Christmas is a really long time from now, but it’s early enough to get your gift buying on! The holidays are a great time to spend with family and to buy them gifts, which are pretty much the main points of this period of time. However, no two gifts are made alike.
This gift guide is mostly for people like me: That nerdy person in your life who you love, but wouldn’t willingly choose to spend an extended period of time with. You know the kind, so these gifts will keep people like me quietly tucked away in a corner playing with ourselves until the New Year.
So here’s a quick list of things I’d like to receive on that special day people wrap things up only to have them torn apart in a Wolverine-like frenzy the next minute.
Almost anything from Papo, yo
If you were a kid who loved Dollar Stores then you’ll love the figurines from Papo. Years and years ago, I’d save up some change and head down to the local store to buy these little fantasy figurines. They came with horses, swords, shiny helmets, and knights that were just… awesome. Now that I’m older and I have a desk with a computer, all I want is to put stupid figurines on it and Papo’s got your back.
The French company puts out lines of new toys almost every year with things like mutant dinosaurs, gorillas with axes, and even walking crocodiles with maces. Unfortunately, the look is pretty much where the toy and because of all of the jagged lines of the toys they’ll likely have more dust on them by the end of the year than your Nintendo Wii at home. But still, look at this guy.
I have this guy on my desk at work and just look at it! He/She is the thing that little kids dreams are made of and he has a katananananana, and an axe. Also his jaw moves up and down. Now, Papo’s toys aren’t exactly cheap, but they also aren’t expensive. They come in all shapes and sizes, and are good for both boys and girls, men and women alike. Get someone a figurine like this and they’ll be your friend forever, and ever, and ever, and ever.
LEGO Technic, adult acknowledgement
I am not beyond LEGO, and my children one day will live their first few years playing with the little Danish blocks and giving my partner and I a lot of practice with the Heimlich maneuver. I am beyond, however, playing with the little baby LEGO sets that they put out like LEGO Chima and anything that looks even close to being a Bionix toy.
As a twenty something person, I’d enjoy the challenge of building something from LEGO Technic. Not only are the sets a little more sophisticated, but they actually do things. Well, they’re simple things and keeping the set as civilian as possible is a good idea. Even still, I just like the look of them compared to some of the other sets you can find in stores.
You give me something like this as a present it says three things: I appreciate that you are older, I know that you’re smart enough to build this, and shut up it’s LEGO be appreciative! On that note, I will say that all LEGO is good LEGO. They were the building blocks of my childhood even if I may have choked on a few bricks once in a while.
Hats, and you’ll see why they’re important
You think I’m joking, but no I’m dead serious. If you give someone a hat for the holidays and I’m talking about a good hat, none of this video game reference hat that isn’t warm, I mean a head warmer, a cotton furnace for your skull, a run-on sentence that needs to end… they will love you. Finding the perfect hat for someone is important as well because it fits onto the most prominent part of your body.
There’s a science to choosing the right head warmer for someone. It comes in two parts: style and price. In terms of hats, what you pay for really is what you get. There’s only one chance to get it right since few stores will likely let you return one without the cashier giving you a, “I hope you don’t have lice” kind of look in return for your money. Go with your instincts.
Also, it sounds ridiculous, but be aware of weather conditions and the cultural association of hats when you’re looking to buy one. For those buying a hat for a nerdy person, don’t buy a fedora. Please, you’re doing good work if you discourage that. Buy something that is water resistant, warm, and has a lot of thought put into it. The next time it’s cold and you see them wearing it it’ll warm you up and them.
Socks, oh god yes
What’s the worst present you can get over the holidays? Socks, right? No, and shut up socks are amazing. For the past three years of my life, there have been Nargles waging a war on my sock drawer taking away any warm, cozy comfort for my sensitive feet. They’re also a fashion statement, though you don’t generally see or notice what people are wearing on their feet.
While the person’s shoes are important it’s really what lies beneath the surface that makes walking comfortable. Like with the warm hat, good socks tell the recipient that you care about their feet or the things that helped carry them to you and your present. For me, socks were always a stupid present you’d get when you’ve been bad, but now it’s pretty much the best present you can get.
There’s a great store in Toronto called Floor Play where I recently bought a few pairs, so that’s always a good place to start in case you’re in Toronto and want to get some nice socks. They have some interesting designs from various sock manufacturers as well as everything you could possibly need to make a sock monkey.
A vacation from work
I’m not talking about going away to the Bahamas or an impromptu visit to Paris, but just a day where you’re stolen away from work to sit inside of a cafe and talk. It’s a bit self-centered to think of a “day with me” as a kind of present, but for many people just spending a day with someone they like is really the best part of the Holidays. It’s an escape from all of the crap that surrounds us everyday.
Now, down to business. What are you going to do? Having a plan is an important part of making a day like this work. It’s really, really simple to. Pick a place to sit and eat, pick a place to shop, pick another place to sit and eat, pick a good time to head home, and pick an appropriate present from above to give to said person. With all of that combined you’re likely to have an awesome day.
Spending money on a nice present is a big part of the holidays, but it isn’t the most important part. Spending time with someone is way more of an investment that will pay off in the future, well at least in terms of the number of hugs you get from them. It all depends on how you feel about the person and what you’d like to give them.
You may have noticed that there aren’t any video games on this list. The reason for that is competition. Video games are something that an individual really has to buy for themselves. The amount of money you spend on a vidya game for a friend will likely be three times the money of anything else on this list, and there’s no guarantee they’ll actually play it!
The more personal a gift is the better that gift will be for the person. That’s not to say that a video game can’t be personal, but that is to say that a video game is an expensive investment. Avoid them if possible, but if you want to get someone a video game make sure it’s something they really want.