Nerdy Christmas gifts are the best Christmas gifts. There’s nothing like opening up a present on Christmas morning (or at any other holiday celebration) and finding something inside that speaks to your passions, your most fervent interests, and your current (or even most cherished past) obsessions. Getting a nerdy Christmas gift—one that reflects something you have boundless, unironic enthusiasm for—means someone took the time to think about what makes you tick and what makes you happy. It means someone cares about you enough to think about what you really care about.
Giving nerdy Christmas gifts is its own kind of fun, too. I love thinking about other people’s passions, interests, and fandoms and getting them a gift that really means something to them. Whether it’s a book, a season of a TV show on DVD, a t-shirt, or any other kind of fandom-related gift, there’s a special smile people have when they open up a gift that speaks to their own nerdy side, whatever that may be. And I love being on the receiving end of one of those smiles.
My most memorable “nerdy Christmas” was when I was 13 years old. I had just discovered the Harry Potter series, and my love for Star Wars was experiencing a monumental resurgence. Under the tree on Christmas morning, I found Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets coupled with a Gryffindor ornament (because what kid when they first read the series doesn’t automatically think they’re a Gryffindor?) and the Original Star Wars Trilogy version of Trivial Pursuit. I spent the next blissful week of a very snowy Christmas vacation doing nothing but reading my book and playing my game and falling even deeper in love with two passions I continue to treasure to this day.
Over the years, I’ve been a recipient of countless wonderfully nerdy gifts: Alias DVDs when I was 16—back when it was still a very new concept to be able to re-watch your favorite shows through that medium. More versions of Scene-It than I could ever get tired of playing. Books about the making of so many movies, from Hollywood’s Golden Age to the last Harry Potter films. T-shirts that show my love for everything from The Avengers to Leslie Knope. Ornaments and calendars to remind me all through the year and for years to come how much I love Castle, Tangled, and Disney World. And jerseys for the sports teams I root for with all my heart.
I want to hear your stories—what was your most memorably nerdy Christmas? When was the Christmas where you were given a book or a movie that changed your life? When were you given a gift that showed you someone not only understood how much you loved something but that they wanted to encourage you to love it even more?
And for anyone still finishing up their Christmas shopping, don’t be afraid to reach for the nerdy. Get your friend the DVDs of that TV show only the two of you watched in high school. Find an obscure movie starring that actor your sister or brother has been obsessed with for years. Order a t-shirt, a calendar, a mug, or a book that speaks to the most telling thing about a person—their passions. You can never go wrong with a nerdy Christmas gift. I know from experience. It’s the perfect way to say “I love you for how much you love the things that matter to you.” And that’s such a wonderful sentiment to pass along to the people in our lives—at Christmastime and always.
I love nerdy Christmas presents! My calendars tend to be nerdy and I know I always look forward to seeing which one my mom picked out this year. One Christmas, my best friend and I ordered each other Gilmore Girls buttons, magnets, and stickers from CafePress then laughed when we realized our gifts were so similar.
I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for my Lil Sebastian stuffed animal too. Whenever I need a pick-me up, I look at it or squeeze it and get a lot of comfort out of the fact that it’s from a show I love so much and was given to me by a person who gets how much I love it 😉
You’ll have to let me know what calendar you end up getting! Amy and I have already decided that if we don’t get one for Christmas we’re ordering the Once Upon a Time one this year. 😀
I’m so happy you love your Lil Sebastian and that you can give him a hug when you need it. It was one of my favorite things I bought last Christmas because it was something that I knew meant a lot to both of us, my beautiful tropical fish!
You know, now that I think about it, beyond maybe a few X-Files 3-pack VHS tapes in High School, I dont think I have been the recipient of many nerdy gifts (when I was growing up there was much less to choose from). But thats ok, because I am the QUEEN of giving nerdy gifts. Whether it be the ‘Spaceballs: The Press Kit” I fought for on ebay in college for a childhood friend, the full set of hardcover library editions of the Buffy Season 8 comics for my sister, or the personal photoshopped wedding card of my friends riding off into the sunset on a dragon, I always deliver! And if there is anything better than receiving a unique and thoughtful nerdy gift, its giving one!
“Spaceballs: The Press Kit” sounds like the most amazing thing ever, just so you know. 😉 You sound like quite the Leslie Knope when it comes to gift-giving, my dear.
“And if there is anything better than receiving a unique and thoughtful nerdy gift, its giving one!” – This is so true. I’m already eagerly anticipating watching my friends and certain family members open up the nerdy gifts I got them this year!
Spaceballs: The Press Kit was just as amazing as it sounds. I actually regret not keeping that one for myself. My friend got a kick out of it, but I don’t think it was as prized of a possession to her as it would have been to me, haha. I am also really amazing at buying myself nerdy gifts 🙂
Oh the list is so very long…I am a collector and a life long card carrying nerd. So I have lists for my lists. One of my most precious nerd gifts that immediately came to mind was my first Hockey jersey. My best friends all pooled their money and bought me a NY Rangers jersey for my 15th birthday, which is right after New Years so it is in the throws of the holidays. That was extremely special to me. And one of the best surprise gifts I got was from one of my dearest friends who managed to discover and preorder the CD release of West Side Story’s soundtrack remastered. Until that point it had not been put on CD. I still only had it on vinyl and an audio cassette recording I had made off of that. I have also received original release film posters from both West Side Story and The Color Purple – both of which hang in my home with great pride of my movie love.
However, as much as I have received great nerd gifts I have given my fair share. My ultimate favorite was giving my best friend from college a signed 1st edition of Slaughterhouse Five. As English majors it was a wonderful stroke of luck that I happened to work for Kurt Vonnegut’s attorney at one point during college and I mustered up the courage to ask him to sign it for my friend for Christmas. He not only personalized it, he drew a self portrait caricature on the title page. It ranks among one of the best gifts I’ve ever given. A close second were the special edition light sabers I got for my daughter and I ‘from Santa’ a couple of years ago.
You never forget your first hockey jersey (For the record: Mine was Paul Gaustad, #28 for the Buffalo Sabres, in 2007), and I love that you had friends who knew how much that would mean to you. I am also jealous of your original release film posters! Mine aren’t original releases, but the posters of Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s that I got from my aunt one Christmas now proudly hang on my office wall (and are often a source of conversation when I get visitors).
That’s such an amazing story about Kurt Vonnegut! And any parent who gets their kid special edition light sabers gets an automatic A in parenting in my book. 😉
#34 John Vanbiesbrouck was mine. My favorite player at the time and 3rd all time behind Mark Messier and Ron Greschner. I’ve got a few original film posters in my collection the two I mentioned are my most prized.
And Roman Holiday was when I fell in love with Gregory Peck!
Oh Gregory Peck…That last scene in Roman Holiday just makes me fall in love with him over and over again.
Great now guess what I will be watching while wrapping presents tonight!