It is just a few more days until Christmas and you are probably freaking out—because how did it become December so quickly and how the hell did Christmas come so fast? Well, fear not, there’s still some time to shell out those extra bucks for express shipping in order to get your swag in on time—or, if these arrive a few days late, it won’t matter because they’re just that great.
We also found some worthy places to donate to and sweet subscription services that can be bought mere hours from the Christmas deadline and be sent virtually or presented in gift card form.
Here are some helpful suggestions on what to get for the beloved nerds in your life.
Adorned by Chi is anime/nerd-y/black girl asthenic brand that is run by black women. Their stuff is well made, comfortable and really, really cute. If you are a fan of Sailor Moon, they have a “Usagi Taught Me” in crop tops, shirts and long-sleeve and for fans of Revolutionary Girl Utena, there is this fabulous Anthy pin, which as of today is currently on sale! In addition to shirts and pins, there are also patches, hats, and pillows!
The Quirk Shop is another black-owned lady-business—this past year they became one of the six startups in Kathryn Finney’s incubator for Black and Latinx tech startups. They offer a fantastic collection of sweaters and t-shirts, including my personal favorite “Lil’Booties Matter.” Additionally, if you are looking for some quality Wakanda swag to prepare yourself for the revelation that will be Black Panther look no further than the Black Panther: Homecoming Collection.
Our new fave geek-oriented subscription box service, CultureFly packages a ton of in-house designed merch—figurines, clothes, collectibles, jewelry, stationery, accessories—into a quarterly mystery box. You can get your giftee a single box in the fandom of their choice (like Game of Thrones or Supernatural), or sign them up for a year of multiple boxed presents. The quality of the swag is insanely high, and since it’s only made for their boxes, that means you can’t find it anywhere else. We’re currently in love with their Wonder Woman collection, which is part of the DC Heroes line. There’s still time to order that box for the Wonder Woman/DC Comics person in your life, and ensure that they will love you forever (and you don’t even have to save the world to make that happen). (We miss you, Steve Trevor.)
This subscription service is so dedicated to its ~*mystery*~ aesthetic that you actually have to apply to be a member first before they even show you the goods. (Don’t worry, it’s easy enough.) Then you have access to what is perhaps the strangest and most out-there mailing service—there are several packages to choose from, and they encompass whole bizarre, intriguing “curated experiences” like “Hunt for the Forgotten Tomb,” “The Weeping Book,” “The Lost Treasures of John Augur,” or “The Demon Jar,” to start. The company touts the experiences as “a story told through the mail over weeks or months,” and they come with a range of objects and materials. This is something to order for friends who love reading, horror, occult, mysteries, and really, really weird-but-cool stuff.
Comic Con attendees are probably familiar with For Fans By Fans, and the adorable puglie pug balloon that is usually hanging from the ceiling. Well, they also have a fantastic online store with a lot of amazing merchandise that you can get without having to shell out for a ticket or endure the lines at a Con. Recommended if you love Marvel, Steven Universe, Jem and the Holograms (comics/tv show, not the terrible movie), Homestuck, Lumberjanes and more. If you need something epic and fun, look no further. Don’t you want a Star Wars rebel dress? Who doesn’t?
Books, books, books. I know it is a cliche, but I think “making of” books are my favorite thing ever. I love getting a behind-the-scenes look at how a movie came together, and what could have been. Of course, The Art of Wonder Woman is an easy must-have, but Star Wars: On The Front Lines also sounds really interesting. One of my favorite aspects of the Star Wars movies is the war element, so getting a look at how the battles have been created throughout the franchise is really interesting to me.
When you “adopt” a vulnerable animal from the World Wildlife Fund for a friend (or you), you can choose which animal you want to support—think elephant, jaguar, turtle, penguin, rhino, lion, panda—and you’ll know that your gift is going to a very good cause. The “present” part is driven home, as your giftee will receive a package with a plush of their new adopted animal and all kinds of facts, stickers, regular updates and more. This is a great present for animal lovers, environmentalists, and children—I used to receive WWF updates as a kid and I was obsessed with them, but I never got that sweet polar bear plush. Make this happen for someone you love today, and help animals to boot. You can explain that the gift’s arriving a little late because they’re picking out the special animal to help for that special kid in your life.
This has been a difficult year on the frontlines of reproductive justice, and there’s never a bad time to give to Planned Parenthood. Every donation made to Planned Parenthood before December 31st, 2017 will be matched—meaning your gift is effectively doubled in size. Planned Parenthood has a host of other ways to give: you can make an honorary donation for a friend, which makes for a fantastic, thoughtful Christmas present for someone who cares deeply about women’s health. They’ll receive a card about your present in their name if you choose. (Don’t forget you can also donate in, say, Mike Pence’s name!) At the Planned Parenthood shop, there is an array of merch to show support bodily, from t-shirts to hats and pins and water bottles. You can also give a gift to Planned Parenthood as a memorial to someone who is no longer with us, but whose memory you want to honor with positive action during the holidays.
This gift is for your favorite theater nerd, and like the WWF, it’s for a very good cause. Scenery Bags makes cool bags from retired theater backdrops, and proceeds from every sale go to TDF’s Stage Doors program, which helps take kids to the theater—what Scenery Bags calls “introducing a new generation of storytellers.” The backdrops come from a variety of places in the U.S., including Broadway: “Our drops come to us from all over the United States. Some are retired because a show closes, others are damaged and no longer usable for the production, others are just taking up space somewhere in storage, and instead of throwing them away, they are graciously donated to us. Now the drops, and the stories they helped tell, get to live on.” Not only will you be helping out, but true theater devotees will lose their minds to hold an actual part of a show in their hands. (I would.)
Dream Presents (That You Can Totally Send to The Mary Sue Staff If You Want) From a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Okay, listen, we were all nerd kids here, and we lusted after some fancy Star Wars toys once upon a time. These days they’re even cooler and more capable than we could have imagined back in the day. Dan can’t stop thinking about this nearly-lifesize BB-8 that’s “Fully Interactive”:
Meanwhile, we’re a little worried about Vivian because she went straight to the Dark Side, demanding the “BB-9E App-Enabled Droid with Trainer” or else we would all face dire consequences:
While we know these probably won’t be waiting under The Mary Sue’s festivus pole this year, there’s still time to score one for the Star Wars kids or adults that you love, like, a lot. Or, let’s be real, for you. These are the droids we’ve all been looking for.
If we’ve missed some of your favorite for-geeks-by-geeks creators or best causes to give to this year, tell us in the comments, and merry nerdy shopping!
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling. If you purchase something through our links, The Mary Sue may earn an affiliate commission.—
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com