It’s December 1, which means that, unless you live under a rock, you’re probably in full swing for Christmas or holiday prep. I know I am. My entire family (Mother & Father Metal, Sister Metal and her cousin, and their two lovely kids) are coming to stay on our little farmlet for a week. This means I need to make lists for what to cook, what we need to stock up on, and what they need to bring, as well as make sure all the shopping is done.
Not everyone who reads this blog celebrates Christmas. CDH and I are trying to move away from the Christmas celebrations into something that means more to us – which, because of the hemisphere we’re in, means co-opting some summer festival traditions that traditionally occur at a different time of the year – mainly Litha, the Summer Solstice festival. There’s a lot of fire ritual, which we can’t do on a large scale owing to fire bans in our area. One tradition I like a lot is creating paper boats with wishes or blessings and setting them free down a river or stream.
We’ve still got a Yule tree, although Socrates is systematically stripping it of decorations.
Whatever traditions you celebrate, chances are high you probably have to go through some kind of gift-giving performance. And if you hang around similar kind of people to me, you know that a bag of discount candy and some flowery toiletries is not gonna cut it.
Or perhaps you’re new to this site, and you got a goth or a metalhead to shop for and you are completely drawing a blank.
Well, no worries, because I’ve come up with a list of 25 awesome gift ideas t
1. A Feast of Ice & Fire – Game of Thrones Cookbook
Dinner is coming.
A passion project from superfans and amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer—and endorsed by George R. R. Martin himself—A Feast of Ice and Fire lovingly replicates a stunning range of cuisines from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. From the sumptuous delicacies enjoyed in the halls of power at King’s Landing, to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North, to the rich, exotic fare of the mysterious lands east of Westeros, there’s a flavor for every palate, and a treat for every chef.
2. Beard Oil & Bath Goodies from Bath Sabbath
I’ve featured Bath Sabbath on the blog before, and I can vouch for the fact that these soaps are totally badass. Everything at Bath Sabbath is handmade in small batches, always using phthalate, nitro-musk, sulphate, and cruelty-free ingredients, and 100% inspired by creator Virginia Giordano’s love for all things Heavy Metal. Try Black Mass, a spiced cranberry and orange studded soap from the Christmas range, or wax and condition your beard to rival the All-father with a Bath Sabbath special: Odin beard oil + Loki wax set.
3. Jurassic Park Mosquito Cane Replica
I’m a bit dino-obsessed, especially since the new Jurassic World trailer came out (I might be the only person in the WORLD excited about that movie – it looks awesome, even if they’re sticking with the very old-fashioned views on how dinosaurs looked and moved). This replica of John Hammond’s cane from the first film would make an awesome gift for someone who loves dinosaurs or who is putting together a steampunk costume requiring a cane.
4. Wicked Socks from The Asockalypse
In case you didn’t know, The Asockalypse is an online sock store I run with my BFF. We sell only the coolest, funkiest socks for men, women and children around, including a huge range of skulls and dark designs for the goths and freaks in your life. Also, because you guys are awesome, you can use the code STEFFMETAL and get 10% off your final order.
5. Clothing or Vouchers from Killstar
They have a huge range of occult, cat, and Egyptian-themed gear, which are some of my favourite things, so yay! I own this dress and it’s wonderful and witchy and slouchy and comfortable (although the white design does that cracking thing pretty quick). Things I’d particularly love to own include the grumpy cat t-shirt, Kaballah hood dress, NO JOY Joy Division pastiche t-shirt, lunar skater dress and Bast Leggings. If you can’t decide on the perfect gift, then just give a voucher! I wouldn’t say no.
6. Necronomicon Tablet Cover
Protect your coveted tablet with dark sorcery by encasing it in the Necronomicon tablet cover. Inspired by Lovecraft’s fictional grimoire, this cover is handcrafted from faux leather (so happy for the animals) and custom-sized to fit your specific device. It’s madness!
7. The Sunken, by S. C. Green
Hey, I am making the Gift Guide here, so I can put my own book on it. It’s in the rules. The Sunken is a dark steampunk tale set in an alternate history London where dinosaurs still survive and engineers are worshipped as gods. One reviewer called it “the best book in 2014,” and another stated “it’s the most original story I’ve ever read.” The book is the first in a series, with the second installment due out early next year. With time to relax and read over the holidays, why not give the gift of an awesome book?
