Random Asides

Holiday Gift Guide

It is the holiday season! And whether you celebrate the solstice, Jesus, Krampus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, one thing we can all agree on, is that gifts are nice to get!

Each year, here at Skepchick, we do a little internet window-shopping and then point out the fun stuff we find to our readers.

I realize not everyone can afford to shop and not everyone shares my overwhelming happiness for hot chocolate and all things that jingle-jingle-jingle. And so to you I say, this gift guide isn’t about unbridled consumerism. It’s meant to be a fun and friendly reminder that this season, like every season, is what YOU make of it. It’s not the dollar amounts that matter or how big your fake tree is, it’s about how you use that tree and the other trees that you plant and it’s about how you decide to share your money, your time and your love with the world. Can’t afford gifts? No problem. Please consider doing a good deed or donating your time to a worthy cause during the holiday season. And if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford some shopping then please allow me to encourage you to support artists, small businesses and worthy causes this season. You would be surprised how much a single purchase or donation can positively impact a small business, an artist or a charity organization.

Okay! Enough sweet talk, let’s get to the goods with the 2013 Skepchick Gift Guide!



Care about vaccinations? Want to help save the world? Skepchick contributor-and-BAMF-scientist, Ray recommends a donation to the Red Cross.

red cross This link will take you to the Holiday giving section at the Red Cross where you can buy vaccines for children for only a dollar each. You could protect an entire village this year if you want!

Do you need to fend off some internet trolls and look freaking-good while going into battle? Ryan bracers Noisy Astronomer and I highly recommend the work of artist, metalsmith and Mad Art Lab Contributor, Ryan Consell. Take a look at his Etsy shop DragonsmithArmoury and check out those badass bracers! I hear he does custom work.








Know a geek who likes to knit crochet? Is that geek you? Dr who knitNewly graduated Teen Skepchick and now official regular Skepchick, Olivia, lets us know that for only $6 you can pick a pattern and knit crochet up you very own Doctor Who doll! There are lots of other downloadable patterns in the geek genre available, and put together by crafter extraordinaire, Alisson Hoffman via this link. Who needs real friends when you can create your own fuzzy buddies like this! EDIT: I had no idea what I was talking about here. This is not knitting. They are crochet patterns. I sit corrected.



Mary reminds us that art is important and recommends this Shark vs Narwhal piece from the LegendaryTigerHero shop on Etsy. sharkvnarw The epic battle continues. Get your print here.










Amanda brings to our attention the fact that cats can be scientists too. prim amd plush Well at least they can be in the Etsy shop Prim and Plush! Take a look at their shop for some very cute knitted molecules too!







Oh what is that you say? What about my Surly-Ramics Etsy shop? Well thank you so much for asking! Surly business card 2012I have been working like a good little surly elf trying to make as many Surly-Ramics as I can! Please consider stuffing some stockings with my handmade goods. And to inspire you to do so, here is a special Surly coupon code I created that is good ALL the way to January 1st. You can use the code SHOPHAPPY for 15% off your entire order. Please feel free to share that code if you like. And know that I really appreciate the support through any purchase that you can make. Holiday sales help keep me fed and working during those slow days of spring and fall. Link to my Surly-Ramics Etsy shop is here.


And while we are shamelessly self-promoting I’d like to direct your attention to the official Skepchick store. Rebecca has stocked the Skeptical Robot shop with some fun holiday items. Proceeds from these sales help keep our now larger server running smooth and we thank you for your support! Help support our blog and celebrate Chrismukkah with this fun double sided gift-wrap. chrismukkahThis wrapping paper alone proves that there is no war on Christmas at Skepchick. We want everyone to get along and merge into one big mass of holiday cheer! Well- right up to the moment where we rip it to shreds in unabashed, opening, joyfulness!




Need something to shove those beautifully wrapped Chrismukkah-solstice gifts in to? How about your very own atheist stocking!

atheist stocking



For a limited time you can purchase this atheist themed stocking from Skeptical Robot to hang by your chimney with care!







One thing we love on Skepchick and particularly on Mad Art Lab is comics! I would like to personally recommend an artist who was a contributor to Mad Art Lab in the early days and has since moved on to do some really great things! Maki Naro is one of the coolest cats you will ever meet and he makes some wonderfully sciency-themed art. Maki ArtHe writes for Popular Science and has a newly kickstarted comic project called Sufficiently Remarkable. Maki also has an Etsy shop with some beautifully rendered prints of his art and T-shirts. I recommend you take a look!









