I don’t think it could have escaped anyone’s notice that Christmas is just about a week away. Is anyone prepared? I know I’m not (Don’t panic, Sonia. Don’t panic). Many of you might have a creative in your life that you’re struggling really hard to come up with meaningful gifts for. I get it. It’s really tricky. I figured I would put together a small list of gift ideas that perhaps you can draw inspiration from while shopping for the difficult creative in your life.
Disclaimer: Creatives aren’t a monolith with the same tastes and preferences. This list may or may not work for you or your favorite creative. Also, as I’m a writer, I tend to gravitate towards gifts that would suit writers, but many of these would work for an awful lot of creatives.
If you are in possession of a large fortune:
- A creative get-away somewhere remote. Disruptions are the bane of the creative process. Why not buy the creative in your life a retreat somewhere else in the world – a converted farmhouse in the Welsh countryside, a quaint log cabin in the mountains of Austria, a ger in the plains of Mongolia, somewhere remote with few people and thus few disruptions – for a week or two? Ensure that there is electricity for their computer, or light for their art, and that they will be fed, and just leave them alone to create. Just don’t forget about them, because they will forget the rest of the world exists.
- A personal chef. Look, sometimes creatives get so involved with their creations that they forget to make themselves food. Or go out to buy food to make. Or that food is at all necessary to life. With a personal chef, they at least don’t have to worry too much about preparing and cooking meals. They can just pop in some healthy, pre-prepared food into the oven, and have something to eat. It saves precious time, which can be spent creating, and brain space for those creations which would otherwise be occupied by meal planning and prep.
- A personal assistant. It might be just me, but when I’m in the middle of creating, I forget about all else – appointments? Dates? Meetings? You’ll not see me. I’ll have forgotten all about it. There’s only so much space in the head for things, and the creation takes utter priority. A personal assistant will be a godsend to help get your favorite creative organised, keep them on schedule, and take care of all the little things so that the creative has time to work without getting distracted by these things.
If you are in possession of a moderate fortune:
- A beautiful wood writing desk. There’s just something in the romance of sitting at a beautiful wooden desk to pen some notes, or write a letter, or make an entry in a journal of an evening, that appeals to almost every creative I’ve ever met. Spice up the romance, and include some antique or antique-replica candle sticks.
- A super fancy pen set. I’m talking fountain pens, or those nifty Venetian glass pens I keep seeing ads for everywhere. An ink pot, a blotter, some really fancy paper. One day, your creative might need a good pen to sign for throngs of fans, or perhaps they will enjoy sitting at their brand new writing desk writing letters on their fancy paper by candlelight.
- All the journals. All of them. It doesn’t matter if they already have a ton of journals which have remained unused for years and years. More journals will be absolutely necessary and very much appreciated. Try, if you can, to get the kind of journal with the unlined pages. They’re getting harder to find, I’ve noticed, but they’re better than the lined kind.
- A collection of interesting teas/coffee/hot chocolate, depending on the preferences of your creative. Sometimes, a creative just needs a warm cup of something to refresh their senses and relax after a tough day of creating. While you’re at it, include a soft blanket which your creative can wrap around themselves to get cozy.
If you are as poor as your creative:
- Fewer things will mean more to your creative than if you spent some time promoting their stuff. If they’re a writer, review their work online. Gush about your creative’s drawings, paintings or sculptures to friends, family and acquaintances.
- Offer them a space in your home for a couple of hours where they can go and create for a bit. Interrupt only to deliver a warm beverage of their choice, or to ensure they’ve eaten a little something. Alternatively, offer to go over to their place for a few hours and take care of things while they create – look after their kids, their animals, or just chase folks away from the doorbell for a few hours. It’ll be very much appreciated.
- If your creative seems to have gone missing, chances are they’ve forgotten about the world. Maybe check in on them. While distractions can kill creativity, too much isolation is not good for anyone. Even creatives.
And there you have it. A not-at-all comprehensive list of things you might get for the creatives in your life.
Did I just list a bunch of stuff I wanted for Christmas? Maaaaaybe. But I figured if this was a list that appealed to me, it might appeal to others, and it might also help inspire some of you who are struggling to come up with gift ideas for the creatives in your life.
As I won’t be around on the day, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas, happy holidays, a spectacular solstice, and a joyous Yule! May you and yours spend the season basking in warmth and love.
When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favorite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cats. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and cuddling furry murderers. Her most recent titles include ‘Daughters of Britain’ and ‘Skylark.’ www.smcarriere.com