Holiday Gift Guide, Part II: Geeks, Paper, and Other Awesome Stuff

imageIt’s time for more Holiday Gift Ideas for all that shopping that, judging from the mall decorations, needs to be done right hopping now!

First: a note. Somehow, I must have given the impression that I dislike Christmas in my last Gift Guide entry – which, OOPS. So not the case! To all those who emailed me about Christmas gifts, let me restate: I don’t actually dislike Christmas at all. I don’t celebrate it but I do like much of it, particularly the SMELL. If I walk by a Christmas tree display I will stick my nose in the branches and breathe in like I’m huffing evergreen scent. Note: this does not apply to fake trees, as the smell of not-a-tree does nothing for me.

What I dislike is seeing the Christmas decor-splosion before the leaves on my trees are even starting to turn. It keeps getting earlier, the retail-fiesta of holiday decorating. I guarantee by the time I’m 40, it’ll start in July, right after the 4th. Or maybe Labor Day. But either way, it’s not even cold and there’s holiday decorations in an increasing number of places.

The only benefit: it does encourage me to think a bit about buying some gifts now so as to fit them in the budget. I don’t think that was the goal of the early decor-bration but it’s not a bad one. So, back to the gift guide. I have some user-submitted ideas, and some more items for your shopping needs, both now and in the Bookmarked Future. Ready?

Do you know someone who is getting married this year? Kay S. wrote in with this really spiffy idea: the Mystic Seaport Museum’s Christmas Memories book. It’s a 20-year diary of Christmases with illustrations, and Kay loves hers: she started one “10 years ago, and although the Christmas marriage count is nearing 38, I wouldn’t trade for the treasures in it. Wow—what if I had had this when my husband and I started our Christmases?”

Reader Hawkcow likes to shop at Femail Creations. She gets the catalog and takes her time reading it – I have catalogs like that. I’m going to talk about one of them in a moment.

Cassie K. is truly evil and made of temptation: she recommends American Spoon foods, and uses it as her go-to wedding gift location. Their lemon curd is reportedly impossibly perfect, according to Cassie. Their gift sets aren’t too expensive, either. YUM.

Reader Aspexi gave me the heads up about her own company which, OMG, if you like paper crafts, you’re kind of going to hate me a lot now. D. Blumchen and Co. specializes in vintage papergoods and crafts, especially Christmas ornaments. If you’re a scrapbooker, or you know someone who is, I would caution sharing that URL with them. I don’t scrapbook and I haven’t done paper crafting in years, but I was totally tempted by the scrap pictures of ladies and gentlemen.

They’re located in Ridgewood, NJ, so if you’re up for a road trip, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

My catalog of lingering and long reading is Signals. I love this catalog like whoa and ridiculous. I love the shirt that reads Caffeine is proof that God loves us and wants us to pay attention – even if the last thing I need is one more t-shirt.

Know a cooking person? How about nesting doll measuring cups or a NordicWare pan that makes a cupcake-shaped cake? Signals is so tempting to my wallet.

And then there’s ThinkGeek, a catalog I should recycle but don’t because it makes me giggle every time I read it. Hubby and I wish we knew someone for whom the I became the mayor of Your Mom shirt would be appropriate.

Do you need a River Tam statuette? Of course you do. Hell, the entire pop culture collection is a work of freaking wonderpants.

They also have badass heroine t-shirts, including Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace, and Mary Shelley.

ThinkGeek also has inexpensive gifts that are totally unique, like app magnet sets for $12.99 or the dripping blood bookmark for $9.99.

If you have a store or item that you think would make a great gift, please, email me at sarahATsmartbitchestrashybooksDOTcom with the info. I’ll be featuring more gift guides as we get closer to the Actual Gift Giving Holidays.

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  1. 1
    Sharon S. says:

    great links! I want that bookmark!!!

  2. 2
    DS says:

    I was browsing an antique store in a small tourist town last weekend with a friend.  The lady who owned it was very nice and chatty.  As we were leaving my friend said, “Did the owner just apologize to us for not having her christmas display up yet?  It’s not even Halloween.”  Yes, she sure did.

  3. 3
    Tamara Hogan says:

    Damn it, Sarah. I just went to ThinkGeek and bought a Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock T-shirt.

    Geez. You’re such an enabler.

  4. 4
    Carrie says:

    Oh, God, PLEEEEASE don’t send me links to both signals and Think geek!  I can’t have them in the house.  The T shirt collection alone is driving me mad with greed….Maaaaaaaaaaddddd…..