Another good friend of the Mad Art Lab crew is Scientific American artist and writer, Glendon Mellow. glendon mellowGlendon writes for the Symbiartic blog and The Flying Trilobite. He creates some really beautiful and intricate art often based on… you guessed it, trilobites and evolutionary biology! I am a big fan of his work. You can purchase prints of his art, cards, T-shirts, and more here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/flyingtrilobite/shop.



Looking for a lighthearted gift for a cat lover? I could pee on thisSkepchcick Mary brings our attention back to books with this wonderful recommendation of, “I could Pee On This and Other poems by Cats” by author Francesco Marciuliano. And lucky for some of you, it’s available for Amazon Prime.






Speaking of pets, I have asked my friends and family members who want to buy me something this year to instead donate to a local animal shelter or rescue in my name. NKLA I have already chosen my charity this year as NKLA.org. NKLA is a coalition of groups dedicated to finding homes for all the heathy animals in Los Angeles. It’s a mighty task to accomplish. This time last year, inspired by their work, I adopted a homeless dog who I named, Booster. (I already had a dog named Rocket.) It was one of the best things I ever did. My life is filled with twice as much love now thanks to that adorable shelter mutt. To put it in perspective a small $10 donation will equal a week of meals for some hungry fuzzy fellas. Animals need our help. Please help them if you can. Thanks for your work NKLA and all other animal shelter volunteers!


Not enough animal love for you? Gosh you people are demanding. How about this adorable Sloth backpack? slothbackpackOnly $20 from Etsy seller catbirdcreatures. And you guessed it! They offer lots of other cool creature designs too!










Heina reminds us that misandry is actually a thing this holiday season!misandry Well, at least in patch form anyway! You can get yourself a sweet misandry patch and other fun, feminist themed trinkets at very affordable prices at Daisy’s Creations!








Elyse says misandry is silly. Men have so many uses around the holidays that there is no time for hating.happy man corkscrew Take this Paladone Happy Man Bottle Stopper. No really. Take this little happy man to your next holiday party and claim that bottle of wine in the name of happiness. Down with misandry! Up with glasses! Also available as a corkscrew.







Looking for something a bit more classy to get your drink on?

decantorsMad food artist Anne recommends these truly beautiful etched decanters by Reclamation Etchworks. The artists, Tim & Ethan who make these were kind enough to make and donate a set that we used for drink demos and then auctioned off at the last SkepchickCon to help pay the bills. These really are gorgeous and I hope to own a set someday.






Need something to set those decanters on? wood workMAL contributor Beth recommends this beautifully handcrafted wood work by artist Peggy Skemp.








How about something for the little ones? Or those little fingers an the end of your hands? finger puppetsResident Mad Art Lab puppet maker, Charles recommends two tiny puppet shops. The first one, PaperTigerPuppets specializes in finger puppets!








The second puppet shop is called, staceyrebecca and they have some really amazing creations including an honest-to-Krampus bedazzled tampon finger puppet! tampon puppetBest finger puppet ever or best finger puppet EVER?







Check out her really adorable fuzzy worm stick puppets too. Lots of kid friendly stuff in that shop also!


I honestly can not think of a better place to end this gift guide than after a bedazzled tampon finger puppet.

There were some other recommendations that the contributors sent in but I do have to hurry back to Surly Studio and get back to makin’ gifts like a good little holiday elf.

If you have any gifts you like that you want to recommend or you make cool stuff you would like to promote, please feel free to leave links in the comments. And remember that the holidays are hard for some people so most importantly, be good to yourself and be kind to others this season and share love, cheer, shelter and food with those you can, when you can.

Happy holidays everyone!

With love, from everyone here at the Skepchick Network.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. Intriguing gift guide, thanks!
    But I think the Dr Who kit is just a pattern (not a kit), and for crocheting, not knitting. It’s another prompt for me to learn how to crochet, of course. But people probably shouldn’t buy it for the average knitter, since many of us seem incapable of crossing the great divide between knitting and crocheting.

  2. Ethical donations, erect penises, and gross cat humor. I cannot imagine a more entertaining holiday gift guide. Love it.

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