December has rolled round again and with it a season of giving. No matter what religion you may practice. Or if you practice at all, I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons from my home to yours. The holidays bring with them a plethora of emotions, good and bad. While I can’t make the seasons brighter for you personally, I can hope that my wish for you to be happy, healthy and surrounded by loved ones warms your heart if only just a little.
I can’t do much to make your holidays easier, but I can aid in what is a real quandary for some. What to get the gamer/geek in your life. It is a tough question. As gamers/geeks we fill so many different rolls. There are the gamers, the Rennies, the Trekkies, Larpers, you name it we have a little clique all our own. To make your choices even tougher we often fall into many categories which would typically never overlap. Well let me guide help to steer you through this winter wonderland and safely to the warm glow of the New Year.
Whenever possible buy local, buy small business or local artisan. You not only get a gift for a loved one, but you are also helping a real person to give to their loved ones as well. Independent stores and artists need you to help bring their dream to life each day. The holidays are a season for dreamers, keep their dreams alive.
If money is tight, there are many ways to do something special for your loved ones. Do you like to knit? If so Jane’s hat from Firefly is a few skeins away, or Tom Baker’s iconic scarf. Maybe a few Death Star pillows? Better with construction? Many places throw pallets out, a palm sander and some stain and your possibilities are nearly endless. I have seen people make hardwood floors out of these, so seriously, endless. Cat trees, tables, a Tardis, all of these ideas are within reach with some reclaimed lumber from pallets and a little work.
A painting, a picture, some cookies made just for them, each of these can mean as much if not more than, something purchased. So even when money is tight the holidays can still be a season of giving for you.
Okay maybe you’re not so crafty or handy? We can still get you set on a proper course. For your gamers it is actually not too hard to figure out what to do, even if they have the latest games. Worst case there is always gift cards to their favorite local game store. Before you resort to that though, there are a few steps to take.
First, listen to your friend. Is there a game they are excited about? If there is stop into their game store of choice and talk to the staff. Staff in a local game store can usually be a valuable font of information. If there are similar games to the one your friend is excited about they should be able to steer you to it and make further suggestions based on your friends likes. This is true of both video games and tabletop games.
For the non-gamers take a moment, think about their favorite shows and hobbies. What is it that they are passionate for? Are they obsessed with Disney or Star Trek? Or maybe it is Firefly, Dr. Who or anime. Whatever it is, think about putting yourself in their shoes for a minute. What would you love to get? A sonic screwdriver, or an adipose plushy? A little Serenity to soar upon the Christmas tree? You know your friends, would they want you to go crazy and spend a huge amount on them, or would they rather something small that you can enjoy together while laughing and hanging out?
If nothing else give your friends and family the gift of your time and company this holiday season. Share a favorite game with them, make some new memories. That is the gift that never gets returned and will last a lifetime.
So Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Merry Kwanza, A Most Joyous Yule, and a Happy Festivus to you all and to all a good night. Be safe this holiday season as you gather with friends old and new.
Remember Life’s a game, have fun with it.
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