I really love giving gifts -- invite me to your birthday party and I’ll bend over backward to get you the gift the whole party will talk about. I've long felt that February 14th is a weak excuse to give my friends and lovers tangible reminders of my affection. Rather, I pepper them with surprise gifts whenever the moment strikes me. For some reason, it seems to me that gifts can mean more when they're given out of the blue and not because of a culturally tied holiday mandate. (Though, full disclosure, I do really like to give gifts on holidays as well - I just really get off on giving presents).
My penchant for present purchases does not escape my friends, and so they often ask me for help when shopping for birthdays, anniversaries, parents, promotions, Tuesdays, etc... I'm even pretty good with pet gifts too.
Given that I've written about starting a relationship off on the nerdy foot before, I thought it only natural that, as a follow up, I offer up some of my favorite tried and true, sweet and sexy, and mega-geeky, anytime gifts.
While a number of these are a little salacious, I did include something for anyone on your gift giving list whether they be friends, colleagues, family, children, guild members, closet dorks, xojane contributors, or yourself.
So the next time you're in a pinch for a gift, or need a retail pick me up, consider the following:
1. A customized Sackboy doll.
I love Little Big Planet. Love, love, LOVE it! There are a number of crafters and small shops that create these customized cuties. My personal favorite is Sack Planet. If you can’t get your hands on one of these sweet, customized, cuties, why not just pick up the game and enjoy a few play throughs with someone awesome? After you’ve played, go one step further and create a level together.
2. Sexy nerdy undergarments.
Why not surprise your boo (or your roommates, whatever) with a comic book themed garter belt? Or how about some extra life pasties? Let them know that your boobies will also “live long and prosper” I know that the Trekkie pasties are sold out but I included the shop link as I’ve had a great experience buying from them and they may do custom orders.
OK, so this is a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, but it would be brilliant fodder for an “I’ll try anything once” (just sayin’). Erox is the new, pheromone infused perfume from Adrianne Curry. (Remember her? She’s the first winner of ANTM and foxy gamer who was briefly married to that dude from the Brady Bunch). Curry claims that her fragrance “is social.” Supposedly the pheromone infused scent helps the wearer feel at ease and comfortable in nearly any social situation, romantic, or otherwise.
4. A video game you can play with the gift recipient!
Personally, I love LOVE fighting games. I’m always up for some Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat, and I’m not even very good. If fighting games are not your thing, there’s always Rock Band too! If you’ve got an Xbox and access to XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade), I’d also recommend Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game. It’s a side scrolling beat-em-up-style game and is wild fun to play with friends or friends with benefits.
5. Flowers, specifically, 8-bit flowers. Because really, everyone feels special when you give them flowers.
6. A book about weird shit.
Chances are that you and your "giftees" like some interesting, off the beaten, path kind of stuff. So why not learn about some of that stuff together. You can compare facts or use your newfound knowledge to kill at a bar trivia night.
This awesome piece of hardware plays both your old NES and SNES games. At $49.99 it’s a pretty solid deal. Just be sure you buy it new. Yours truly made an awful mistake buying a used one a few years ago from a sketchy game shop. Buy it online where there are things like warranties.
8. A framed game! My awesome pal Meg Campbell, owner of Girlhack.com, offered this suggestion when I was trying to figure out what to do with a massive container of old NES games. Frame your favorite games. If they don’t work anymore and you live in a gamer household, why not turn your old cartridges into cool focal points? Meg framed the first game she ever played, pictured below.
9. Your (or their) favorite series on DVD.
Right now Amazon and other online retailers have some sweet deals on box sets. Firefly, for example, is available for under $25 for the complete series! If you’re into, or looking to get into, anime, you can also find the complete Samurai Champloo, on blu-ray, for less than $30. Don’t want to shell out? Check out Netflix’s instant streaming for episodes of The IT Crowd, Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Ghost in the Shell, and loads of other series. Grab some snacks and offer your pals or paramours a movie night.
10. Your heart.
Not really your real heart, but something cool and anatomical. This etsy shop offers personalized heart necklaces while a few others have prints and other heart-themed items in stock. One of my personal favorite artists, Closer to the Ocean, also does a lot of beautiful mixed media pieces featuring hearts. You can check them out here.
I will, freely freely admit, that I did give a nod, when crafting this particular list, to the two folks I mentioned here. (Oh yeah, they got together. Bow Chicka Wow Wow. [That's supposed to be a porno sound effect].). But seriously, you can buy these for anyone (well maybe not the Erox), yourself included, for a good old fashioned retail therapy pick me up.
How do you feel about giving and getting gifts? Do yo u have a signature gift you give? Are you going to buy or try any of the items listed here?