Some other writer gifts and gift ideas:
1. The Austin Chronicle also recommends time, as well as pens, how-to writing books, subscriptions, and...real estate? (I'd like an island in the South Pacific, if anyone with eleven million dollars is interested.)
2. Books: we love them. Bookstore gift cards: we covet them. Please, give them to us. You can send gift certificates online, too; check out the offers at your favorite online bookseller's site (mine is B&N.com, which is presently offering free shipping and Christmas delivery if you order $25.00 worth of merchandise by 12/19/05.)
3. You writers can offer another writer a free critique, or a critique exchange (I read yours, you read mine.) Another thing to help a fellow scribe: be another pair of eyes and offer to proof-read a manuscript, query, or proposal.
4. Download.com lists 250 free or free to try out Calendars and Planners; UrbanDharma.org offers a free 2006 Buddhist Calendar, and Zirgo has a free Calendar Printing Program.
5. You might find something for your writer on the freebie ten lists I've posted here: Freeware, Online for Free, Free Workshop/Crits, and No Charge Stuff.
6. I remind everyone of this every year because so many people like it: buy some microwave popcorn, a bottle of the writer's favorite beverage, and a previewed movie on VHS or DVD from Blockbuster. Put it all in a big popcorn bowl (you can find these at most dollar stores). Wrap it up, stick a bow on it and you've got the gift of a movie night.
7. Music: buy an album by the writer's favorite artist, or burn a CD of some new music from free mp3 download sites like SoundClick.com.
9. To help your writer unclutter, check out the organizers and desk accessories at Office Depot (I can't find it online, but the Office Depot I stopped by over the weekend had a neat stress relief set of wrist, back and other pads for the desk in dark red or black sale priced at $14.99.)
10. Every Target store I've been to has a nice office/stationery section where you can find unusual paper, pens, desk sets, planners, diarys, calendars and journals like this one that won't cost you an arm and a leg.