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.