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The Great Christmas Gift Hunt
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It's that time of year again...for online Christmas shopping! Luckily, I have two less people to gift-hunt for this year, since my brothers and I have agreed to all exchange new creative pieces (stories, short movies, whatever) instead of bought presents. This is a lot more time-intensive than normal shopping, but it's really fun, and I can't wait to see my presents from them this year! It's also been a great writing stretch, since we gave each other specific requests for the Christmas pieces. (E.g., "My favorites of your stories tend to be the ones that somehow involve the color orange, could you write me one of those? Maybe set on a giant Space Egg?) (That was not a real example, but perhaps it should have been! Ah well, too late now. Maybe next year!)

While I'm doing my normal shopping searches, though, I've been so happy about the existence of, which sells handmade art, jewelry, etc., from sellers all across the world, and mostly for very reasonable prices. So far, my experiences buying through Etsy have been universally excellent, and I've found some really unique and beautiful pieces. (The wonderful SF/fantasy writer Nalo Hopkinson is one of the sellers on Etsy - I've bought some really gorgeous things from her shop.) The only thing that frustrates me about the system is that you can't look up pieces based on where the sellers live. Normally, this isn't a problem - even their international shipping fees aren't expensive - but when it's coming up to Christmas, I feel much more confident ordering gifts from English sources to have safely in hand by Christmas Day.

Still, I'm having a lot of fun browsing around. Here are some of the cool things I've found but not ordered for anybody: only on Etsy, the TRASHY ROMANCE NOVEL charm bracelet! I think this is hilarious, and I don't know about anyone else, but I would totally wear it. Then there's the perfect fantasy-writer necklace, which I yearned over (but it's the wrong time for me to spend that much money on myself!): the Castle in the Sky necklace. And two perfect pairs of earrings for the evil villainesses amongst us: the Bwa Ha Ha Ha pair and the Curses Foiled Again.

For men: 32 pages of cufflinks, including robot cufflinks, porcelain octopus cufflinks (Greg?), and cufflinks made from recycled circuit boards.

And oh, I saw one necklace that was drop-dead gorgeous in a way that immediately made me think of Jenn Reese: the Cats Eye Athena Tigers Eye necklace. (All proceeds from sales of this necklace are donated to the Associated Humane Societies Animal RESQ Fund. It's even for a good cause!)

What about you guys? What have you seen and loved in your holiday shopping but not bought (or at least not yet)? What are you looking for and can't find anywhere? Or (if you feel safe posting here - for people whose S.O.'s DEFINITELY don't read this journal) what are you most pleased about finding in your shopping, online or off?

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