Before I’m accused of a post that promotes the mindless capitalism of the holiday season, a few words in my defense.
For one, I love buying gifts for other people. I’m not talking about gifts that only serve the purpose of “gift giving”, but gifts that reflect your understanding of the receiver and the uniqueness of who they are. Gift buying out of obligation is dirty business. In fact, there have been several holidays and birthdays where my closest loved ones have not received any price-bared items of tenderness, not from lack of thought, but because inspiration in the gift giving was absent.
In addition, nerds are the most fun to buy for! As a geek myself, I can’t cram too many more nerdy artifacts into my house and still maintain any sense of adult decorum. However, I can still support the creators and passions I love with my hard earned dollars by giving gifts to other pop culture fanatics.
Below is a list of five gift ideas that are sure to put a smile on the face of your most fanatic family and friends this holiday season.
1.Custom sketches and art
Nerds love one-of-a-kind personal gifts. Rarity is in our blood. A one-of-a-kind piece of art personalized for the super fan of your life will go over like gangbusters. The greatest version of this involves a little legwork. Any comic con has an artist alley with multiple artists waiting to take your art commissions. Find an artist who your nerd really loves and get a commissioned sketch from them. The artist can sketch your nerd’s favorite character or (some) even a picture of them in a hot tub with Wonder Woman if that is their thing. They will appreciate the legwork as well as the originality of this gift.
An expedited version of this gift involves going onto fiverr.com and commissioning a personalized art graphic with your favorite dork and their ride-or-die superhero.
Podcast shirts are like indie band shirts for nerds. It allows them to sport their very specific tastes on a daily basis. Most podcasts have merch stores that allow you to pick up some very original swag for your loved ones. Ask them what they are listening to or peek at their podcast app during your next drive and search for that podcast merch store online. It is a gift they have probably never thought of buying for themselves but will quickly work its way into their weekly apparel routine. Plus, you get to support some really hard working content creators. I’m a little biased, but I recommend a Couch Crunchers or Comic Exposure shirt!
This can get a little pricey, but hey, it’s the holidays right? Comic book publishers have done some amazing things with binding and presenting over the last 5-10 years. There are hundreds of gorgeous presentations of some of comic history’s best titles and storylines. These omnibuses can run from 50 to 300 dollars, but you will never forget the look on your nerd’s face when they unwrapped the complete collection of Y:The Last Man issues 1-60 all collected in a beautiful hardcover edition.
4. A Website
While nerds are consumers of culture, they are also the creators of it. We live in a world where everyone can have a platform. Give your loved one the gift of a global voice by paying for a year subscription to a website builder. Website builders have never been easier or cheaper to use. Site builders such as Squarespace.com and WordPress.com offer amazingly easy to create website templates that allow anyone to create blogs or hobby websites with little to no technology knowledge. What better gift to give someone other than your “belief in their creativity”.
5. An Annotated Book
This gift is perhaps the cheapest, but will take some time. Books are meant to be shared, but you can up the anti by making it a little more personal. Buy a copy of your favorite book and read it. As you read it, make personal notes in the margins about your feelings as you read, inside jokes, and doodles of images brought up in the book. If you can make it to the end, you will have created a priceless artifact that your literary geek will cherish forever! They will keep this book their entire lives and most likely if you did your work well, they will pass the book on to their kids.