Have yourself a geeky little Christmas

This is a guest post by Chris Hinton, who is a freelance IT consultant and author of Geek-Speak.

Christmas is coming – fast – and if you’re anything like me you are now starting to think you really should get those festive arrangements in order. While Christmas is often a time of family tradition and good old-fashioned values, it can also be an opportunity to express your quirkier side. So here are five suggestions for gadgets and novelties to make you Christmas that little bit geekier.

 

Singing Christmas Tree

This first suggestion is pure cheese – a singing Christmas tree. I remember having one of these when I lived on a college campus, and we would often place it outside one of our unsuspecting friends’ doors. When they next came out of their flat it would go off automatically, singing Jingle Bells and giving them a fright. There are so many singing trees on the market that I won’t link to any one in particular, but they are a great way of adding a touch of kitch to your Christmas celebrations, and of testing your guests’ sense of humour!

R2D2 Nut Cracker

Ah, nuts – why are they such a traditional part of Christmas? Whatever the reason, festive visits to parents houses usually end up with me sitting next to a bowl of nuts and snacking away. But if you want to show off your geek credentials, this R2D2 nut cracker will do the trick. As far as I can tell it doesn’t make the squealing noise R2 is known for… unless you trap your finger in it.

Giant Microbe Tree Ornaments

Ever wondered what a cold virus would look like if it was millions of times larger? And millions of times cuter? Wonder no more – the Giant Microbe Christmas Tree Ornament pack contains five “popular” germs in seasonal garb and all ready to be hung on your Christmas tree. You can even get non-Christmas versions that are just cuddly toys. I had a great time explaining to my daughter what her cuddly stomach ache (shigella) bug was.

Geeky Christmas Cards

Ah, geek humour. Obscure, nerdy, but still fun. I particularly liked this Christmas card (#FFFFFF is the hex colour-code for white, in case you were wondering), or this one which turns Ho Ho Ho into a mathematical formula. Either send these to the computer/maths geek in your life or, if you are known for being one yourself, play up to the fact and send them to all your “normal” friends.

Pre-Lit Christmas Wreaths

Christmas wreaths are a lovely, traditional image, aren’t they? I’m not about to destroy that, but all the technology we have at our disposal these days must make things a bit easier, don’t you think? So how about mixing the old and new with a traditional Christmas wreath that also lights up? Nothing fancy, nothing obscure, just a case of technology making a small improvement. Again, as with the singing Christmas trees, there are loads of pre-lit wreaths on the market. Just make sure you get one that takes batteries, or you’re going to end up having to run a cable through the letter-box!

Bonus: Lego Advent Calendars

Oh alright then – just one more. When I was a lad chocolate advent calendars were a luxury – or maybe that was just in our house. Nowadays they’re commonplace, but how about going one step further and having a calendar that gives you little Lego toy every day? I know a little girl and boy who would love to have one of these. Come to think of it, I know quite a few adults who wouldn’t say “no” either.

So, just a few suggestions for ways to geek up your Christmas. Whatever you are up to this Christmas, I hope you have a great time. If you have any suggestions for quirky or geeky additions to the festivities, tell us about them in the comments. We would love to hear what you think.

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