For another, she has an allergic reaction to metal on her skin, which means jewelry like necklaces, bracelets and earrings are out.
Fortunately for me, she’s a bit of a fandom geek. Harry Potter, Twilight, Doctor Who — the list is expansive. Buying gifts for young adult fiction fans seems easy, with all the posters, shirts and assorted licensed junk floating around out there. But finding quality coolness is hard to do. In my experience, my wife’s favorite gifts are the ones that aren’t plastic or chintzy, without a logo or brand imprint — things only a real fan would recognize.
Cast a spell
The Harry Potter fan in your family might try to keep a conservative face in public, but if you buy them their favorite character’s wand ($39.95-$49.95, harrypottershop.com) you’ll catch them trying to make the dishes wash themselves more than once. Professor Snape, Dumbledore, Harry and Ron Weasley (our king) are all represented with quality, wooden replicas of their movie wands.
You could also send your fan to Hogwarts (or at least get them accepted to the school) with a personalized acceptance letter ($22.46-$31.46, harrypottershop.com) signed by Minerva McGonagall herself. The letters come in 5-inch-by-7-inch and 8-inch-by-10-inch sizes printed on ¼-inch Chromaluxe panels that don’t require framing and have a built-in stand. It’s the closest thing to getting a letter from the actual school.
If they’re huge fans of the movies (and when you see this thing, you’ll understand why “huge” is required), stop by Books-A-Million in Oxford and check out “Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey” ($75). The book is 540 pages of behind-the-scenes material from the entire eight-movie series, and it is tremendous and impressive. Invest in sturdy bookshelves.
Drop (un)dead jewelry
Don’t buy a Twilight fan anything with a pair of hands and an apple on it. That imagery has been stretched as far as it can go. The Cullen family crest doesn’t get nearly as much action. With the options in the Cullen Crest Prop Replica Set ($97, amazon.com) your Twihard can wear it any way they please: one of two rings, a bracelet, necklace, choker or wrist cuff. For those who can’t wear jewelry (sorry, dear wife), it all looks great in the included display case.
Whovians know their fezzes from their fishsticks and custard, so you’ll want to be on your toes when venturing into wibbly-wobbly territory of Doctor Who-themed presents.
One of my wife’s favorites is her 10th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver ($19.99, Books-A-Million). It’s a solid recreation that comes complete with the trademark electronic whirring sound and blue lights of the television show. While I wouldn’t recommend packing it into an emergency kit, it’s been a faithful flashlight for nighttime wandering to and from the kitchen.
T's that pay tribute
With plenty of Mockingjay pins and keychains available, Hunger Games fans have a wide array of wearables to choose from. For a really deep cut, it’s got to be a Hunger Games Movie Prop Replica Training Shirt ($32.99-$49, amazon.com). These are the same tops the tributes wear during their training before the Games, and are a durable polyester/spandex mix.
If the odds aren’t in favor of clothing, then check out “Catching Fire: Seeds of Rebellion” ($30.59, amazon.com), a Hunger Games board game. This isn’t the “District 12” game that’s on local store shelves, and best of all, it hasn’t been movie branded yet, so it looks a lot cooler when it’s sitting on a shelf.
There are tons of options out there, so don’t feel restricted to these suggestions. Just remember to look for gifts that are authentic instead of shiny, avoid anything made of plastic and no matter how proud of yourself you are, never tell your giftee what you bought (sorry, wife, I’m taking my secrets to Christmas Day or the grave).