A Christmas gift for your favorite geek

While most people seem to have forgotten that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, many people do adhere to a religion of consumerism! And I’m here to help you fellate commercialism! Ba humbug!

After years of dealing with crazy family members and working in retail during the holiday season, I don’t really get into the Christmas spirit much. The humanity of it it all (or lack thereof)! Anyway, a friend of mine was searching for an Secret Santa gift for the office tech-geek, so I thought I would provide you all with the same sagely advice.

  • Don’t: buy an iTunes gift card for your tech geek music lover. Although the iTunes library is growing, many independent artists aren’t available for download. Besides, your geekster (geek + hipster) probably uses the Internet as their personal library and can get music a lot cheaper (read: free). Nothing says “I know nothing about you, but that morning show I watch told me this was a good idea” like giving a person a gift card they will never use.
  • Do: If you’re going with a gift card for your tech guru, go with Amazon.com. Amazon sells everything (music or otherwise), so you’re not forcing the person to buy mp3s or other items on iTunes.
  • Don’t: get a gag gift that can’t be used. Last year I drew the vice president’s name from the Secret Santa pool. I put her present in a “gotcha” box. At first she played it cool, pretending the “Vis-organizer: a fanny pack for your hat” was a wonderful gift. Once she realized it was a gag gift, we all had a good laugh. Inside the box was a  book she had an interest in reading. Actually gifting a Vis-organizer is a jerk move. No one wants junk they will never use. Think practical! This year I gave my friend soap, in the shape of baby hands. Sure, he’ll laugh – but it can also be used and will eventually not be around to creep people out.
  • Do: search for their wish list on Amazon. Type the name of your gift recipient in the “Search Wish Lists and Registries” field and you might get their wish list! You don’t have to buy the items on Amazon, but it may give you a good idea of their interests. They might even have an item on the list in your price range.
  • Don’t: buy a random gadget thinking it will work with whatever device they have. Make sure you know what type of iPhone, Xbox or computer they have before you buy any accessories for it. Like my divorced parents, chances are they aren’t compatible.

Secret Santa gift idea:

This year I decided to give a three-month Netflix subscription (~$25 for the 1-at-a-time deal). In my opinion this is way better than the standard fare gift certificate to a movie theater ($25 there only gets you in once if you bring someone with you). This is, potentially, 10-15 movie rentals + unlimited streaming videos. Countless hours of entertainment delivered right to your door! If the person already has an account, this just pays their bill for a month or two (depending on their plan). Win-win.

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