Last Minute Christmas Shopping at the Big Box Store!

I'm not judging you.  Actually, I'm in the same boat.  Over the years, I've become known in my family for my stationery-themed gifts, so it's only natural that I'm always put in charge of stocking stuffers.  I'm a bit behind this year, so I hit the big box stores (and a few other places) yesterday to see what I could come up with.    

  1. For the Star Wars aficionado:  The Cross Click Gel Pen, Star Wars Edition.  My local Office Depot is pushing the heck out of these things, and while they're somewhat pricey for what they are, they'd make a good stocking stuffer for a Star Wars buff.  Amazon has the Darth Vader version in stock with delivery possible by Christmas, but if you want it by the 25th, you may have to track down the Stormtrooper version "in the wild."  
  2. For someone looking for a decent pencil:  the Ticonderoga American cedar version. Featured on a recent episode of the Erasable Podcast, I can confirm that these pencils do in fact exist, though I can't for the life of me find a picture online.  Target carries them, and they are the version with the gold seal on the packaging stating that the pencils are made with American Incense Cedar.  (Note, they are NOT made in the USA.  If you are looking for American-made pencils in a big box store, buy the Write Dudes pencils.  The Ticonderogas are made in China using American cedar, but they are probably the best Ticonderoga writing experience I've had in a long time.  The Ticonderoga Renew has a similar core.)
  3. Paper:  If you're buying for a fountain pen user, your paper situation at the big box store is pretty dire.  I've had the best luck with Staples' "Sustainable Earth" line of products (made from sugarcane paper), and I wrote the handwritten portion of my 2015 NaNoWriMo Novel in one of their composition books.  The legal pads aren't bad either.     
  4. Best all-around pens:  Go with either the Uniball Signo 207 or the Pilot G2.  Both pens have their die-hard adherents and both are available in a full range of tip sizes.  Personally I'm partial to the Pilots.  But unless your gift recipient is a very picky pen addict, the average person just looking for a decent pen will probably be happy with either one.   
  5. If you're located in the Southeastern United States, you might be able to find the Nashville Pencil Set or Colored Pencil Set by The Pencil Factory.  For obvious reasons, these things are all over the place in Tennessee this holiday season.  If you can find them locally--typically in Hallmark-type gift shops--the pencils are very high quality, they come with a nice notepad, and the presentation is excellent.

I hope this is helpful!  I'm probably signing off until the week after Christmas, so enjoy the holidays everyone!