There’s nothing quite like giving a truly spot-on gift: maybe it’s selfish in its own way, but the thrill you get from seeing someone unwrap the perfect present that you gave them is incomparable. Still, sometimes as much as we love giving great gifts, thinking of them or finding them can be a challenge. You want something that’s just right: thoughtful but not overdone; generous but not extravagant.
This all becomes even more difficult of course, if the person you’re shopping for is a literary character. Suddenly you are faced with all the challenges inherent in regular gift-giving, plus the fact that your recipient, you know, exists only within the pages of a book (so you can’t just ask him or her for a wish list).
You need a guide, obviously. This time of year, websites of every kind are chock full of helpful gift suggestions for everyone on your list, and Bustle is no exception. Using a crack combination of close reading and unimpeachable instinct, I’ve figured out what all your favorite literary characters — from Anne of Green Gables and Hermione Granger to Bilbo Baggins and Richard III — are asking Santa for this year.
Richard III, Richard III
$5,000 may seem like a lot, but hey, it’s definitely less than a kingdom! And can you really put a price on the perfect pony of one’s own? Of course not. So go for it; it’s the ideal gift for the hunchbacked despot in your life.
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter series
Grown Up Homework Book
Just because school has stopped doesn’t mean learning has to — give the gift of grown-up homework to your favorite overachieving keener this holiday season. Of course, Hermione hasn’t forgotten anything she learned at school, but she’s always willing to brush up a little. Besides, we know she has a time-turner, so you might as well give her a reason to use it!
Captain Ahab, Moby Dick
A White Whale Statue
Here, here, here’s your white whale! Give your poor pal Ahab some damn closure already with this replica white whale for his den. Then encourage him to make a New Year’s resolution to take up a more normal hobby, like knitting or small-batch craft brewery.
Amy March, Little Women
Frankly this sounds disgusting — I mean, there’s sour and then there’s sour — but the heart wants what it wants, and little Amy March longs for pickled limes. Here’s a recipe; get everything else you need at the grocery store and then get pickling. Side note: If it’s true that you are what you eat, then, well, it’s no surprise Amy pitched Jo’s manuscript in the fire, is it?
Vladimir and Estragon, Waiting for Godot
Portable Heated Seat Cushion
Benches, trees, and various other public loitering spots can be cold and hard in the winter. This soft, comfortable, heated seat cushion makes sitting anywhere a dream. Perfect for long waits.
Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables
A Dress with Puffy Sleeves
Marilla Cuthbert may call them “ridiculous” and darkly prognosticate that “anybody who wears them will have to go through a door sideways,” but who is she to argue with the fine folks at Alexander McQueen? Puffed sleeves are officially in, so for the low, low price of $1,800, pick up these designer dress for Anne Shirley (and hey, maybe Marilla will approve of the dark color. Just don’t show her the hemline).
Alexander McQueen Dress with Puffed Sleeves, $2,440, Lane Crawford
Clarissa Dalloway, Mrs. Dalloway
Eating, drinking, and dancing are fun and even hosting has its charms, but we all know party planning is a bore. Give the gift of professional planning, and free up your friend C’s headspace for more melancholy reflection and suppressed romantic longings.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
"Hello, My Name is____" Tags
A strong sense of personal identity is important, and there’s nothing more infuriating than when someone can’t tell you apart from your BFF. Buy these “Hello, my name is _____” tags in bulk and stick them to every one of Rosencranz’s tunics or Guildenstern’s doublets. It’s the rare gift that’s both affordable and practical (because let’s be real, you can’t tell them apart either, so this is really a gift to yourself).
Margaret Simon (or any Judy Blume heroine), Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret
Gift Certificate for an Online Lingerie Store (and a measuring tape)
Discretion and privacy in the quest for your first bra: it’s the gift every 13-year-old girl longs for. No parental involvement and no overeager salespeople; with free returns, you can figure this through trial and error until you find The One.
Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones
A Copy of Gone Girl
Blonde, ruthless, homicidal and with a penchant for truly twisted relationships? Amy Elliot Dunne is Cerise’s literary kindred spirit, and could even teach the Lannister queen a thing or too. Plus, one master manipulator deserves another.
Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit
From dragons to trolls to goblins, even the most well-planned journeys can take some… unexpected turns. This Christmas, give the gift of security to the adventurous hobbit on your list.