The majority of Americans — more than 64% — say they wish they had help shopping for holiday gifts. Nearly half struggle with finding the best gifts for their closest loved ones.
Geeks, nerds, or whatever you want to call enthusiastic current pop culture fans, are often some of the most difficult. Either they already have everything they want, or you're hoping to find a hidden gem they might have missed in their favorite fandom.
auWhile we can't help everyone trying to pick the perfect present, we asked several of our writers and syndicated partners to see what they would recommend as the top gifts that they think everyone will love – or at least what they wouldn't mind seeing under the Christmas tree or wrapped in Dreidel paper.
Here's our 2023 edition of the Annual Wealth of Geeks Holiday Shopping Guide.
Custom Xplorer Maps
Two brothers, Greg and Chris, started Xplorer Maps with the vision to use hand-drawn, antique-style maps of national parks and travel destinations to convey the importance of bringing together art, history, culture, education, and conservation. Their hope was to provide people with unique memories of where their journeys had taken them (or they hoped to go), while raising awareness for conservation and wildlife around the world.
These expertly illustrated story maps generate nostalgia, while reminding folks that we can make meaningful, lasting connections between people and places across the globe. I personally ordered two of these – one for my parents to commemorate the renewal of their wedding vows after 50 years at the Chapel of the Transfiguration in Grand Tetons National Park, and one for my condo in California. In addition to the gorgeously frameable wall maps, most designs can also be purchased on a variety of glasswear, blankets, towels, totes, jigsaw puzzles and more.
For the best price and affordable shipping, order yours directly from XplorerMaps.com
Apple Air Tags
Nationally syndicated travel writer Karee Blunt founded Our Woven Journey to help families learn how to plan and afford amazing memory making adventures. She believes if she and her husband can make it work with their six kids, anyone can. She recommends gifting Apple Air Tags to the folks in your circle who rack up frequent flyer miles.
“As a frequent traveler, I always use Apple AirTags in my checked luggage. It gives me peace of mind, allowing me to easily track and locate my bags anywhere,” she explains.
SaberForge Sabers of Light
This gift idea comes from Wealth of Geeks Managing Editor of Entertainment – and certified Star Wars aficionado, David Reddish.
Has the person your shopping for ever expressed a desire to reenact their favorite Star Wars battles between Jedis and Siths, but with lightsabers that can withstand full contact dueling? Look no further than SaberForge. While the company has no affiliation with Lucasfilm or Disney, they offer several items inspired by the films, including the chance to custom build your own saber, just like a young Padawan under Huyang's tutelage.
Not only does SaberForge offer weaponry — including some super stylish saber hilts and styles of swords, both Eastern and Western in origin — but they also have a few cosplay addons for the fans of a couple different series of popular films. See the whole collection and pick yours up at SaberForge.com
Ninja DZ401 Foodi 8 Quart 6-In-1 DualZone XL 2-Basket Air Fryer
Emmeline Kemperyd, food writer and photographer, and a professional recipe creator, from always use butter thinks that just about everyone needs an air fryer. And her recommendation is the cream of the crop.
The Ninja DZ401 Foodi 8 Quart 6-in-1 DualZone XL 2-Basket Air Fryer has two Independent Frying Baskets and utilizes DualZone Technology, so you can cook each basket at it's own pace, or let the computer brain coordinate it, so everything's done at the same time. It's a multi-function air fryer, and can also air broil, roast, bake, reheat and dehydrate. It comes with two nonstick crisper plates, and everything is dishwasher safe.
Star Trek: Prodigy Blu-Rays
Pop culture writer, Rotten Tomatoes certified movie reviewer, and animated Star Trek fan Clint Worthington wants to put folks' eyes in front of the Blu-rays for season 1 of Star Trek: Prodigy. “Paramount+ likes to style itself as ‘the Home of Star Trek,' but that didn't stop them from removing their animated series Star Trek: Prodigy from their streaming service earlier this year. In this world of streaming shrinkage, Prodigy is secretly one of the best shows of the New-Trek era.
“Imagine a thrilling, exciting and gorgeous-looking tale of a group of young misfits who escape their prison with the help of an abandoned, experimental Starfleet vessel, assisted by Kate Mulgrew as Captain Janeway. Along the way, they also learn how to work as a team and uphold the values of the Federation, one warp core breach at a time.” Even though it's gone from Paramount+, the show's two-volume first season (a second is almost complete, though no one knows where it will air) is available on Blu-ray via Amazon and other retailers. Get it for the li'l Trekkie in your life.
Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealer
Beth Neels, from Binky's Culinary Carnival, loves to teach people how to make delicious, nutritious dishes using fresh, wholesome ingredients. She uses and recommends the Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealer. “It's an absolute workhorse,” she explains. Not only does this air sealer machine provide high vacuum pressure to effectively seal soups, sauces, marinades, it also lets you marinate food items in the vacuum chamber. Additionally, it comes with an accessory hose that assists with your annual canning efforts.
DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine With RC Pro Triple-Camera Drone
This is one of the pricier items on our list, but an absolute must for, “someone who is into photography, videography and video editing,” shares Wealth of Geeks writer Aleksa Markovic. “The DJI Mavic 3 Pro Cine with DJI RC Pro is the best DJI drone in the world right now.”
The drone has incredible range and comes with a screen-integrated remote control, so you don't have to rely on your phone. It can also be used in the city, unlike many other previous models that ran into issues transmitting through concrete block walls. You can purchase the device at several electronics retailers, as well as Amazon.
Necoichi Cozy Cat Scratcher Bowl
“I haven't met a cat yet that doesn't love the Necoichi Cozy Cat Scratcher Bowl,” says Jenny Dean of Floppycats. “It doubles as a scratcher and a bed. They have a XL version for large breed cats too.”
The bed/bowl is designed with a replaceable, reversible scratching pad that helps keep your feline’s claws strong and healthy. All of the inserts are made from 100% recycled paper and features only chemical-free materials. It's available at Chewy and Amazon.
Harry Potter Hogwarts House Editions Box Set
Julia Fisher is a writer and editor at Wealth of Geeks who is a confirmed Slytherin, plays D&D, and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northcentral University. She noticed that the Harry Potter books have been released in hardcover and softcover with covers that correlate to the Hogwarts houses. “If someone is a super big fan, they can be gifted the books designed after their specific house.”
The hardbacks in particular come in a house-branded box that can be displayed as is, or folded back to show the volumes as you can see them above.
TRTL Cooling Travel Pillow
Jen & Brett created the Expatsi Test based on years of research, and answering questions about moving to a new country, in order to help others who want to leave the United States, for whatever reason. After plenty of time spent on airplanes, Jen highly recommends the TRTL cooling travel pillow. “Stop fumbling with the little nozzle that shoots air nowhere near you and relax into cooling bliss.”
While it may look like a simple neck wrap, the TRTL is the only travel pillow that completely supports your head, allowing you to sleep in maximum comfort.
Special Edition Battle-Worn BB-8 by Sphero
Freelance journalist Rebecca Holcomb is a mother of seven, which definitely qualifies her as an expert in things that the younger geeks are into. This is a slightly more expensive than your typical Star Wars toy – but it's much more than just a toy. This BB-8 is much more like the one in the recent films – based on your interactions, Battle Worn BB-8 will show a range of expressions and perk up when you give voice commands.
It not only follows commands and interacts with the Star Wars Force active wrist band, it can explore autonomously, create and display holographic recordings, collect digital holocrons, and complete Resistance Combat Training. You can also connect with an iOs or Android app. “I am admittedly not the most Star Wars loving person and even I would buy this!” Holcomb says. “Perfect for a Star Wars fan and especially one of BB-8.”
T-Fal Air Fryer
Margarita Ibbott is all about taking the movement to voluntarily simplify your life seriously. She built DownshiftingPRO.com to help her readers follow in her footsteps of focusing less on stuff and more on travel. She recommends the T-fal Easy Fry Prestige 8-in-1 Air Fryer.
She is quick to explain. “This has changed our life for the good. We are using less oil, and butter to cook food, more spices to make them more flavorful. The best benefits are food is cooked quickly and thoroughly plus the clean-up is a breeze. Can't say enough about our T-Fal Air Fryer.”
L.L.A.P. Tote Bag
“The perfect Christmas gift for anyone looking to wear their queer Trekkie pride on their shoulder — literally!” is the suggested gift idea from Wealth of Geeks freelance writer Kiona Jones. The officially licensed Star Trek Artist Spotlight tote bag commemorating the traditional Vulcan salute, “Live Long and Prosper” was designed by L.A. artist Rob DeHart. The bag is available in black or traditional grey canvas.
Tara Gerner from Feels Like Home loves to create new recipes for her family and share them with the world. She recommends the versatile Apple wedger. “These are super simple and super cheap, and if you have kids, they are a must! It takes about three seconds to core and cut an apple into kid-sized wedges. They're available at most big box stores, any kitchen supply, and of course, Amazon, and will easily fit into a stocking.”
