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Being a Nerd Dad: Hot Holiday Gifts for Little Nerds

It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees—and nerdy kids everywhere are writing letters to Santa. What are this year’s hot gifts for little nerds?

I have absolutely no idea.

But here’s what my three nerdlets are asking for. My kids tend to be pretty cool, so maybe what they want aligns with what your kids will want. If not, maybe their grandparents will see this post and save me cash. Either way, that’s a tick mark in the win column.

Five-year-old son

Remember being five, when it felt like you could ask Santa for anything and everything? I remember being certain that I’d find an actual full-size working Millennium Falcon, complete with Wookie best friend, under by tree. Luckily, my five year old is a little more practical. Here’s what he asked for:

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  • A drone. He originally wanted a remote controlled car, but when he realized he could get something that flies instead, he was all in. There are a options available for every price point, from small, inexpensive stocking stuffers (~$17) to this quadcopter with 4k Ultra HD video camera (~$800)—which, let’s be honest: I’d steal this from my own son. The best bet is probably somewhere in the middle, like this $40 option that won’t break the bank and can still stand up to a little wear and tear.
  • Snap Circuits. My son loves playing with his 8-year-old sister’s basic Snap Circuits set (~$18), but he’s gotten bored with its limited capabilities. He’s obsessed with games and the idea of making his own games, so this Snap Circuit Arcade kit (~$40) made the top of his list.
  • Kindle. Little dude is smart. He’s an early reader, and he’s seen how much his older sisters enjoy their Kindle for Kids ebook readers (~100). He’s also seen how the Kindle marketed to kids his age, the Kindle Fire Kids Edition (~$100) looks a lot like an iPad (read: it has games!). Little dude will be disappointed this year.  While we want to foster his interest in reading, we already have enough struggles to get him to put down the iPad when his thirty minutes are up each day. I can’t fault the kid, though, as he makes me flash back to desperate cries of “just let me find a save point” before my mom unplugged the NES. Ah, memories…

Eight-year-old daughter

At eight, every mention of Santa comes with a wink, a nod, and quick panicked look that says “I mean, right? He’s not real, is he?” My eight-year-old daughter wrote a letter just in case, and here’s what she wants:

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  • A rock tumbler. This kid loves school, and every new unit brings a deep desire to learn as much as possible about the subject. The geology unit in her science class was no exception, so she’s likely to find the NSI Rock Tumbler Classic (~$40) under the tree this year. I’m pretty sure I had this same one when I was her age, and I look forward to receiving homemade tiger eye cufflinks for Father’s Day.
  • A wand of her own. After tearing through the Harry Potter series this past year, my daughter decided that she would be Ginny Weasley for Halloween. I was excited, because her entire costume was assembled from things we already owned — including the Hermione Granger wand that my twelve-year-old got a few years back. Even though my eight-year-old has finished the books already, I know her love of Hogwarts will abide for a long time, so she’ll find her very own wand, Ginny Weasley style (~$33), in her stocking this year. I can’t wait to see what shape her patronus takes.
  • Some rad tees. At eight, my daughter effortlessly strides between the worlds of kid nerdery, like Despicable Me, and more grown-up nerdy, like Star Wars. Soon, so will her wardrobe, thanks to the creative mashups of DJKopet. These t-shirts blend different icons of nerddom to create charming, imaginative designs like Despicable Training, which substitutes Minions for the characters in the classic scene where blindfolded Luke trains with his lightsaber;  Scientific Paradox Goes Boink, which recasts Back to the Future with Calvin and Hobbes; and The Muptastic Four, which imagines what happens when Pigs In Space meet the superpower-granting effects of cosmic rays. (Full disclosure: the artist behind these t-shirts is a friend and coworker of mine.)

Twelve-year-old daughter

While my twelve-year-old daughter may protest through loud whispers that Santa isn’t real, she still writes him a letter. Or maybe it’s an order form, or a list of demands. At any rate, here’s what she put on it this year:

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  • Her own iPhone. Hahaha—keep dreaming, kid. While you might be ready for that, I’m not sure your ma and pa can handle the stress it’ll inevitably create, and I know your bank account can’t handle inevitable repair or replacement costs. Maybe next year, when you’ll be legally old enough to sign up for Facebook and Instagram.
  • Nerdy baking gear. My eldest loves creating in the kitchen, and we’re planning to get her some gifts that encourage her culinary talents, like this Star Wars R2-D2 Measuring Cup Set (~$16). Droids are known for their precision, so we’ll entrust Artoo with keeping time, too, with this R2-D2 kitchen timer (~$20). Finally, it’s important when baking to make sure your cookies and cakes don’t go too much toward the (ahem) dark side, and this Yoda apron (~$20) will help our padawan baker achieve yummy results.
  • Some nerdy jewelry. As she’s growing up, my girls is finding her own sense of style and fashion. Still, I want to encourage her to let her nerd flag fly with fun nerdy jewelry like this Deathly Hallows pendant (~$30), this d20 pendant (~$12), or these Dalek earrings (~$10)—because after all, “slay” is just a synonym for “exterminate.”

Assuming their “nice” credits exceed their “naughty” debits, what fun nerdy gifts will your kids get this year? Like us on Facebook to join the discussion and let us know.

Header image courtesy of Ginny via Creative Commons license.