The Geek Guide to Holiday Gift-Giving

By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

It’s that time of year again!  It’s “Black Friday,” when the masses crowd the malls, every man for himself (hey, that sounds like a plot from a zombie movie). Shopping for your favorite geek can be tough, so we at [GAS] are here to help. A lot of guides like this are focused on the hottest gadgets for the holidays… but we figure you already know about those. This list is a little more off the beaten path–gifts for your geek, or even gifts from a geek, if you’re looking for your own stamp of individuality in your gift-giving. And of course, there’s the added bonus that even if you buy these items today, you can do so while sitting in your underwear at your computer.

Molecular Necklace – Focus

The caffeine molecule seems to be all the rage today in apparel, but don’t forget that it’s not the only game in town. After all, caffeine is so artificial, transitory… how about a reminder of your natural ability to focus? Dopamine, acetylcholine and norepinephrine, hanging in sterling silver around your neck, tells the world: I’m a geek who knows my neurotransmitters, and they’re helping me pay attention right now.

Batarang Folding Money Clip

Holy folded dollars, Batman! (Er, sorry about that one; I just couldn’t help myself.) First of all, I know you’ve always wanted your very own bat-shaped boomerang. And since there probably aren’t super-villains in your day-to-day life for you to be hunting down and targeting with it, then you may as well use it to keep those Bruce Wayne bucks nice and neat in your pocket. Warning: I do not advise actually throwing this at anyone. (Or if you do, at least take the money out first.)

Star Trek Remastered

I remember when episodes of the original Star Trek series were coming out two-by-two – that is, two episodes in a single $20 DVD. As I lamented how much it would cost to eventually own the entire run of the series, I broke down and only bought a copy of the DVD that contained Amok Time. Luckily, you won’t have this same problem! You can get all three seasons in a single bundle. And don’t worry, “remastered” is not the George Lucas definition of the word. Still, if the geek you’re shopping for would turn up his nose at additional special effects, then you can still snap up the original box sets.

Tetrad Shelves

According to the product description, a tetrad is a “geometric shape composed of four squares, connected on at least one side.” But everyone knows that what we really have here are super-cool Tetris shelves. You even get the pick the colors! And you don’t have to worry about the bottom line disappearing just because you set them up properly. It’s all a bit pricey, but perhaps just the thing geek who has everything else (because now there’s a shelf to put it all on!).

LED Menorah Kit

If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, here’s some lights that will definitely burn for the entire seven days (and beyond!). Not only is this LED menorah really cool looking, but it’s DIY. The electronic smoldering kit lets you make your very own mini-menorah. So you could give it to your favorite geek as a fun project, or put it together yourself as a present for that personal touch.

Robotic Chick

Everyone wants a lifelike robot, right? Well, maybe the hint is to just pick a simpler form of life. After all, a real baby chick doesn’t do a whole lot more than sit around and look cute, making the occasional noise or movement… which is just what this robotic version does. The cute little chick sits on your hand and responds to your touch. All the cute factor of a baby animal without the mess.

Watchmen (Absolute Edition)

The movie comes out on March 3 and everyone is already twitching with excitement. Now is a great time to reread Watchmen if you’re an old fan. And if you are, you might just appreciate this deluxe, hardcover version of the comic. Not only is the book itself just nice (which I can attest to, since I have a copy of Absolute Sandman), but it contains 43 pages of extra stuff–scripts, conceptual art, etc. A great gift for Watchman enthusiast and/or comic buff.

Level 1 Human Baby Creeper

For the wee geek in your life. Because who hasn’t looked at a baby and thought, “Man, I really wish I knew that thing’s stats.” A Level 1 Human may be saddled with dismal strength and HP and a tragic zero experience points, but that high charisma gives it the ability to lead henchmen (or possibly just entice you to coo at it).

Nintendo Garter

Maybe you’re a geek whose girl complains that you never buy her frilly things. Or maybe you’re a guy whose geek girl might appreciate something racy more if it makes her think “up up down down left right left right B A start.” Either way, this pretty Nintendo-garnished garter from a crafter on Etsy might be just the thing. Though one piece of advice, guys: make sure that she knows that when you’re looking at her legs that you’re thinking about her and not your latest saved game.

Starbuck Mug

With the coffee chain’s profits down 97% and the last season of Battlestar Galactica coming up, who knows if there will be enough Starbucks in your life in the future? Whether your geek is a fan of old Starbuck, new Starbuck, or caffeinated Starbucks, then I’m sure they’ll appreciate this mug. And the fine, metallic aroma of oven-roasted cylons.


I know I said no gadgets, but I’m taking this one from my own wish list. At $1200 it’s an extravagant stocking stuffer, but a Tenori-on might just be the holy grail for the electronic music geek. It’s as much light show as music, and just as great for serious composing as for casual fun. It’s a bit hard to explain; you have to see it in action. So here’s one of those serious composers, Little Boots from YouTube, to show you:

So with this last item, we’re wrapping up this year’s holiday gift guide for geeks, folks! See you in a year for the 2009 edition!

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