Plenty of companies have decided not to open on Black Friday (and a tip of the hat to them for it) but whether you’re shopping the day after Thanksgiving or just some random Tuesday in December, I find actual brick-and-mortar stores to be unbearable around the holidays.
Luckily, there’s a way you can avoid those stores (and having to put on real pants) while still taking care of all your gifting needs.
Obviously your gifts should be given with the recipient in mind, and there are probably some people in your life who really just want a few new pairs of socks. But for the free spirited goofballs amongst your friends (the majority of mine falling under this category) it’s nice to have a list of options that are both fun to give and receive.
Quirky Kitchen Gifts
When it comes to wacky kitchenware, nobody does it quite as well as Fred & Friends. They actually have a lot of gift possibilities in a lot of categories, but their cooking tools are my favorite.
For a sweet treat, pair these snowman cupcake molds with a box of festive cake mix. Keeping with that holiday theme, they also have a skeletal gingerbread man cookie cutter. Being a lover of all things zombie, I particularly enjoy their Undead Fred cookie cutters.
Archie McPhee is another treasure trove of weird, and while I think they’re best for stocking stuffers (more on those later down the list) they also have a few nifty kitchen gifts. Jazz up an otherwise boring bottle of wine with these bottle-sized vinyl lederhosen or gift a brain gelatin mold with a few boxes of lime Jell-o.
Also in the hostess gift category, nothing says “Thanks for inviting me to your party” like a shark bowl.
Quirky Decor Gifts
This is my absolute favorite category of gifts because these are the kinds of things that are instantly enjoyable. You can watch a friend unwrap it and put it right on a shelf or the coffee table and know that they’ll see it there all the time.
The most bizarre option I’ve found so far is these custom bobblehead figurines. They are not cheap (most running between $80-$120) and since standard production time is 9-12 weeks, you’d need to pay extra to get a rush order in time for Christmas. But, all this considered, just think of the look on your best friend’s face as he stares into his own plastic eyes on a merman.
For a more affordable (and less vain) bit of decor, artist David Irvine has a shop where he sells prints of thrift store paintings that he’s made improvements upon. Spoiler alert for my friends – some of you will probably be getting these at a future gift-giving occasion.
Whether it’s Leatherface enjoying an afternoon in the garden, Stay Puft checking out the town square, or a glimpse into what a stormtrooper does on his day off, there’s bound to be something for everyone here.
Another print shop I love is that of Hillary White, an artist who puts her own distinct spin on pop culture. I was introduced to her work after stumbling across this bizarre Muppet autopsy (which I am still debating whether or not to buy for myself). Alien in a posh smoking jacket? Yes, please.
Have a friend who just had a baby? Darth Vader snuggling a unicorn would look super on a nursery wall.
Quirky Wearable Gifts
Clothing can be a bit iffy when you’re unsure about sizing, but since kigurumi (aka awesome character onesies) are one size fits most they are a great pick for anyone on your list. The Kigurumi Shop is the definitive source for all manner of wacky coziness, from a dinosaur (which I recently purchased for myself) to a weirdly tentacled octopus to classic characters like Frankenstein.
Another favorite site of mine for handmade items is Shana Logic, which is sort of an artists’ collective shopfront. There are plenty of quirky accessories to choose from, including a wolf skull cameo necklace and (given my propensity for zombie shopping) a zombie brain ring. For the oddball gentleman in your life, try a notebook paper necktie.
Quirky Book and Movie Gifts
Obviously, I couldn’t write a quirky gift list without including some picks from Quirk Books. Earlier this year I reviewed Horrorstör (Grady Hendrix), which would be a great choice for either an Ikea or horror enthusiast (I happen to be both). I also own a copy of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy (Sam Maggs), a super pick for the geek girl in your life.
If you’d like your quirky book to be Christmas-y, they also have a Home Alone illustrated storybook (John Hughes, Kim Smith).
I have a few movie picks, though I’ll say that these would heavily depend on preference. I recently bought What We Do in the Shadows and it’s one of the most hilarious films I’ve seen in ages. It would be a perfect gift for any fan of comedy, but in particular fans of both comedy and horror. If you know someone who is a fan of cheesy horror in particular, I would recommend Love in the Time of Monsters (extra cheesy, but in a deliciously self-aware way). On a more whimsical note, Austenland is a funny, quite quirky, parody/homage to regency romance.
Quirky Stocking Stuffers
It’s the gift-giving home stretch! I’m calling this section stocking stuffers, but they’d also make fun white elephant presents for an office exchange. If I’m giving a food gift like wine or chocolate, I like to include a goofy little something along with it.
As I mentioned earlier, Archie McPhee is a great site for exceptionally weird odds and ends. Want to up your candy cane game? Try these gravy flavored festive treats. Let your friend know you support her furball collection with this Crazy Cat Lady action figure.
If you really want to drive a friend crazy in a very entertaining way, give his kids this tin of Emergency Googly Eyes. Or a set of hand-shaped finger puppets. Really, pretty much everything on the site would make a great stocking stuffer.
American Science & Surplus is another great place to go browse for stocking stuffers. Or really, browse for just about anything. With the addition of a Sharpie, you can customize these awards for all of your friends. Or turn a cat into a unicorn. Or a finger into Carl Sagan.
They have your classic rubber chicken, slightly less classic giant Dachshund eraser, and decidedly not classic portable sound effect machine. This magnetic thinking putty is perhaps the most awesome item of the bunch.
And, on top of all of that, they also sell gag gift boxes so you can package your less-than-quirky gifts in a quirky manner.
Lastly, but certainly in no way least, one of my absolute favorite recent discoveries has been these wickedly cool nail decals from Jane’s Tiny Things. You transfer them onto polished nails like temporary tattoos and instantly look 300% cooler than you did moments before. My personal favorites are the dinosaurs and fast food decals, but she’s also got some rad pop culture options as well.
As a bonus for making it all the way to the bottom of the post (hooray for committed readership!) I have a gift for one of you. I’m planning to give away a set of Jane’s decals to one lucky blog reader. Jazz up your own nails or gift them to someone else!
Just leave a comment telling me your favorite quirky gift pick (either one of my suggestions or one of your own) and on December 1st I’ll pick a random winner.