Christmas Shopping For Your Geek


 Chances are, in this day and age, you are some percentage of geek.

Honestly, I am pretty low on the percentage, even though my husband is a certified geek and even though we live near Silicon Valley…but I LOVE geek culture. It’s so much more interesting than literary culture (I am actually not even close to being angsty enough to even like to be *around* literature nerds).

Geeks are inventive, creative, smug (which can be good or bad, depending on your own smug %), and brimming with knowledge. This is where I excel: I know stuff about lots of stuff. If you have ever seen the Hepburn/Tracy movie, “Desk Set,” which is very unlikely….BUT YOU SHOULD WATCH IT….I would love to have Bunny Watson’s career. Her job is to know stuff so other departments can use her as a reference, and she works in the reference library, so she just researches stuff all day. She’s pre-google, I guess.

It’s beautiful. I would love to do that for the rest of my life. But anyway.
So, Christmas is coming up…and the thing about geeks is that they are extremely particular about what they like, and how they like what they like.
If you think you are getting them hardware for Christmas (because they like hardware, don’t they?), you’re making a HUGE mistake. Huge. I guarantee you’ll be getting the wrong thing from the wrong vendor, and it’s the wrong model in the wrong color. 
That’s just the way it is, so don’t even think about getting them anything in this area, UNLESS they have given you the link themselves. For example, that is how I got my husband a very specific sliderule for Christmas last year: from some remote dude in the middle of Germany. There is only one of these in the world, and Ben sent me the link. That worked, and I still wrapped it.
Mostly for me.
So hardware is out, software is probably out…if they wanted software, chances are they already have it, have already ordered it, have it on backorder or is waiting for some special sale/day/discount/the planets to align to buy it already. So software is out.
Geeks are really hard to buy for. Especially on days like Christmas when you genuinely want to show them how much you love them, and give them a gift of gratitude. What on earth do you do?!

Okay, here are the Ten Tinsel ideas I have to help you Christmas shop for your Geek:

1. Gamer Dad T shirts from CafePress
2. You could always go the Think Geek route in their “pamper the Patriarch” theme. You can never go wrong with Think Geek.
3. There is Newegg, but you’re really going to have to do your homework before ordering from this one.
4. You will always score with Arduino kits (
5. Geeks are naturally collectors.  They collect things in series…so find out what they collect (books, journals, figures, dice, cards…?) and add to their collection.  This is a very special and personal gift.  However, if you get them the wrong one, or one they already have, or from the wrong year,etc., you’re going to be up a creek.  So do a ton of homework before you buy anything!
6. There is Geekologie. The functional arcade buttons, alone, are worth checking out. I am already trying to figure out how to replace my doorbell with one of these. Or put one outside my bedroom door. Or in the kitchen and hook the garbage disposal to it. Or put it in the bathroom and wire an airfreshener to it. Heck, what can’t you do with a button??
7. Then there is just the simple Geek Dad site. Ben already has all the Geek Dad books and a Geek Dad shirt, so I have no where to go with this one. But you should check it out.
8. Cards: I don’t know how it is with your Geek, but we aren’t really card people. Now, despite this fact (that we actually just came to realize over a conversation the other night when we finally looked at the list of “5 Languages of Love” that has been going around for years and years, and I’ve just guessed at until we said to each other, “have you actually read the list/book? Ya, me either.” Anyway, we found out we aren’t card-people.) we still get cards for special events. It is a good time to write something epically poetic, and I guarantee you…Ben is a master at flowing words. I looove his cards because they are just so beautiful to read. So, if you are going to get your Geek a card, at least get him something geek-worthy. is a good option.
9. Video games. I know nothing about this section, so you’re on your own.
10. Finally: make sure you let him know how much you appreciate him as a husband and a father. Let him know you know what he really wants, and ….you know….”show him when the kids go to bed.” ( ….just putting it out there)



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