I had such a good time coming up with my Memoir gift guides for last week’s blog that I thought I would do pop culture themed gift guides for this week!
“Pop culture” means many different things to different people. For the purposes of this blog post I have concentrated my gift suggestions on three areas of pop culture/types of pop culture fans: 1) For the Movie/TV Geek; 2) For the Gamer; 3) For the Technology Geek.
Gifts for the Movie/TV Geek
100 Movies Scratch-off Poster, Uncommon Goods, $15. Description from the website: “Take a deep dive into movie magic with this poster that invites you to screen 100 iconic films.” Why I am including it: This would be a good physical gift to give alongside a streaming membership (see below for links and recommendations).
Eat What You Watch Cookbook, Uncommon Goods, $25. Description from the website: “Watch your movies then eat them with this cookbook featuring more than 40 dishes seen in iconic films.” Why I am including it: A cute way to share pop culture love is to cook and consume it!
What To Watch Streaming Decider Dice, Uncommon Goods, $15. Description from the website: “Roll the dice with this family-friendly set that makes choosing what to watch together an adventure.” Why I am including it: This would be a cute physical thing to give alongside a digital streaming subscription (see below).
The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook, shop.pbs.org, $35. Description from the website: “Original recipes from 1875-1930 that would have been found on Downton tables, upstairs and down. Hardcover, 272 pages.” Why I am including it: My parents and I love this show and this is a cute way to share that love… You know, make a spot of tea!
Annual Membership to Masterclass.com, Masterclass.com, $15/month: This website offers classes taught by people accomplished in their industry. There is a whole section on Arts & Entertainment. Why I am including it: They are running a holiday special where you can give an annual membership and get one for yourself for free!
Various Streaming Subscriptions, price varies: I recommend perhaps getting one you know they wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. Here are links to various (price for each varies based on what you pick: Netflix (plans range from $8.99 to $17.99); Disney+ Bundle (Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for $13.99/month); Discovery+ ($4.99); AppleTV+ ($4.99/month) Why I am including it: Streaming is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
For the Gamer (both video and board/tabletop)
The Million Dollar Doodle Game, Uncommon Goods, $30. Description from the website: “Use your creativity to have a good time and at least feel like a million bucks.” Why I am including it: As someone who has gotten into drawing and art in recent years, this game certainly appeals to me. Especially since I started my “Daily Doodle” Journal this year.
Sink or Swim Party Game, Uncommon Goods, $250. A Splurge! For Adults (a drinking theme)! Description from the website: “This old favorite’s gone bigger, better, and brew-friendly.” Why I am including it: Even though tis is expensive it feels like a fun splurge with some purpose behind it since it’s a social/party game and hopefully the pandemic will loosen its vice-grip on our socializing in person (soonish).
Board Game Bag (Padded Board Game Carrier), Amazon, $69. Description from Tabletop blog: “Designed specifically with board games in mind, board game travel bags help to secure board game boxes during transport.” Why I am including it: Tabletop gaming is no longer quite as niche as it used to be. I see more references to people having “board game nights” (back when gathering in groups for socializing wasn’t an act of defiance against a pandemic). Related stocking stuffer idea: DNDND Metal D100 Dice, Amazon, $39.
Gaming Chair from BirdRock, $99.99, Amazon. Description from bestproducts.com: “Most gaming chairs stick out like a sore thumb and don’t blend in with your furniture, but not this option from BirdRock. It’s comfortable and supportive for gaming on the floor, and it is much better-looking than other options.” Why I am including it: I had a version of this as a kid but it wasn’t this pretty!
Handheld Retro Game Console Phone Case, $20.97, Amazon: Description from bestproducts.com: “Chances are, the gamer you’re shopping for has owned a Game Boy at some point in their life. This nostalgia-inducing, Game Boy-inspired case actually has functional buttons and a screen on it for playing video games.” Why I am including it: For the Millennials on your list who had Game Boys and now have iPhones!
Luminoodle TV/Monitor Backlight, $24.99, Amazon (arrives AFTER Christmas): Description from bestproducts.com: “This LED light strip is covered with 3M adhesive backing for affixing to the back of your HDTV or monitor. It has 15 color options and 10 brightness settings, and it helps reduce eye strain without adding glare to your screen.” Why I am including it: My gamer nephew loves stuff like this and the fact that it helps with eyestrain is really great! A Similar Product that arrives in time for Christmas: Kintion Behind TV LED Lighting, 14.3ft USB LED Light Strip for TV.
For the Technology Geek
Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses, $169, Amazon. Description from bestproducts.com: “There’s more to these stylish shades than meets the eye. They have built-in tech so you can stream music, listen to podcasts, or even make calls without even needing to put anything in your ears. Bose offers the Frames in two distinct styles, dubbed Alto and Rondo. The sunglasses deliver up to 3.5 hours of tunes between battery charges.” Why I am including it: I personally couldn’t use this product because of my hearing loss but the tech geek side of me loves to see things like this.
Magnetic Phone Mount with Face Tracking, $64.99, Belkin.com. Description from RealSimple.com: “For the multitasker, this clever mount keeps the phone focused on the user as they move for no-fuss video calls.” Why I am including it: The pandemic has made video chatting and conferencing very popular and necessary. And my extreme hearing loss means video chatting is what I do instead of phone calls (so I can speech read). Therefore, I have been on plenty of video calls with people where I worry their arms are going to fall off after having to hold their device for a long time!
PhoneSoap UV-C Sanitizer, $49.99, BestBuy.com. Description from RealSimple.com: “Let’s face it, that smartphone is definitely a high-touch object. The PhoneSoap uses UV-C rays to safely clean tech of germs, while it charges them, too.” Why I am including it: I am obsessed with polishing the fingerprints off my iPhone… but the germs ARE STILL THERE (ew)!
Electronic Word Clock, $24.99, Amazon.com (Arrives AFTER Christmas): Description from RealSimple.com: “Tell time in an entirely new way with this sleek electronic word clock. Available in black or copper, the compact clock boasts LED display lights that alert you to the time in five-minute intervals. Why I am including it: This just LOOKS cool. A Similar Product that arrives in time for Christmas: (This one may still arrive a few days after) Itek Light-up Electronic Word Clock, $29.99, Amazon.com. A different clock that I have & recommend: USCCE Loud Dual Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker – 0-100% Dimmer, Vibrating Alarm Clock for Heavy Sleepers or Hearing Impaired, Easy to Set, USB Charging Port, Snooze, Battery Backup, $27.99, Amazon. (This alarm clock has made it so I can wake up at a scheduled time again with my hearing loss.)
Unravel AW+ 3-panel Wireless Charging Pad, $129.95, The Grommet: Description from The Grommet: “With two powerful 10W Qi-wireless coils and a built-in Apple Watch charger, the Unravel is the perfect wireless charging station for Apple super users. Unfold the panels to charge your phone, AirPods, and Apple Watch all at the same time or use the triangle phone stand position to FaceTime or browse content while you charge.” Why I am including it: I AM an Apple “super user.”
LED Cordless Eyestrain-Reducing Lamp, $89.95, The Grommet: Description from The Grommet: “This LED cordless rechargeable lamp lets you take brightness anywhere—no cords attached. It features three lighting modes (with six levels of brightness) that can run up to 40 hours. The adjustable body rotates by 360º for a customizable glow, wherever you go.” Why I am including it: I have this product and love it. It makes reading magazines in bed far easier and I love to use it to add more light when I am drawing and have even used when video chatting to add more light around me (I angle it away from my face so it doesn’t shine in my eyes when I do this).
This list took me longer to compile than the memoir one because “pop culture” is a pretty broad definition. Choosing the three categories that I did meant I had to leave out plenty of things otherwise I would be at this forever! I didn’t include any apparel but there are some good sites out there like redbubble.com and modcloth.com.
Monthly Feature of The Week: Pop Culture Recommendation: “Inn The Works” on Magnolia Network
I just “discovered” this little show on the Discovery + Streaming Service (it’s part of The Magnolia Network). I say little because the first season was three 25 minute episodes and it’s had a second season of 3 more episodes. It follows Lindsey Kurowski as she remodels an historic lodge in Big Bear, California. You can read more about the show here on the Magnolia website and book a stay at the lodge (or just look at pictures of it, like me) by visiting the Oak Knoll website.