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It wouldn’t be the pre-holiday season without a lame-ass listicle featuring gift ideas. So here’s ours!
Lovers of history range in their styles of showing that love, so here are a few varied ideas for different types of history lovers, the subtle history enthusiasts to the out-and-proud geeks.
This is probably the most “Well, DUHHHHH” item on this list. But I am going to suggest some holiday scheminess: find their GoodReads list and see what they haven’t read yet before investing in that hardcover. Or, if in doubt, go for a gift card to a local indie bookstore.
Don’t limit your loved one to dry, academic non-fiction books. Try expanding their horizons with a history graphic novel (like The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage) or something to tickle their funny bone (like one of Kate Beaton’s comic books).
2. Audible Subscription
I’ve almost given up reading paper books at this point. I was even able to surpass my To Read goal for this year, but only because of audiobooks. I’ve had subscriptions to two different audiobook providers and Audible has the widest selection and the best app by far. They offer gift subscriptions and different plans for people who go through more than one book a month.
3. Theatre Tickets
American history is cool now, didn’t you know? Scoring tickets to Hamilton may or may not be a possibility for you, but there are other plays and musicals based in history. Shakespeare has a bunch of history plays. The musical Chicago was based on a few true crimes that took place in the 1920s and a few others were based on true events too: Evita, Dreamgirls, Annie Get Your Gun, Jersey Boys, The Sound of Music and many more.
4. DVD Sets
Fictional or non-fiction, there are DVDs available for just about everything. Fans of World War history might enjoy the Band of Brothers DVD collection while a Renaissance enthusiast might enjoy The Tudors or The Borgias. As for non-fiction, there are documentaries available on just about every subject.
Now we get into the really fun stuff. Websites like Etsy… sorry, I got distracted by the gif above… Websites like Etsy were made for nerds wanting to express their nerdness, no matter the niche. Earrings, bracelets, tote bags, cufflinks, ties, watches, rings, necklaces, you name it. You can usually find at least something with your historical figure of choice on it.
Why yes, those are, in fact, Napoleon earrings.
People in years gone by considered it a mark of loyalty to the monarch by keeping a portrait of their king or queen hanging in their home. There are lots of websites that sell prints of royal portraits. You could also go for artwork more fun and playful like this Badass Queens Print (Etsy). I also really like this map of fictional London.
I myself collection action figures, some from movies but mostly real people. I’ve got Elizabeth Bathory, Bettie Page, Jack the Ripper, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon and a few others. You can even get a Jane Austen action figure that comes with a writing quill and a book! (Yes, I do want it!)
8. Toys and Games
You get board games for trivia buffs (but the selection seems to be a little slim) or you could go with a video game like Assassin’s Creed or Sims Medieval.
9. Freudian Slippers
I love these so much.
10. A Coffee Mug
When in doubt, there’s always a coffee mug. This is my most fav little cup I got from Hampton Court Palace a few years ago. This delightful mug features Shakespearean insults, what history lover wouldn’t adore that?! I also quite like this Tower of London mug too (on the right).
You can find more wonderful, nerdy gifts at: