Oh my Goth, it's Xmas!

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photo by gotomattex via flickr

Uh Oh, not sure what to get for that sullen-eyed teen or Vampira look-a-like on your list this year? Is shopping for your little darkling turning into a real nightmare before Christmas? Fear not! We live in L.A.: one of the best places to be dark and spooky or at least look the part. Not only do we have a thriving Goth scene, but tons of local vendors that cater to alternative tastes. Here are a few gift suggestions (with a couple of creepy things to do tossed in) that are sure to warm the cockles of the gloomiest heart.

1. a custom (or ready made) corset from Farthingales. Anyone with a "girlish" figure should wander into this pink and white parlor on Pico and get fitted. 3306 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 90405

2. make up or hair color to curl up and dye for. The legendary Tish & Snooky's Manic Panic, now has a westcoast location in Venice at "Gingerbread Court," no lie! This one covers your punker pals too. 517 Ocean Front Walk #15, Venice, 90291

3. a decadent scent from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, perhaps one of their holiday fragrances like Krampus or Mistletoe. It may be a little late to get your online order by Xmas, but BPAL is scheduled to have their next festive Will-Call event on 12/22 from 4 to 8pm at their No. Ho. warehouse. Get on their E-list or e-mail for details. It's the nicest way I know to burn out your olfactory nerve.

4. something dead or darkly Victorian from Necromance or Necromance East . Really, where else can you find museum quality flora and fauna for your cabinet of curiosities? The original shop has all the fossils and anatomical bits and a few doors down you'll find the gorgeously macabre jewelry and decor. 7220 and 7208 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, 90046

5. or you could walk down the street and pick up a highwayman's coat or some bondage pants from Shrine. Did you think I'd leave the fellas on your list out? We all know they secretly crave puffy shirts.

6. a bottle of Absente or the real thing, now that it's kinda-sorta legal from your local Bev-Mo or well-stocked corner store. Liquor is always quicker.

7. Music never fails to please. It's December, they've probably already worn out their first copy of Mantaray . Download or better yet, trundle over to any remaining record store, and pick up some mournful noise.

8. a tattered volume of Poe or Neil Gaiman's latest from Dark Delicacies. Really this place is one stop shopping. Not only do they have horror, mystery, dark fantasy, sci fi, fiction and non-fiction on their shelves, but also creepy collectibles and gifts. 4213 W. Burbank Blvd., Burbank, 91505 If you're looking for more arcane lore, PoTO just opened a brick and mortar store at 3044 E. 4th St. in Long Beach, 90814.

9. a piece of dark art from your favorite outsider art gallery like Hyaena. 1928 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, 91506 How come Burbank's so frickin scary!

10. tickets to a fine film, performance or event. If they already have the gear, you can always take your favorite ghoul to a local darkwave-steampunk-ethereal-industrial sock hop endorsed by LADead.com, or to see Sweeney Todd on opening day (12/21), or to a weekend performance of Grand Guignol at Art/Works Theatre (through Dec. 24th). By gosh, by golly, there's always Disneyland.

Just in case you were wondering, NO, I do not own stock in any of the above, but considering the $ that I've spent and the spooky folk that I have yet to shop for, I probably should. This list is just a sampling of what's available out there. Keep an eyeball peeled in your own neighborhoods or surf the web for similar oddities. Then again, you could always drop a note to Jack Skellington.

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photo by Lori Smith via flickr