There is something magical about being asked what you want for Christmas. It’s like everything you’ve ever needed or wanted flies immediately out of your brain and you’re left shrugging your shoulders and muttering “I don’t know.”
This answer infuriates my mother. She always says “I don’t know where to buy ‘I don’t know.'”
It’s just difficult to come up with gift ideas on demand, so I did the hard work for you.
I asked a group of student journalists what “nerdy things” are on their Christmas lists. Here are there responses, just in time for your holiday shopping.
Journalists love pens. We can never have too many, so pens usually are a safe bet, gift-wise. The problem is that we each probably already have a favorite pen. The students I asked said Pilot G2 and Staedtler Triplus Fineliner were their favorite pens. And, of course, pens in various colors are always fun.
On a related note, journalists love office supplies in general. Don’t be afraid to buy a gift card to Staples or Target. These are great places to shop for fun supplies.
Journalists are all about paper. We love journals, decorative papers, fun notepads, and sticky notes. Yes, it’s a problem. You actually can have too much paper. No, we don’t care.
One student journalist specifically mentioned a customizable journal as something she would love to have, but wouldn’t spend the money to purchase for herself. That sounds like a perfect gift.
Another student said she would love to have a new Moleskin notebook.
I also suggest a planner for the student journalist in your life who you know uses a paper planner. They’ll need a new one right after Christmas, after all. I’m not a paper planner girl, but, if I was, I would use a Day Designer. I admire them regularly, even though I know I couldn’t break my digital habit if I tried.
3. Computer software
Several student journalists said they would love to have an Adobe Creative Cloud license for Christmas. They talked about how much more productive they could be with the software on their personal computers, instead of just in the newsroom.
Writing and reading go hand-in-hand. Journalists often can be found reading when we aren’t writing. We feel privileged when you purchase a book for us that you enjoyed. We also love shopping for our own books, so bookstore gift cards are fabulous.
One student journalist also said she dreaded spending money on textbooks for next semester. She said she would love it if someone bought her courses’ required books for Christmas.
Reading and writing seem only to occur with a mug of coffee or tea in hand. There’s never enough coffee! Starbucks gift cards make student journalists happy. Let’s face it, we’re going to drink the coffee. It’s nice when someone else buys it.
6. Camera equipment
Lens caps and memory cards make great Christmas gifts for student photo journalists. This one may a bit trickier, though, since you’ll need to know a bit about the journalists’ preferences and the type of camera he/she has. But the extra information gathering will be worthwhile because the journalist will love the gift.
If in doubt, donate. Student journalists love supporting causes important to them.
Not sure where to donate in their name? Consider the Student Press Law Center or the Society of Professional Journalists. Better yet, donate to their student media outlet in their name. It’s the gift that keeps giving directly to them.
There’s something on this year’s list for every nerd. These are things that student journalists want, but likely won’t or can’t buy for themselves. If you don’t find the perfect gift on this list, just buy food. No, seriously, even journalists eat.