Yesterday I got the idea to create a nerd’s guide to Christmas. It was late in the afternoon, and I realized that it was 100 days till Xmas. It sounded almost meant to be that I needed to write this post. A hundred days might not seem a lot, but I’ve realized as I got older that time flies by, especially if you have a hectic schedule.
For this guide, I thought I would spend the time to compile a list of Christmas goodies the everyday geek, nerd, or computer guy (someone who primarily works 9-5 in front of his computer – me) would appreciate. It might be a long list in the end, but for now, I’ll stick to the essentials: The story behind Christmas, a few important geek gifting ideas and decorations for those that never spend enough time decorating.
October update: I've revised this post and added a bit more detail for you guys. Please share it with your friends!
The story behind Christmas
No matter how the world spins it or however much you get caught up in the gifting, special deals, decorations and family gatherings that go with Xmas, Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus Christ. It's not about any other weird type of geek religion or just a time to get awesome presents. In the Bible, in the book of Luke, the age-old story of the birth of Jesus is told. It is beautiful and essential to understanding this time of the year. Although often, myself including, we forget the actual reason behind celebrating Christmas it’s good to take a moment to reflect and think what it all means. Reading the Bible story is essential to that. Now that the most important part of Xmas is mentioned let’s move on to decorations and gifts.
Gifting ideas for Geeks and regular people
Previous years were somewhat hard for me, at least from a financial perspective, and I didn’t have much money to spend on things like extravagant gifts. Although Christmas is not just about giving and receiving presents, I still want to be a blessing to my loved ones and family members, and I’m very thankful that this year it will be different. However, I’m often terrible at giving presents.
Since my family members like technology and gadgets almost just as much as me, maybe a bit more, they will fit nicely within the nerd gifting category. It is probably a little bit stupid, but getting everyone their very own ugly Christmas sweater is very fresh and festive. I wouldn’t wear it anywhere else or on any other day than 25 December, but on that day it’s all worth it.
Merchoid.com has an excellent list of ugly sweaters and many other goodies for you to consider. Here’s a sweater with a Captain America theme:
[caption id="attachment_94" align="alignnone" width="600"] Source: Merchoid.com[/caption]
Gifts you give on Xmas does not have to be Xmas themed if you get my drift? That being said, there is always some kind of new technology gadget that someone in the family would love to add to their collection. A few options come to mind: new iPhone covers, funky iPhone charging cables, Laptop accessories (this one is for me), smart watches and if you are in the mood to splurge a new laptop or gaming console like the PlayStation 4 would be an excellent choice.
Everyone knows that Amazon is perfect for these, but don’t forget about its slightly weird rival, eBay. I like eBay for its gadgets because it’s cheap and full of Chinese sellers. These Chinese guys are always on the latest trends, and sometimes you can find excellent gifts that you can’t find anywhere else. The cool thing about Ebay.com is that it does not have to be just gadgets, it can be home items, cooking, clothing, fashion and more. Thinkgeek.com is also a good alternative to eBay and Merchoid and might be an easier option if you don't want to search for hours.
Although like I mentioned, I’m often bad at giving presents, I think you should think hard and long whether a gift you are buying is something you like or your family member would like. There is nothing worse, okay maybe there is, than getting a gift that you know you don’t like/want/need and then having to pretend you like it. I agree that we all need to be thankful, but still...
Be giving, try to help and bless your family member or whoever you are buying the present for. Christmas only comes once a year, so make it a special one. If for some reason you don’t have enough money for a Xmas present, don’t sweat it. Give them the gift of love the special day, spend good quality family time with them, help them prepare a good meal, enjoy them and love them.
Whatever you choose, a present or none at all, make sure you give and mean what you give, and they will appreciate it. Just because you are a nerd or prone to technology is not to say you can’t show you affections toward one another.
Decorating tips for nerds and people who always think it’s not necessary
Many fond memories are created around Christmas time. That’s a fact. If you’ve previously neglected decorations during the holiday time I urge you to reconsider. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, and the best thing is, most decorating items stay in season for many years to come. Children especially enjoy Christmas a little bit more with some decorations like trees, baubles, lights, crackers or whatever particular item you add.
Decorations: Christmas trees
For me a Christmas tree essential. You have few options when it comes to trees. You can buy a real tree that took months or years to grow (I don’t know), an artificial tree which lasts forever and a ceramic Christmas tree.
I don’t usually buy a real tree, but it just looks the best and probably costs the most too. To get a real tree the best option would be to visit a local Christmas tree farm near you and book one for the holidays. Don't wait too long to do this however since some actually book their tree almost a year in advance.
For an artificial tree, you can visit your local store or buy one online. This list from Good House Keeping is perfect for guys like us who have almost no sense of decorating. I’m referring to myself. If you think yourself as a bit of a handyman, why not build one from wood? You can use metal and many other materials to. Check out this tutorial on YouTube.
For Ceramic Christmas trees I had to dig a little deeper to find a good guide as there aren’t many of those around the internet and as a geek, I’m sure my readers can relate to a good web guide/review. What is a ceramic Christmas tree? These little trees are made from clay or ceramic and super collectible. The chances are your grandma probably owns one. If you're a girl, you'll definitely know what I mean. I wouldn't recommend these trees as a substitute for a big real or artificial tree.
The guys from Christmastreesource.com offer a detailed list of ceramic Christmas trees from Amazon. The image on the right is an example, albeit not a great image, but you get the idea. These trees remain a great Xmas decoration, at least in my book and one you could even pass down to your kids one day.
While updating this page I also realized they have a post on how to make a ceramic Christmas tree. It might seem a bit unpractical, but still, it's an option.
You can have a lot of fun with Christmas lighting as well, don't forget to add that to your to-do list. For lighting, and especially if you are on a budget, I would take a look at what Alixepress has to offer. They are like the cheaper version of eBay and offer a great shopping experience.
Entertainment for the Xmas time
It’s nice to sit back and relax by watching a movie. Everyone knows that, and that’s why services like Netflix dominate the entertainment industry. Watching a few Xmas themed movies also helps to put you in the Christmas spirit. Here’s a guide from Nerdlocker.com especially for Nerds.
This video will also reveal a few classic titles.
Before I close
There you have it, my short and precise guide to Xmas gifting, decorations, meaning and entertainment for geeks. You’ve got just under 100 days to go so be sure to make this year’s celebrations one that you not only thoroughly enjoy with those you love, but a time you will never forget. Nerds or not, we can still enjoy Xmas. In fact, Jesus came to save us all.