Buying gifts for humans is easy. You can just pick up some candles or a gift card and slap a bow on it. Done! But when your circle of friends includes such creatures as Elves and Mermaids, things can get complicated. Here’s a handy gift guide to help you find perfect presents for the otherkin in your life.
Gifts for Faeries
It wasn’t the Magi, but the Faeries who perfected the art of gift-giving and taught it to humans. Faeries love gifts at holiday time and “just because”. They receive gifts graciously and enjoy them thoroughly, which results in more gifts for Faeries—a beautiful cycle that’s been going on since the beginning of time.
Proper faery gifts are miniature, shiny, rare, or delectable. (Or all of the above!) Most Faeries have a fetish for fine materials. Think quality over quantity and offer faery friends the best you can afford, even if it’s a very small amount. Only Pixies get off on glitter and plastic beads.
Faeries love jewelry, crystals, liquors and sweets, vessels of all kinds, bells, windchimes, fine fabric and ribbon, teas, fruit, cheese, and anything amusing or unexpected. Some faeries enjoy cut flowers and herbs as gifts, but most would prefer living plants, as they are a gift that keeps on giving.
Gifts for Elves
Elven folk are relentlessly practical, but also sentimental. This internal conflict makes them rather hard to buy gifts for. The best gift for an Elf is something useful that also shows you care. Elves will readily accept clothing or household items that are thoughtfully chosen. Because of elfish thrift, it won’t be hard to find something the Elf should have bought for themselves, but didn’t.
Elves tend to live minimally and may see frivolous gifts as a burden. A good strategy is to give the Elf a gift that complements something they already own and treasure—a new case for his guitar, a set of utensils for her gas grill, and so on.
Elves are renowned for their craftsmanship, and gifts of tools and craft materials inspire the hard-working elven spirit. Elves also enjoy receiving handmade gifts. Though they may look smugly on your inferior crafts, your charming attempt will certainly warm an elven heart.
Gifts for Gnomes (and Dwarves)
Gnomish folks understand gifts for what they are (or should be)—a token of friendship and esteem. For presents the Gnome will like best, stay within the Earth element: Food, clothing, ceramics, metals, stones and gems.
Gnomes are one of the few Fae creatures who have no problem receiving a cash gift. They instinctively feel the value of money and can imagine its potential. To send a Gnome into spasms of delight, offer them coins or bullion instead of paper.
True Gnomes are socially awkward and not into ceremony. Their acceptance of gifts is pure and uncomplicated. They don’t really see the point of gift wrapping, gift exchanges, thank-you notes and other human rituals around gift-giving. For best results, present your gift simply and in private.
Gifts for Satyrs
The original party animals, Satyrs are incredibly easy to shop for. Just swing by your local adult emporium, maybe take a side trip to the liquor store, and you’re all set. Feel like giving an experience instead? Satyrs enjoy camping, loud concerts, paintball and laser tag, and crazy weekends that start on Thursday.
Just because Satyrs are known as lechers and lushes doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate the finer things in life. A finely crafted drinking vessel or an erotic artwork will show your dear Satyr they’re the best of their breed.
Gifts for Mermaids
The best gift you can give any Mermaid is attention. Mermaids love portrait sessions, makeovers, spa treatments, and massages—preferably followed by a long, intimate seafood dinner. (Sushi!)
Ocean-themed presents are an obvious choice, though it’s wise to tread carefully. It’s likely the Mermaid already has tons of coastal decor from Pier 1 cluttering up her mer-castle. (Also, nobody really likes shell art.) Best to find out what her favorite sea creatures and/or regions are, and stick with those items, lest you shower a Chesapeake Mermaid with Polynesian crap.
A Mermaid feels most at home in the bath, so bath products are an easy pick. Especially salt soaks, which make the Mermaid feel pleasantly buoyant. Other mer-approved gifts: Fancy mirror, framed ocean map, pearl jewelry, aquarium tickets, trip to the beach.
Gifts for Selkies
All water Fae have a melancholy streak, but Selkies really take it to extremes. “Sulkies” have an inner life that’s as deep as the sea and twice as dark. There aren’t any presents that can truly amuse or console a Selkie. Gifts for your seal gal: Sad books, sad movies, sad music, pictures of the sea, tissues. Whatever you do, don’t give her a sealskin jacket if you ever want to see her again.
Gifts for Vampires
Vampires swoon for luxury. They don’t each much food, but will savor good wine and chocolate. They tend to spend a lot of time decorating their homes and bodies for maximum effect. They are also more brand-conscious than other Fae—they enjoy the cachet that goes along with a killer label.
For your Vampire pal, Gothic and Romantic fashions are always a safe choice. So is bondage gear. If they aren’t actually into BDSM (rare but possible), they will still wear it just to look intimidating. Because Vampires do a lot of sleeping, fine bed linens will also be welcome in the Vampire’s home. No Wal-Mart gift bags: Anything presented to a Vampire should be sumptuously packaged, as at least half of their enjoyment comes from anticipating what’s inside.
More than any other Fae subculture, vampire fashion is governed by pop-culture fandoms. So know your vamp. It is a potentially deadly faux pas to give Twilight merch to an Anne Rice fan, or mix up Buffy and True Blood followers.
Hope this article helps you choose ideal presents for your weird-ass friends. In the meantime, we’ll be brainstorming some gift ideas for Werewolves (dog food?) and Dragons (probably not worth the risk). Happy shopping!
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