I’m not a huge fan of holiday gift guides. On he other hand they do provide fodder for blogs that have been silent more often than they should.
The Pen Addict Podcast had their gift guide episode which I enjoyed a lot.
I think it was Ana (from The Well Appointed Desk) who mentioned splitting up a Field Notes package as a gift. I don’t know many people who would appreciate a Field Notes subscription or even a three pack, but last year I split apart a Workshop Companion Edition and gave individual books to people who would appreciate the theme.
While not a fountain pen, I agree with the recommendation of a Retro 51 as a introduction to nice pens. You can find many of the regular Retro 51 Tornados in many office and stationery stores. Goldspot Pens has a Coffee Themed Retro 51 for the coffee fanatic on your list. This is a Goldspot exclusive, but not a limited edition. Unfortunately it may not arrive before Christmas, Anderson Pens has a TeraByte Tornado for the computer geek on your list. This year’s holiday Retro 51 doesn’t do much for me but others on your list may like it and it’s probably more appropriate for year round use than the last year’s ugly sweater holiday pen (pictured above). This is a limited edition but with a relatively large run of 1,225 pens.
They also mentioned Dudek Modern Goods which I whole heartily endorse. I have several of his pen holders and wouldn’t hesitate to give one to anyone on my list that needs pen storage. Since they are hand made they aren’t a last minute gift and the website gives December 1st as the last order date to be sure of Christmas delivery.
Brad mentioned Keep Fresh, Stay Rad postcards from Princeton Architectural Press. I already bought a box, but for me not a gift. (Self gifting?) Unfortunately I already but some Connecticut themed (my home state) postcards and will run through those before I get to the these.
I don’t propose giving a fountain pen to a non-fountain pen user just because you like them and hope they will. But if you know someone that is interested in a good fountain pen, Ana matched up the Pilot Retro Pop Metropolitan with inks. She also recommends a matching Rhodiarama notebook. I think the Pilot Metropolitan is a great gift or first pen since the quality is high. I would add a recommendation to get a box of Pilot ink cartridges in case the person may not want to fiddle with bottled ink all the time or don’t want to use the colored ink. Unfortunately they are proprietary cartridges.
I often see a Lamy Safari recommended as a gift. I wouldn’t recommend it as a first fountain pen since some people don’t like the grip, plus I’ve found the nibs to be inconsistent.
Ed Jelley has published his gift guide which I would consider more traditional and, unlike the Pen Addict list, targeted to fountain pen users as the recipient.
If you’re into giving matched sets, Goulet Pens has put together 10 of them, each with a theme and a discount for the package.
Here in the U.S. the holiday shopping season kicks off in full force with tomorrows Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll be sitting home enjoying my fountain pens, rather than fighting the crowds. But if you’ll be shopping the Pen Addict, Well-Appointed Desk, Ed Jelley and Goulet Pens have good lists to get you going.