The holiday season is upon us, and for the designated political junkie in your life, buying the right gift can make all the difference between getting a lecture or a thank you as a response. Political enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, so before you set out to buy a gift for one, make sure you know a bit about what they stand for. Because seriously, imagine buying a family member who happens to be a stark Republican (unbeknownst to you) the latest Obama 2012 T-shirt. Uncle Jack does not dig the president in the least, and you just got yourself into a two-hour debate about birth certificates.
So to avoid an “Uncle Jack” run-in, find out what the political junkie in your life is into – everybody has some sort of ideology; even saying you don’t care about politics is a kind of ideology – and go from there.
Here are a few politically themed gift ideas for that opinionated and in-tune guy or girl in your world:
Plain and simple. A book by or about a politician or your favorite pundit can be both informative and entertaining. Whether you fancy Obama or Romney, Limbaugh or Olbermann, a good read will satisfy all walks of life. Personally, I have Bill Maher’s new book, New Rules: How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, at the top of my list. Although it in no way is a serious read, it’s hilarious and still pretty informative, as it recaps (and pokes fun at) several stories that have been in the news this past year.
A subscription to some sort of publication is always a great gift, but make sure you know whom you’re dealing with before you purchase one. For newspapers (either tangible copies or an online subscription), buy a subscription to your local daily, or stick to the big guys: New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, TIME magazine, etc. There’s a reason why these papers remain at the top in the midst of the newspaper death rattle – good reporting!
The Current TV Channel:
Current is awesome. It’s one thing I sorely miss now that I don’t have it, and I constantly find myself checking out Current.com for whatever I can salvage from the channel. There’s excellent investigative reporting on current events galore in the award winning Vanguard series, parody shows, and even viewer submission time slots. And if you’re a Keith Olbermann fan, well you now know where to find him.
A donation to an organization, political party, or campaign:
It’s perfect timing to get the political junkie you know and love a gift that says, “Hey, I donated to that idiot you support on your behalf.” Campaign time is upon us, so what better than to donate to a campaign – even if you dislike the candidate – for your friend or family member who just can’t get enough? Also, donating to an organization can also be a really great gift. For example, I plan on donating to the ACLU on my father’s behalf this year because he never seems to want anything for Christmas except slippers and coffee gift cards. So I’m branching out, and pretty soon, Pops is going to be an ACLU donor (I’ll probably call him a freedom fighter for a couple of days).
Last but not least, campaign merchandise:
Buying a zany gift to support a candidate’s campaign shows that you see where they’re coming from, but you just couldn’t resist buying a Rick Perry bobble head or a Newt Gingrich coffee cup. If you Google “political gifts,” lots of websites will appear, so click one and go crazy. I find these T-shirt/coffee cup/pen-type gifts pretty cheesy, but some people seem to really enjoy them. They are manufactured and actually do sell, after all.
The Internet is going to be your best friend in shopping for any of the things I’ve listed above, so open up a new tab (after checking out more TNGG, of course) and get down to the search and spend! If all else fails, turn to the political junkie handbook. Happy holidays!
Got any other ideas for the political junkie on your list?