Life-Size Replica Proton Pack
A recent addition to the Wealth of Geeks team, Mark LoProto hails from sunny Las Vegas and is an avid gamer who's also written for Ready Game Survive, and Cultured Vultures. He recommends an unusual, fun gift for any Ghostbusters or 80's movie fan – “a Life-Size Replica Proton Pack, complete with a pre-installed kits for screen-accurate lighting and sound. It's the first mass-produced life-size proton pack and it's easy to mod with aftermarket parts for 1:1 screen accuracy.” It's also genuine, officially licensed for sale by Spirit Halloween.
“If you make rice on a regular basis, this will change your life!” That's the verdict from Emily Dingmann of My Everyday Table. She should know. She's a certified nutrition-obsessed mom who creates recipes for busy families that are quick, family-friendly, and good for you. There are many different options out there, but for the simplest approach, check out the Aroma Housewares 6-cup (cooked) 1.5 Qt. One Touch Rice Cooker. It gets the job done and automatically switches to stay warm once the rice is ready.
Encouragements Meditative Coloring Journal
“Part bullet journal and part coloring book, Encouragements is the journal that can guide your relaxation and help you organize your thoughts. Use the included stickers to give yourself an encouraging word,” says Wealth of Geeks writer and editor Amy Pollick.
The artist is a friend and former coworker who's now branching out into more creative endeavors. Along with the coloring journal, you can pick up and gift individual coloring pages, stickers and t-shirts with her designs and even some pop culture and holiday-themed material.
Caroline Fairbanks-Critchfield loves to be creative, especially when sewing or quilting with fabric and patterns. Thus was birthed SewCanShe.com to share her passion with others. Her perfect gift idea is a household time saver, the Roomba. “No one likes to sweep or mop and few of us have time anyway. I love having a robot do it for me, especially because I have kids and dogs! This is the perfect gift, so grab one early because the best models are sure to sell out fast,” she recommends.
Once and Future Graphic Novel
Kyle Logan is a pop culture writer and movie reviewer, as well as the organizer of Queer Film Challenge on Letterboxd. He is also a frequent guest and evangelist for our Wealth of Geeks podcast! His recommendation is the first of a series of graphic novels.
“Once and Future offers a grand English adventure drawing on Arthurian myths to tell a much darker and nastier story than those myths might imply. Written by Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Star Wars, The Wicked + The Divine) and drawn by Dan Mora (Batman/Superman: World's Finest), Once and Future is a thrilling action comic with big ideas about stories and how they can change our lives, for better or worse.”
The first volume collects the six issues that were initially conceived as a miniseries with a satisfying ending. A dark fantasy or King Arthur fan will be satisfied by this single volume or can read on if they want more.
Maike Corbett started her website, Cheerful Cook, to offer home cooks easy, delicious, homemade comfort food recipes perfect for everyday cooking. She recommends a tool she uses often, a Vegetable Chopper.
“This cool, simple mechanical gadget will turn salad skeptics into salad lovers. It chops anything from lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, onions, deli meats, hard cheeses, fruits, and olives. Add your favorite dressing to make easy, creative, and delicious salads. You can find it on Amazon, at William Sonoma, Macy's, Sur La Table, and most major houseware shops.”
Pokemon Trading Card Advent Calendar
Freelance writer Hope Mullinax loves all things Star Wars, and a few things from other galaxies. She recommends the Pokémon Trading Card Advent Calendar. Just like traditional Advent calendars, this one counts down the 24 days before Christmas – with special items each day for collectors of the game. From special foil cards to booster packs and more, there’s a different Pokémon goodie to open every day. Pick it up on Amazon.
Yonanas Vegan, Dairy-Free Frozen Fruit Soft Serve Maker
Jenny, host of the site Antioxidant-fruits.com brought this to the table. “If you want to make fresh nice cream at home and especially with kids or grandkids, the Yonanas maker is a great choice.” Within minutes, easily turn any frozen fruit into a smooth “ice-cream” or “sorbet” like treat, without additional fats, sugars, or preservatives in the Yonanas Soft Serve Maker. It's versatile enough to make fun for one or the whole family.
Worldwide Experience Gifts – Ultimate Tinggly Voucher
Writer Ben Rice took a break from the golf course to recommend this game changer, especially for the more recent generations who prefer experiences over physical souvenirs. Tinggly is an experience gift box. The recipient chooses from one of the hundreds of thrilling experiences and delicious treats in over 100 countries around the world.
Tinggly hand-picks each of the hundreds of amazing experiences included in Ultimate collection gift box to ensure a diverse and comprehensive range of adventures, thrills, experiences, and luxurious treats for everyone. From pampering spas and sunset dinner cruises to adrenaline-pumping bungee jumps and balloon rides, there’s something to suit all tastes.
