The Snowman Shopping List: For The Person Who Has Everything

What do you get for the nerd who has everything, or at least claims that she (or he) has everything she (or he) needs? I’ve compiled this list based on recommendations for gifts for “that special doctor” (who loves photography), “that special boss” (for whom you feel weird getting a gift, but deserves some recognition), and “that special kid” for whom an iTunes gift card seems so last decade.

Here, then, is the Snowman Guide To Holiday Gift Giving For The Previously Well-Equipped:

BorrowLenses gift cards. If your gift recipient loves toys, cameras, and playing with new camera gear, BorrowLenses is the best way to indulge their photographic fetishes. No matter what the body type, photography style, or time zone, BorrowLenses will let you rent anything from a super telephoto to a very wide aperture fisheye lens. You can’t buy the kind of nerd cred that comes from lugging a 30-inch, 22 pound telephoto around, especially when it comes in its own piece of hard sided luggage.

Kiva Gift Cards Buy someone an Israel bond, and you spend $85 for them to get $100 in 10 years. Buy them $100 Kiva gift cards and they can have an immediate impact on 4 small businesses in any number of developing economies, right away. And then when those loans are paid back, they can loan the money out again and again. I’m a firm believer in direct action and small-scale, grass roots support, and Kiva delivers on both. Want a themed gift? Buy a copy of ” International Bank of Bob” and tuck the gift card note inside the front flap. It’s my new favorite for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs where I know the kid is getting a ton of monetary gifts, and for bosses who firmly believe in doing the right thing.

A Long Now Salon Membership. The Long Now Foundation is the brain child of Danny Hillis and Steward Brand, and is the realization of the ideas in “Clock Of The Long Now: Time And Responsibility.” If your gift recipient thinks about sustainability, long-term impacts, and would have been at home in a French salon, it’s worth $96.

Live music via StubHub. It’s unique, it makes the recipient feel less guilty about paying premium prices for pricey ducats, and there is no better way to support your favorite artists (and build some long-lasting memories) than to go see live music.

An eBay gift card, letting the recipient buy something they wouldn’t normally find. Like the self-antonym “Music You Can’t Hear On The Radio” show, it’s a way to buy things you can’t buy (at least in your local big box store). If you know someone who always wanted, say, a vintage Lite Brite or game of Operation!, eBay is the shopping destination and you can provide the currency.

Any of John Scalzi’s books, personalized for you. Scalzi is a sci-fi writer who is accessible by just about everybody. He’s funny. Scary funny. He’s prolific, generous with his time (via his blog) and he basically just does the right thing about just about every thing. For example, his signed books for the holiday support his local bookstore. So it’s taking his time and he’s making less per book that way but that’s kind of Scalzi in a nutshell. I frequently point to his Christmas stories because they make me cry. He always promotes independent artists’ work on his blog as the holidays approach. Pay it forward, and pay it back: support Scalzi because he is awesome and you should share in the awesomeness.

One thought on “The Snowman Shopping List: For The Person Who Has Everything

  1. Scott Mattoon

    Thanks for this. I’m definitely gonna help friends borrow lenses I want 🙂
    And thanks for supporting Long Now. I feel an unfair benefit accrues to us in SF who attend live SALT events subsidized by donations from the East Coast. Perhaps you should franchise in NJ.


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