  5. 5
    SandyW says:

    Warning about ThinkGeek women’s t-shirts. The web-site says 2XL is the largest size. The size chart says 2XL is women’s 16/18. The actual 2XL t-shirts measure 36” around the bust. Out here in the real world, women with a 36” bust usually wear a size 8. For reference, the average size for grown women in the US is a 14.

    If this annoys you as much as it does me, feel free to send ThinkGeek an email and ask why they don’t sell women’s shirts larger than an actual size 8.
    Be prepared to get the response I did – ‘But they stretch a lot!’
    Trust me, nothing stretches that much. I’m still carrying a cool t-shirt envy grudge over the matter, obviously.

  6. 6
    Kate Jones says:

    I’d like to join the growing chorus and say Sarah, I thank you so much for the awesomeness contained in these links.

    However, my wallet hates you right now.

    steps34: is that how many there are in the Shoppers Anonymous guide to recovery?

  7. 7
    Raine says:

    SandyW- Thanks for the heads-up on sizing. I’ve really been wanting the “Science. It works, Bitches!” and the “Stand Back! I’m going to try Science” shirts. (I’m a soon-to-be Science teacher)

    I also HATE how early Christmas stuff goes out. Even during regular “Christmas” time, I still feel rushed because I have a marathon of neice’s and nephew’s birthdays starting Dec.1st (although, the sales make their birthdays cheaper than the others throughout the year). I used to work retail and dreaded the shopping rush/rudeness and by putting it all out earlier seemed to just start the horrors earlier!

  8. 8
    Kristin says:

    I just wasted an hour looking at things on Signals and Think Geek.

  9. 9
    cate says:

    OH GOD !!!!!!
      ThinkGeek !  The answer to a geek partners dream.!
    Not only the rock- paper-scissors-lizard-spock – but also the
    WesleyCrushers, as stocking fillers
      At last, he can be original at the SFX weekender. Thank-you
    SB

  10. 10
    Tullae says:

    I have a number of baby-doll t-shirts from Think Geek, including OMG Pwnies, The Spanish Inquisition – Expected by Nobody, and Keep Out of Direct Sunlight, all in XXL babydoll size.  I am a size 18 and they fit much better than XXL babydoll shirts from other sites such as 80’s Tees, TeeFury, TopatoCo and StylinOnline.  The Think Geek shirts are the most comfortable and flattering of the lot.  TopatoCo shirts I can only just fit into.  Shirts from other sites, I have to sew an extra 3 inch wide strip of fabric into the side seams before I can get them on.  But it was worth it to be able to wear a She-Ra Princess of Power shirt from 80’s Tees.

  11. 11
    Ann Rose says:

    Ferrous Wheel t-shirt. Must. Have.

  12. 12
    Rory G says:

    I could kiss someone!  I was just at think geek and found a marshmallow shooter…I think everyone in my office area should have one – like paint ball only less painful!

  13. 13
    oldbitey says:

    I covet my mother’s Signals catalogue and adore ThinkGeek. So glad you find them full of awesome as well.

    P.S. In The Land Down Under Christmas decor went up at K-Mart and rival store Big W on September 17th

  14. 14
    sweetsiouxsie says:

    My husband and I opted out of the gift thing this year. We are going to Colonial Williamsburg for Thanksgiving instead.

  15. 15
    SB Sarah says:

    @oldbitey, that is just wrong. All kinds of upside down wrong. 17 September?! Holy smoke.

  16. 16
    Kathleen says:

    I buy my son a Plush Microbe (as a stocking stuffer) every year from Think Geek.

  17. 17
    SonomaLass says:

    I do a lot of shopping at Thinkgeek. Some of it is even for my geeky kids!  They have great gift wrap, too.

    Tshirthell is another great site. That’s where I got my t-shirt that says “My Marxist Feminist Dialectic Brings All the Boys to the Yard.” (Victoria Dahl is mad at me, because she bought it first, but Patrick Rothfuss was wearing in Locus and I had to have it.)

    Count me in the “Christmas spirit starts too early” club.

  18. 18
    MaryK says:

    I love the caffeine t-shirt!  I have to pass though because I’m afraid the cup ring would fall in a very unfortunate position on my chest.

  19. 19

    You can make a candle in a vintage teacup. Scour garage sales for cheap but interesting tea cups. Start with a wick, melted old candle ends, and a little scented oil, such as lemongrass or grapefruit.

  20. 20

    Signals is great for sayings and Christmas presents! I ordered a present for my sister from that catologue. This is a fun post and very informative. Now I’m overwhelmed, haha! Happy Holidays!

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