skull tinsel hanging from your wardrobe all year round.)

Whether you're decorating an average-sized bedroom or your own Addams Family mansion, Halloween is really the best time for a Goth to shop for Christmas decor. But if you missed it, don't worry - there are many sites that have Goth-appropriate decor available all year round, such as Silly JokesParty Delights and Halloween Express, who offer a great alternative to the traditional Christmas wreath...

For cards and wrapping paper, check out Rocky Horrors - see my pic below for the great wrapping paper that they stock. Rocky Horrors also have some nice cartoon Goth cards, which I sent out to all my friends last year. Spiral's cards are also especially beautiful. Nightmoth have a range of faintly disturbing Christmas cards; for the more faint of heart, try these elegant Yule designs from Moon Dragon Cards (which I'll be sending out this year), or handmade excellence with LilacTwist (I recommend their Christmas gift tags - yay, gargoyles in Santa hats!).
No, I haven't actually finished my Christmas shopping yet.
I just like wrapping things.
You can also update your morbid wardrobe to reflect the delights of this charming season with fibre optic hair lights from Miss Needles, or some faux fur boot toppers from Sparkling Strawberry (great with vicious heels for the girls, or on DMs or combat boots for the guys). The Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise is of couse rife at this time of year; white Jack Skellington earmuffs look striking against jet-black hair...

What if you're not Goth, and you're not sure what to buy for the Goth in your life? Buying gifts for Goths is not always easy (so my friends and family tell me). Clothes are probably not your best bet; unless you know for sure their EXACT measurements, and what style of clothing they like. There are many different types of Goth fashion, so chances are you won't get away with grabbing the nearest item of black clothing (nice try, buddy...).

The safest route is to ask the person to choose an item that they would like. You can't really go wrong with this method, although it does lack a certain element of surprise. They may also have a wishlist on sites such as Amazon, Kate's Clothing or MusicNonStop, so be sure to ask, as it cuts out the guesswork and a large portion of stress. Gift certificates are also a good, safe bet. Loads of Gothy websites supply gift vouchers - Attitude Clothing, The Gothic Shop, MusicNonStop and Blue Banana to name but a few.

Speaking of such websites, at Christmas many Goth and alternative fashion websites offer a selection of gifts, separated into categories or by price, which are great for collecting stocking fillers such as hairclips, wristbands, gloves, make-up and patches.

If you wanted to get with the festive spirit, Edward Gorey's delightfully macabre charm is reflected in The Haunted Tea Cosy: A Dispirited and Distasteful Diversion for Christmas. Actually, books are a safe choice for many Goths, but you may want to cast a discreet eye over their bookshelves if you can. Interview with the Vampire? They've probably already got it (cliches become cliches for a reason...). And, as quoted from Gothic Charm School, 'Some Goths will read anything with "vampire" in the title' (ahem) 'whilst others will turn up their pale little noses at such.' You could always wonder around the bookshop with said Goth and make mental notes of what sort of books they pick out.

Of course, there aren't many Goths who would say no to a new CD, but this is as equally fraught with difficulty as choosing an item of clothing (hmm, perhaps Goths really are hard to buy for). There are hundreds and hundreds of Goth bands, and then of course there are all the rock and metal bands packaged as 'Gothic'... perhaps concert tickets for a band you know the person likes would be a better bet. (Note: that's a band they like NOW, not a band they liked when they were ten or eleven. Just to clarify.)

If gift vouchers seem a bit 'elderly relative stuck for ideas', you could always offer to take the person on a shopping trip (preferably to a place of their choosing - I don't know too many Gothlings who could run particularly rampant in TopShop) and let them pick something out. That way you get to spend time with the person (whom you obviously like - otherwise, why are you getting them a present?) and you can take notes on the sort of things they like for the next gift-getting occasion. Not that gift vouchers have to be boring - a voucher for a tattoo, manicure, facial or meal at a restaurant gives your loved one an opportunity to spoil themselves, and hopefully a nice experience to remember.

Lastly, what is a Gothling to do to entertain themselves during the wholesome (ick!), cheerful (yuck!) festive season? Well, it's highly unlikely that The Goth Club Near You won't be having some sort of Christmas do, so dig out your glad rags, top with a Bah Humbug! black Santa hat from Poundland, and head out and party. What else? Personally, my favourite Christmas-season pasttime is to snuggle up on the sofa with my very best friends, break open the mulled wine (which I strongly feel is a deliciously decadent Christmas treat for Goths and non-Goths alike) and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. No, I never said it was original, but my yearly Christmas-Eve-watching of NBC is a tradition that shall not be broken. (Oh, and I know that Christmas is a time for family, but if yours are prone to giving you a hard time over your lifestyle and fashion choices, check out this Gothic Charm School post on dealing with your relatives during the hols.)

Have a dreary, utterly meaningless Christmas, boys and ghouls......

PS - this post is full of links, some of which are sure to break or otherwise suffer tragic deaths as sites are updated... all links are correct at time of posting. Apologies to readers joining us after the 2010 Christmas season!

3 comments:

MissGracie said...

I looove Christmas, it ties as my favorite holiday with Halloween. I totally want those Dark Noel CDs! Where can I order one?

ultimategothguide said...

Hehe - ditto!

You can get the Dark Noel CDs on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Noel-Various-Artists/dp/B000SQLCLM

or direct from Pro-Jekt:
http://www.projekt.com/projekt/product.asp?sku=PRO00062

Anonymous said...

Has anyone listened to Nox Arcana? Some winter/christmas themed cd's are A Winter's Knight and Winter's Eve. Neoclassical darkwave <3

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