Just recently, I've been asked by several different people what I want for Christmas. This baffles me. Not because I don't want presents; that will never be true. No, because I am a giant nerd. Do you know what a nerd is? A nerd is someone who gets really excited about certain things. They can be any sort of thing, from the ozone layer, to World of Warcraft, to doors (ahem), but the point is they are devotedly excited and interested in certain things. And, if that nerd is me, it means they talk about those things ALL THE TIME.
I don't know if you've noticed, but I have a blog. Two, in fact. Plus this Twitter thing. The internet has given me a megaphone to voice my interests, and I am using it.
My best recommendation for finding the perfect gift for someone like me, someone who is nerdy and talky and fairly internet savvy, is to revisit their haunts. Check their blog if they have one, their Twitter or Facebook accounts, what they've shared on Google Reader. Chances are, they have talked about some thing that they are currently into. If they're really into it, then they've talked about it A LOT. Go from there.
It won't necessarily be a direct progression. If your nerdy friend can't stop talking about a book they've read, then you can't exactly buy them the same book. So get creative. Have commentaries or rebuttals to said book been published? Has it inspired fan-written comic books or even art you can order prints of? If it's, say, an extremely dry economics book, do a search for a core quote from the book and see if you can get it printed somewhere. Throw that thing in a frame and you're done.
Alright, enough talk. I'm giving you, right now, a quick and dirty list of recommendations for some of the more common nerdoms out there.
- Shirts from Out of Print (proceeds go to a great cause, too!)
- Print of one of Kate Beaton's hilarious literary comics (such as this one about The Great Gatsby)
- Print of a classic illustration or book cover from art.com (they've got tons!)
- Pretty letterpress book stationery
- Personalized book plates
For the Movie Nerd
- T-shirt or print from the incredibly clever Last Exit to Nowhere
- Book of strips from Multiplex or Joe Loves Crappy Movies
For the Harry Potter Nerd
- Limited edition print of one of Mary GrandPre's illustrations for the books.
- Handmade house ties t-shirt
- One of Lucy Knisley's book posters, showing the action of each book--first three available!
- "A Very Potter Musical" soundtrack--this is trickier, as it's only available for download, but who doesn't know how to burn a CD? Plus it's free!
- Clever t-shirt for the Neville fan.
For the Dog Nerd (yes this is a thing)
- Oh My God Puppies shirt
- Rifle Paper Co. Dog stationery
- Pretty much anything from Harry Barker
- Going Slowly dog calendar--photos of Romanian stray dogs, with proceeds going wholly to charity
Video Game Nerd
- Penny Arcade apparel
- NES nerd shirt
And I'm done. This is far from a comprehensive list. I wasn't interested in doing research, so it's mainly the stuff that popped into my head right away for any given category. Oh, and just to reiterate: this isn't a list for me. It's a list for people like me, which was inspired by folks asking me what I want for Christmas.
By the way, this is the answer I usually give, and I think it holds true for pretty much anyone: If you see something and think, "My God, that's just awful and nerdy enough that Kelly will LOVE it," then that's what you should give me for Christmas. Because the chances are good that I will. :)