8. One Ring Pillow
Made from Brazilian wool and synthetic felts, this pillow will look awesome on the bed or sofa of any die-hard Lord of the Rings fan. Handmade and hand painted, every pillow is a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork. You can even contact the creators to have a custom pillow designed. I reckon this design would be amazing as a giant beanbag …
9. Dark Candles from Burke & Hare Co.
Established in 2011 and resident in Providence, RI, Burke & Hare Co. aim to create speciality items of a darker aesthetic without compromising a specific refined and mature taste. Inspiration has been found from medical sciences, superstitions of the past, and spiritualism, gentlemen and lady’s parlors, seances, nature, and romanticism. Everything in their store looks amazing, from the beautiful Darkwave Collection inspired by classic gothic music, to Poe and Lovecraft-inspired candles and candles featuring esoteric symbols such as Metatron’s cube.
10. Steampunk, Gothic & Historical costume from Northwic
My extremely talented friend Amy is an accomplished costume designer who has worked with the NZ opera and placed in the World of Wearable Arts awards before her 30th birthday, which is one seriously impressive achievement. Amy creates pretty much anything you could imagine, but her passion is very comfortable, durable steampunk gear, medieval, viking and other historical re-enactment gear, and anything ornate and gothic.
11. Littlest Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu, Tro Rex & Eyona Bella
12. Potions & Spells & Planchettes, Oh My! from Fiendies
Based in Ontario, CA, and ran by two friends with a love of the dark and the occult, Fiendies offers a curious collection of candles, spirit boards, planchettes (including mini ones and beautiful ornate designs), relics and other miscellany. The store has an entire section of stocking stuffer packs where you can buy a collection of esoteric goodies inside a beautiful witchy stocking. Lots of cool gift ideas for the witch in your life
13. Gothic and Dark Artwork from Jeremy Hush
Now that I finally have a home that is mine and actually finished and painted and not just nails and GIB board, I am busy trying to fill it from floor to ceiling with art. I would very much like to add a couple of Jeremy Hush prints to my growing collection. Hush is a nomad who has been drawing for zines and heavy metal albums for years, and he’s extending his own practice and exhibiting more widely. The print I’ve chosen here is titled A Vicious Stare, from his recent exhibition at the Cotton Candy Machine, but you can browse the rest of his available prints from some dark and beautiful imagery.
14. Occult / Metal T-shirts from Cvlt Nation
Started in 2011, Cvlt Nation offer a range of stunning art t-shirts, tanks, sweatshirts and hats featuring work from some of the biggest names in underground occult / metal art. (Their blog is also amazing, too). I love this Death’s Breath T-Shirt, but there are so many wicked styles. A great gift for the metalhead in your life.
15. The Compleat MeadMaker, by Ken Schramm
I wish wish wish I had thought to put this book on my Christmas list this year. Argh, I’ve wanted it for a couple of years now and keep forgetting to buy it. Basically, it’s everything you ever needed to know about the wonderful drink that is mead: from how to brew your first batch to experimenting with fruit melomels and herbs and all sorts of wonderful things. There are pictures so you can see exactly what to do. It’s widely considered the best and most accessible mead-making book around, and if you’re a hobby brewer like me, it will probably become your tome.
16. Drinking Horn, or other medieval / re-enactment gear, from Wulflund
Nothing is more metal than drinking your poison of choice from a traditional drinking horn. I got my horn from Wacken, but if a trip’s not on the cards for you, then you can buy a horn online and get it delivered (but check with local customs horn is allowed). Wulflund has an impressive collection of horns, as well as many other medieval / viking products you will enjoy. My husband’s wedding sword came from Wulflund in the Czech Republic, along with cloak pins and many more things lying around our home. Beautiful craftsmanship and outstanding service – I thoroughly recommend
17. Magickal supplies, candles, cauldrons and incense from The Witchery
The Witchery is a wonderful online shop stocked with everything you need to fill your altar for the next year. From ritual candles to cut crystals, herbs to cauldrons, oils to altar chalices and athames, even complete spell kits, The Witchery has it all. These mini cauldrons are beautiful, whether you use them for spellwork or simply as an item for the home. Run by a practicing Hedgewitch, all Witchery-exclusive items are handmade, and true to the Path.
