Obviously, we don’t always need to give gifts to show love and appreciation for someone, and besides that, any occasion is a good one to give a token. That said, it is the holiday season and a lot of you might be looking for ideas. We rounded up a few items we wouldn’t say no to, as well as a few links to DIY gift lists and charities you might want to consider instead.
- Everyone needs a tiny theremin. EVERYONE.
- Adorable Petri Dish ornaments for your scientastic Christmas tree, or just to hang anywhere, any time!
- Science News publishes a thin volume every other week, and the articles cover a wide range of topics in easy to understand language.
- Things that are awesome: tote bags, chemical structures, recycled materials. Tada! The Love Chemicals Tote Bag!
- We love everything from Leafcutter Designs: tiny matchbox theaters, seed packets for planting that look like coins, and adorably creepy wiggly eye dice.
- Although we’re very sad that the celestial embroidery calendar kit is sold out, all of the textile gifts from Heather Lins Home are worth checking out.
- Don’t you want to smell like new books? Although be forewarned, hefty pricetag aside, you may find strangers sniffing you, when you spritz on Paper Passion.
- Not only will this Kindle cover keep the e-reader screen safe, but it has CATS on it.
- While we’re talking about books, nothing says “I love you” to the bookworm in your life by getting them nice hardcover boxed sets of their favorite series. Check out the selections from Penguin, or for a splurge, the Folio Society.
- This novelty USB hub is both functional and ultra-cute.
- For beautiful nature and steampunk inspired art, check out Kiri Moth’s Etsy print shop.
- For those who rely on caffeine (like us) to remain functioning human beings throughout the day, this pixel heart mug that changes with heat might be a great little gift.
- This nature-themed memory game is made from birch wood and laser-etched. Perfect for kids, and easily customized for only a few dollars more!
- Is there a witty history nerd in your life who needs more coffee table books? This combo pack of comic collections from Kate Beaton is just the thing.
- This Kickstarter-funded invention kit makes the world your keyboard. Introduce the little ones on your list to a bit of science and engineering, or indulge your own inner child and see what you can dream up!
- LittleBits is a modular system that teaches kids ages 8+ about building circuits in a fun, colorful way. Kits come both in reasonably priced starter sets, as well as extensive ones for a splurge.
- The Etsy shop Bubble and Geek has various fragrances, lip balms, soaps, and candles with delightful, geek-inspired scents.
- For tea lovers and fans of everything from Harry Potter to Dexter, Adagio teas offers a great selection of fandom teas, as well as classic assortment and even the option to create your own custom tea blend.
- The best accompaniment to that custom tea? A rocket ship tea infuser.
- We swear there’s no promotional tie in here. Moxie just discovered suck.uk, a novelty item retailer, and they have quite a selection of holiday bounty: a touch screen stylus shaped like a pencil, Tetris and floppy disk shaped sticky notes, and the most amazing scratching post for your favorite tabby, MC Meow Meow (kitty not included).
- When it comes to packaging your gifts, consider some nice letterpress cards from Etsy store Paperwheel, this simple yet awesome word search wrapping paper, or TARDIS gift tags.
Prefer the DIY approach? Here are a few good lists for geeky handmade presents. Take your pick. Other things to consider? A CD mix of your favorite songs, given in a hand-lettered card, or make a custom map for a local friend or relative of your favorite spots, writing down interesting stories about each location.
Another way to go is donating to a charity in a loved one’s name. We’ve picked a few unique ones below, but you can also consider your local food bank, or use Charity Navigator or GiveWell to find the cause that’s right for you.
- Hero Rats. These cute rats save lives everyday by sniffing out mines and testing for TB! They’re cheaper and faster to train than dogs and a little really does go a long way, from feeding them or setting up a love nest so they can breed, to paying for a handler’s training.
- Con or Bust, coordinated by the Carl Brandon Society, aims to raise funds for disadvantaged geeks and fans of color to attend SFF conventions.
- The Ali Forney Center supporting homeless LGBT youth was devastated during Hurricane Sandy. With the New York area still dealing with the heartbreaking fallout of the hurricane, AFC could really use some help in their ongoing mission to provide a safe, supportive space for young people who have nowhere else to turn.
Whatever you may end up giving or receiving this holiday season, we really just hope everyone feels loved and has fun. What gift would we like to receive? Besides your ongoing readership, keep sending us guest post ideas and tips on things we should consider writing about!