One of my favorite sites, io9, had some great recommendations for whatever geeky holiday you may celebrate (Saturnalia, Festivus… Wookie Life Day) for just about every variety of nerd there is. They left out the Lovecraftian Horror fanatics, but had covered this on my own blog not too long ago, for you arcane and mad romantics out there. I also feel obliged to mention the variety of Big Lebowski what-have-yous from LebowskiFest. And ThinkGeek is always good for this sort of thing.
More importantly, however, are the suggestions io9 had for charitable donations this winter season for the science or sci-fi enthusiast in your clade. A fine (excerpted) list via Annalee Newitz at io9:
- Provide medical care to people who need it most around the world, by donating to Doctors Without Borders.
- Protect your rights online by giving to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
- Help a dedicated group of scientists continue the search for life on other planets… by donating to the SETI Institute.
- Make scientific journals and research free and open to all by donating to the Public Library of Science.
- Crowdfund scientific research by backing a project through Petridish
- Help represent scientific perspectives in U.S. politics, by donating to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Protect comic book creators from censorship and legal censure by donating to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
- Help creators share their work and encourage fair use by donating to Creative Commons.
- Donate to programs that help educate and mentor young women interested in computer science and engineering by giving to the Ada Initiative.
- Help defend teaching evolution and climate science in public schools with National Center for Science Education.
- And more
Plus, don’t forget that Occupy Sandy has been a stellar organization of community caretakers and activists alike during the difficult recovery on the East Coast. But if you’re feeling particularly politically polemical (or broke), inspire the spirit of anti-consumerism in others by Buying Nothing! And of course, if your loved ones have been naughty all year, perhaps they don’t just get coal, but thrown in a sack by the Krampus and swatted with birch branches. Or… not… that.
None of these are strong endorsements for your gift-buying, other than my own appreciation and/or fandom, just some ideas in case you’re still stress-eating fruitcake over it. And I’m always looking for other good causes that need help all year round, not just during the Norse Yule Solstice.
And a Happy
Holiday War on Christmas, everyone!