18. Skull Dispenser and other skull objects from Texas Ceramics
Handmade from moulds in an artisan potters studio in Texas, this amazing collection of skull home objects and containers will add a touch of glass to a gothic home. This skull dispenser is designed to hold hand soap, and I also love the skull cream pitcher. All the skulls are made from ceramic earthenware and kiln fired. They are finished with beautiful lead-free and non-toxic glases inside and out, so can hold any liquid you throw at it!
19. At War with Satan, by Steff Metal
Ah hah – another novel, also by me. This one is a humorous tale of loss, redemption and heavy fucking metal. All Gavin ever wanted was to drum in a heavy metal band, and find a girl who could tolerate his hair clogging up the sink and appreciate the exquisite poetry of Cannibal Corpse lyrics. When Lou – the mysterious stranger with the voice of doom – comes to Gavin’s small English village, all Gavin’s dreams begin to come true. But little does Gavin know that Lou’s a demon using their music to recruit metalheads to fight in the upcoming apocalypse. And it all gets sillier from there.
20. Soy Candles from Witch City Wicks
Yep, another candle store. Candles are awesome – they make your house smell amazing, they look cool, they keep you warm and they serve in rituals and create romantic ambience when you’ve cooked a lovely meal. Plus they’re great if you need a small gift to stuff in a stocking. Witch City Wicks reside in Salem, Massachusetts, and made beautiful handcrafted soy candles with dark themes – including Seance Ouija, Viking Salt and Wolf Moon candles.
21. A case of wine from the Gothic Winery
Inspired by the gothic tales of the 19th century, this winery in Willamette, Oregon, produces unique, vibrant wines with a twist of the dark. Featuring a “Telltale” Rose, the “Nevermore” Pinot Noir, and the “Ophelia” Chardoney, these wines offer a unique taste and aesthetic experience. Choose your tipple!
22. Stiffs, Skulls & Skeletons: Medical Photography & Symbolism, Stanley B. Burns, MD.
This intriguing and comprehensive exploration of the skeleton and the dead body includes more than 400 rare photographs. Stanley B. Burns, MD, has studied, collected and written on medical photography for over four decades focusing on unexplored areas, and his recent work reveals the nineteenth-century fascination with the dead body and body parts. The classic visual iconography of postmortem, dissection, and bone photography is presented and expanded to include early autopsy images and X-ray studies. Fascinating stuff for budding historians and scientists – definitely a must on my library shelves.
23. Hilarious Artwork from Legendary Tiger Hero
Want more artwork? The Legendary Tiger Hero presents badass metal, cult, comic and superhero artwork that is both hilarious and slightly disturbing. I’m a fan of the print above, Robo Cthulhu Rises and Totally Wrecks Some Stupid Ship, but you may also appreciate such fine works as Bigfoot Breaks Into Some Dude’s Cabin and Totally Takes a Dump in His Toilet, and Batman Puking His Friggen Guts Out. You know, classy stuff like that.
24. Metal Cats, Alexandra Crockett
Skulls and Siamese. Corpse paint and Persians. Baphomet, pentagrams, blood, and tabbies!
Metal Cats is a photography book combineing two amazing subjects: the extreme personalities of the hardcore metal music scene and their adorable kitties. These incredibly cute and fluffy felines have been photographed with their loving owners in and around the dark abodes of musicians, fans, and promoters of metal including members of the bands Thrones, Isis, Atriarch, Oak, Ghoul, Xasthur, Cattle Decapitation, Exhumed, Morbid Angel, Municipal Waste, Skeletonwitch, Phobia, and Napalm Death. A portion of the proceeds from this book will go towards no-kill shelters along the West Coast of the US.
25. Awesome Bookends from Knob Creek Metal Arts
Since I’ve included a ton of books in this list (and I should be writing about books more, it would seem, as I have discovered about 10 more books I want to feature!) it stands to reason you’ll need some bookends to keep your books tidy. Knob Creek have the bookend to suit every personality, such as these cool Slasher Flick Bookends, Brontosaurus Bookends, Dragon and Knights and Zombie Bookends. All these pieces are handmade from a wonderful workshop in Kentucky.
What are you wishing for this Christmas/Yule? What are you buying for others? Share some ideas in the comments.
The Sunken, my dark fantasy novel, is now available on Amazon.
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