No matter what holiday(s) you celebrate this time of year, we all love to give something back to the people in our lives. Gifts that show our geeks that we care—that we support their interests and passions and love what makes them unique.
For many, this past year has presented difficult trials, and we will continue to conquer them in 2018. These trials will never dull or cease, but we should step back and look to our friends and family, to those who inspire us most. We need to look to our artists, who bring color into our lives. Our dreamers, who show us how magical each day can be. Our philosophers, who challenge what the world should be. And our scientists, who push the boundaries. The geeks in our lives deserve something special, a little something to express our love as we end 2017 and look beyond.
Without further ado, here is the GGC Gift Guide 2017:
Gifts for your Artist
Mudcloth Paper Journal
Beautiful, yes, but what makes these journals from Raven + Lily an amazing gift? They were handcrafted by artisans at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in Northern India. Raven + Lily works to empower women by employing artisans who otherwise had difficulty finding work, so that they can earn an income to support their families and community. I’d highly recommend taking a look at their mission statement and values while you scroll through their stunning pieces.
I came across this doll while watching Youtuber Jessica Kelgren-Fozard’s October Favorites video. Mia is a Wildlife Photographer. Inspired by a real nine-year-old girl, the description on the back of the box reads: From birds and butterflies to all kinds of creepy-crawlies, I’m just mad about wildlife. Everywhere I go, I carry my camera with me. Because who knows when—or where—a brilliant photo opportunity will pop up? A beautiful photo can tell its own story. I hope that my pictures will inspire other children to love wildlife as much as I do and to take good care of this wonderful planet of ours! Mia also has a cochlear implant, and it’s just a part of what makes her unique.
I started reading Darling a few years back myself, and I can’t sing enough praises for the magazine. Darling is self-proclaimed as “the art of being a woman,” but what initially caught my eye is that they are very vocal about not using Photoshop or other editing programs to alter women’s bodies and faces. The photographs used are beautiful and raw images of very real women. It focuses on a handful of women each issue and discusses their creativity and careers in a positive, supportive, and intellectual light.
Written by GeekGirlCon Copy Writer Sarah “SG-1” Grant
In my hometown of South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there was a July 4 parade every year. When I was really young, there was a competition for the best decorated vehicle (cars not included). This meant bicycles, tricycles, little red wagons, and homemade carts pulled by dogs. Or other family members. I always decorated my sparkly blue bike with the banana seat with tissue paper, streamers, and pinwheels–all in red in red and white, since my bike was already blue.
When I got to junior high, we began going to downtown Milwaukee to watch the Great Circus Parade, started by The Ringling Brothers and based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. My brother was a freshman in high school when I was in 7th grade, and he played in the South Milwaukee High School Marching Band, which marched in the 5 miles long parade every year. So we would get up very early and head downtown with our lawn chairs, cooler full of food and drink, and the umbrellas–just in case it rained, which it sometimes did (especially if we forgot the umbrellas). We would watch all the marching bands, the acrobats, the caged animals in horse-drawn carts, the elephants, and the 40-horse hitch that was the Budweiser wagon–just like the ones in the Super Bowl commercials. The end of the parade was always announced by the fire engines, and then followed up by the street cleaners–there were a lot of animals relieving themselves during that parade!
I marched in the Circus Parade when I got to the high school as well, first playing piccolo, and then the bass drum. My brother had played the bass drum, and when he graduated, our band director discovered that my brother was the only drummer who could walk and keep a beat. She assigned me to the bass drum immediately, and I was one of the only bass drummers in our band to make it through the entire parade without passing out.
There were always fireworks in Grant Park, right on Lake Michigan. The majority of people in South Milwaukee (population 21,069) gathered in the biggest meadow with their blankets, children, sparklers, and–most importantly–multiple cans of mosquito spray. Even the crowds of people doused in mosquito spray couldn’t protect those of us who didn’t have our spray, but thankfully there was always someone generous enough to share. My parents never let us have sparklers–much too dangerous for us kids–but lying back on our blankets to watch the fireworks was one of the highlights of the year. The only thing better was Santa Claus!
My next favorite memory of July 4 is after I graduated college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and spent two years in Madison as a working stiff. There’s a show there every year called Rhythm and Booms that is set to music played simultaneously on the radio. It was a much larger show than South Milwaukee’s, and the best place to watch it was the north side of Madison–along with everyone else in the city, of course. A good friend of mine bought a house a block from the park, and we sat out on his lawn to watch the fireworks with our beer, grilled brats, lots of good friends, and the ever-present mosquito spray. Those nights I rarely got home before 1 a.m. because traffic out of the area was so bad, even though it was usually only a 15 minute drive.
I have lived in Seattle for almost 9 years now, and I haven’t been to the Lake Union fireworks even once–far too many people for me! For the past 5 or 6 years, I’ve driven to Kirkland, where my friends have a condo right on Lake Washington. The barge where Kirkland’s fireworks are set off is always set straight out from the back porch, so we gather around 8 p.m. for drinks and dessert, and we wait for the fireworks. They’re not as spectacular as the Lake Union fireworks, some of which we can see from where we are, but it’s like having our own private fireworks show. It lasts just long enough that I start feeling edgy from all the explosions, and then it’s done–and you hear the applause and cheering from all around.
July 4 is Independence Day, and every year of my life, it has meant parties, marching bands, friends, family, food, and fireworks. This year is going to be special for me, because my roommate and best friend for more years than I’m willing to say will be there with me, and so will my mom–whose birthday was July 3, so happy birthday, Mom! The day started as a celebration of our independence from Great Britain, but for me, it’s about coming together with my friends and family without the pressure of presents or anything other than not burning myself with the sparklers–which my mom finally allowed me to light a few years ago.
Whatever you do for your July 4, whether it’s celebration with friends and family or spending the day in solitude, I hope your holiday is as bright and pretty as a the fireworks will be tonight.
If you’ve got a geek in your life (or are a geek yourself), you know how hard it can be to find the “perfect” gift. Most geeks are first in line or online to snag the latest [insert cool geek object of affection here] before the rest of the population even knows it exists!
Whatever the geeky inclination, get thee to etsyRAIN’s 4th Annual Handmade Holiday Show Black Friday Weekend (November 23 and 24, 2012) to check out 70 craft makers and artisans featuring their handmade wares. The show will be held on two floors of the Marion McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center featuring gifts in the following categories:
Bags and Purses
Bath and Body items
Ceramics and Pottery
Clothing and Accessories
Glass (Not jewelry)
Jewelry (Beadwork, Metalwork, other materials)
And Much More!
EtsyRAIN is Etsy’s official Seattle Metropolitan “Street Team” made up of regional artists and craft makers who own independent shops on Etsy.com. Members reside in the Seattle metropolitan area, as far north as Port Townsend and as far south as Olympia. Their mission is to nurture a supportive local community of artists and craft makers that will inspire, educate and promote the growth of their individual shops on Etsy.
Laurel McJannet is GeekGirlCon’s Web Content Producer. Laurel writes, designs and consults as a marketing communications professional. There isn’t a CMS she doesn’t like, she’s mastered the art of translating tech-speak for the non-techie, and she is proof positive that Marketing and IT can co-exist and not implode.