‘Tis the season, or it certainly seems like it here in Alberta, as both my local Edmonton and my hometown Calgary are getting buried in snow. If anything positive could come of such torment I suppose it’s the festive spirit – whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or anything else, it’s a good time of year to enjoy being inside and with people you care about.
Part of the season for many involves buying gifts, and I’ve been asked before “What would you recommend for someone who likes Arsenal?”. Obviously the gift ideas are plentiful and there’s a ton of sites (particularly Arsenal’s official avenues) that will have their own ‘gift ideas’ sections, but I thought I’d give some specific suggestions that may help parents, spouses, lovers, friends or otherwise make the “right” decision when it comes to choosing from the arsenal of Arsenal items available.
Firstly, choose where you plan to shop. If you haven’t already, check out our Shopping for Arsenal in Canada guide. Popular national retailers (like SportChek) and local soccer specialty stores will often carry a lot of the team’s official, licensed apparel. It’s worth shopping local first because customs charges on orders crossing the border often add to the cost; exact rates vary, but expect around 20% of the order’s value to be added on as duty upon delivery. If the local options don’t suffice, or you want something a little more unique, online shopping may be required.
E-Book: So Paddy Got Up
This one might be tough to find a hardcopy for, though they are around. A wonderful anthology of Arsenal tales from a variety of popular authors. The Kindle version is only $1.96 at the time of posting, making it a must buy.
Book: Dennis Bergkamp – Stillness and Speed: My Story
Just released back in September, this autobiography details the career of one of Arsenal’s cult heroes. Should prove popular for any Arsenal fan that followed the team anytime during the period of 1995-2006.
Subscription Magazine: Online Gooner Magazine 1-Year Subscription
These monthly magazines are sold individually outside of the Emirates, I believe, but you can get a year subscription via post through their website here. The issues are full of articles covering a variety of topics, with some on-going features, and provide a great look at the club from the perspective of the average fan. Very collectable and likely unknown to many North American Arsenal fans – definitely worth a look.
DVD/Movie: Fever Pitch (UK)
Though some may not appreciate a romantic comedy, almost any Arsenal die-hard will have a hard time not falling for this film. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby (in itself a great gift idea), the 1997 fictional movie follows the life of the Arsenal-obsessed Paul Ashworth and his developing relationship with his co-worker Sarah Hughes during the course of Arsenal’s 1988-1989 season. Not to be confused with the US version about the Boston Red Sox.
Kit: Arsenal Away Kit 13-14
Nike’s last year sponsoring Arsenal ends with one of their best kits in a long time, returning the team to its proper yellow-and-blue away strip. This kit has flown off the shelves, proving its popularity amongst fans. While the current home kit still garners some debate the Away kit is almost universally appreciated by both the younger and older supporters. It’s almost guaranteed to be a hit with any potential giftee. Various sites will also offer authentic printing options, where you can add either a team player’s name or any other customized option.
If you’re not sure which player to get, this season I’d recommend ÖZIL 11, RAMSEY 16, or GIROUD 12.
Accessory: Any ARSENAL scarf
Scarves are an iconic part of football culture and in Canada they also serve a highly functional purpose! They can be hung or displayed in any pub, “man cave”, or otherwise; they look great with almost any outfit whilst keeping people warm. There’s a ton of different options available, but I might suggest an Arsenal Canada scarf, which comes with the $20 membership that lasts through the 2013-2014 season – though I’m not certain they still have supplies left!
If you need any further suggestions, can’t find any of these items, or want to add, debate, or slander these choices, get in touch on Twitter: @CanadianGunners.
Please note, these are just personal suggestions – we have no commercial affiliation with any vendors or products!