"Yo," hollered Ramon Medina at us from his El Camino as we were quietly walking down the street listening to Iggy Pop's Preliminaries. "Is there such a thing as a goth Christmas tree?" Then he laughed and sped away.
The answer is yes, Medina, there is a goth Christmas. Every October we put up a tree festooned with orange lights and decorated with homemade ornaments cobbled together from dollar store Halloween loot. Jack and Sally sit on the top of the tree. Then when Thanksgiving rolls around, if we have the energy we'll take down the spooky stiff and put up traditional Christmas ornaments.
What should we ask Gothic Claus for this year? We summoned the Gothic Council for ideas. Joining the Council this week is Jason Hebert, co-founder of the Age of Decay Festival Alethea Carr, author of the Encyclopedia Gothica Liisa Ladouceur, Church of Melkarth's Jvstin Whitney, fashion designer Batty, DJs Martin Oldgoth and Regen Robinson, Sarah Fanning of Night's Plutonian Shore, and living historian Morrighanne Burns.
Jason Hebert: I can rarely think of anything I would like for Christmas, so this year I was thinking about trying to use black food coloring on and through a spiral sliced ham. Watching my family of Cajun miscreants devour a solid black ham with black swine juice dripping down their chins is all I want for Christmas. And maybe Andrew Eldritch in a Santa costume, but let's face it, that's not that far fetched.
Alethea Carr: Last year I ordered some skeletal fish wrapping paper from Gift Shrouds. I'd like to get one of their other designs as well. That way, even the most ordinary or mass-produced gifts, like electronics, still have a bit of goth in them. For myself, I just want music, music, and more music!
Liisa Ladouceur: At holidays, I really try to stick to the philosophy of "consume culture." I like to give and receive music, books, tickets for arts events, etc. This year's Amazon Wish list includes:
Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews and Overviews by Simon Reynolds
Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting by W. Scott Poole
Now, if I'm going to daydream of an actual Satan who does love to spend money on luxury goods, I would certainly be a very good girl to get more McQueen into my life.
Jvstin Whitney: I work on the holidays because I believe in nothing. I have a standing policy for gifts that anyone can come take one book I haven't bought in the last six months as long as they come over and talk about it. Not just the book, but also how and why I have it.
Batty: I have some Alchemy Gothic Jewelry on my wishlist this year, and other various gothic jewelry because I am going back to my 15 year old gothic girl roots apparently. I already have re-collected various Bat necklaces that I used to have from my younger goth days, so I guess re-upping my jewelry collection is what is on my wishlist most. Oh and boots/shoes.
Martin Oldgoth: This year, for the first time in about five years, we have money spare to spend on each other so I'm just looking forward to a Christmas where I can actually shop for interesting things for a change for someone that's not a child or elderly relative!
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Although having said that, buying Monster High stuff for a niece was fun, knowing it'd upset some family members having her showing an interest in something other than your average pretty pink dolls and stuff.
Sarah Fanning: I am conflicted on the Monster High dolls. I love that they are monsters but hated that they are dressed like college hookers. My daughter does have some of the dolls and her backpack and lunch box have their faces. But we have had to have serious talks about appropriate attire.
Regen Robinson: I just looked up what Monster High dolls are on their website. Hilarious! Totally using their Monster Mail service to mail all my friends and tell them they are "clawsome!"
Morrighanne Burns: We bought the entire range, with difficulty, last year. This year we have all of the new dolls except Abi. My daughter's teacher said at parent's night that she has asked my daughter to write a nice story not one about monsters. No chance you old mustached trout!