Holiday Gift Ideas for Literary Characters

What do most literary characters have in common? They’re terrible. Sure, there are a few Atticuses and Celies in the bunch, but for the most part, the figures of classic literature don’t deserve much more for the holidays than a big ol’ pile of coal.
But we’ve made our list—and checked it twice—and came up with a few fitting holiday gifts for some of literature’s more controversial characters. In addition to the coal, of course.

Mrs. Bennet

Mrs. Bennet seems to have a lot of time on her hands, and she tends to use it for things like meddling, gossiping, and…more meddling. So we’re gonna wrap up a giant book of Sudoku puzzles to help keep her busy. And hey, works the brain muscles, too.

Prince Hamlet

For Hamlet, we’re going big: a life coach. This guy went through a lot and, uh, it kinda messed him up. He became a little indecisive—to put it lightly—and we figured he could really use some guidance to help get his life back in order. (And yeah, we might be a little late with this one…)

Huck and Jim

We’re all about efficiency here at Shmoop, so we’re gonna give Huck and Jim a nice new motorboat. They can still keep the raft for bonding time and other various shenanigans, but this’ll help ’em get where they’re going a little more quickly.

Janie and Pheoby

We’re going homemade on this one. Janie and Pheoby must really like each other, since they spend the majority of Their Eyes Were Watching God sitting on a porch exchanging stories. So we’re gonna give them friendship bracelets to symbolize their bond—and because we like to show off our craftiness.

Vardaman Bundren

After we read about this kid thinking his mother was a fish, we figured he could use some Dr. Seuss. Maybe the illustrations will help clarify things a bit…


For Macbeth, in addition to a cleaning service (Lady Macbeth seems to have had some trouble with that one stain), we’ll be gifting a copy of Oedipus the King. You know, just to remind him how the whole prophecy thing works.

Jay Gatsby

We’re pretty close with The (Late) Great Gatsby, so he’s getting a whole haul. First, a diary. Dude had a lot of thoughts and seemed to bottle them up into symbolic ponderings of the past, so it’s probably good for him to put pen to paper. We’ll also spring for a gift card to Amazon to help Gatsby keep up the façade of reading that only an owl-eyed man could see through. And finally, we’ll go for a collection of bow ties—because looking sharp is what the Eggs are all about.
Head over to our Learning Guides for more details about every canonical literary character under the sun, or check out our course list to dig even deeper into these texts.