Outdoor Ooni Pizza Oven
Robin Jaffin and Dédé Wilson founded FODMAP Everyday to be a resource for those suffering from IBS, or just looking for better gut health, while following the low FODMAP diet. Their choice for the perfect holiday gift is the outdoor Ooni Pizza Oven.
Ooni offers pizza ovens that get hot as hades (that’s 500 °C/950 °F) and cook incredible pizza (or veggies, meats, desserts and more) in only 60 seconds, powered by your choice of wood, charcoal or gas. Their prices range from a couple hundred and up, depending on the style and the preferred fuel.
Folding Book Lamp
This is one of the items on my wish list. LED technology has gotten a lot cooler in the years since it was first introduced. From party lights to TV studio set-ups, and of course, Alexa- and Google-controlled bulbs, it seems there are no limits to what we can create. This item takes it a step further – a folding book lamp, that looks – and operates – like a book. This creative and functional piece of decor has eight different color settings and an automatic gradient mode. But the best part is the functionality – fan the “pages” open like a book, set it on its side, or fold the wooden covers together to sit on the table. And it runs for 3-4 hours without being plugged in. Get this one for the book lover in your life who falls asleep while reading – it's like a sleep timer for your book!
Instant Pot 6 Qt. Air Fryer Oven
Karen Kelly is a food and travel writer, certified health coach and recipe creator, who shares her best – and often gluten free – recipes, from main dishes to comfort foods and desserts at Seasonal Cravings. She says, “I would recommend an air fryer. My family is obsessed, and we use it all the time. I like the Instant Pot 6 Qt. Air Fryer Oven.” The Instant Pot line offers 4-in-1 functionality, allowing you to air fry, broil, roast and reheat, almost all with the touch of a single button. Like most air fryers, it uses less oil, and cleanup is a breeze.
My First Movie Board Books
The folks at Cinephile are movie lovers. Literally. In this context, though, I'm referring to the card game creators who continue to expand their line of ‘lil cinephiles board books. Yes, these books are designed for children under 6, but few times has the phrase “and up” been more relevant. Cinephiles started with A is Auteur, followed by a trilogy of books this time last year — My First Giallo Horror, My First French New Wave, and My First Film Noir. Yes, a strange choice for kids' books.
But more than a few adults are fans of these board books, including myself. In an effort to boil it down to something that's understandable for younger minds, writer Cory Everett and illustrator Steve Isaacs created one of the best film school primers for these specific styles I've ever seen. The series continues this December with My First Hollywood Musical, My First Spaghetti Western, and My First Yakuza Movie. Unfortunately, these three may not be ready in time to leave under the Christmas tree. Order the books, kids t-shirts, and the game that started it all at their website: CinephileGame.com.
Star Wars Electric Salt and Pepper Mill Grinder
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a scruffy nerf herder just wanted his roasted porg to have an elevated flavor. So, he whipped out these electric salt and pepper mill grinders. The lightsaber hilt design of each grinder is a Jedi favorite, especially those partial to red and blue kyber crystals.
Star Wars fans will pine to have this culinary tool in their kitchen, which they’ll use while wearing their Darth Vader chest plate apron. Each grinder is fully electric and capable of pulverizing salt and pepper into a usable granule. Whether feeding a table of Wookies or hosting the Emperor for brunch, these grinders are essential. Grab them on Amazon.
Beautiful Mind 90 Day Journal
Victoria Connell with Motherhood Life Balance says there's no better way to start the new year than with being more mindful and in the moment. Our minds create our reality, and with this book, you will be able to practice your daily gratitude's, “I am” affirmations, and write out your to-do list every day.
The Beautiful Mind journal helps you start each day with the right mindset and create a plan that allows you to feel happier and determined, all while getting things done. Following the 90 day program will leave you happier, more determined, and open to the wonders this life has to offer. It's also available in digital form!
The Magic of Christmas by Robin Parrish
Finally, we have a fun little read. Technically, its written for YA readers, but well-told enough to appeal to adults. Parrish is the author of the Dominion trilogy and the Mythworks stories, and always weaves an excellent story that touches on themes of faith, science and science fiction, supernatural and fantasy.
This short read is no exception, redefining many of the classic images of the season. St. Nicholas and the North Pole are our last defense against fantastical creatures. A blend of O. Henry's stories and Doctor Who Christmas specials, The Magic of Christmas gives you a taste of Parrish's storytelling – and I highly recommend his longer novels as well. Grab this easy read on Kindle or paperback.
Now stop reading, and start shopping!