As we find ourselves already knee-deep into December, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore that certain festive je ne sais quoi that always seems to permeate the air during this time of year — yes, even in this globally most horribilis of annuses, (whisper it) 2020.
The shops — well, those of them that haven’t been permanently shuttered, or at least forcibly quarantined, by the coronavirus pandemic that has defined much of our lives for the past 12 months — have been pumping out seasonal tunes for what already seems like an eternity.
However, take heart in the fact that it is only the sickeningly well-prepared and the terminally short-of-things-to-do who have directed more than a cursory thought toward what to actually buy anybody as a gift so far.
And fear not, because if your loved ones like a bit of Christmas with their crypto, then Cointelegraph has a whole heap of inspiring gift ideas to help you seem just as thoughtful as our overeager, underworked compatriots.
A Christmas classic
The wallet has been a Christmas staple since the days of Charles Dickens when Ebenezer Scrooge famously received one from Tiny Tim in order to keep all his money in order — possibly.
In the crypto world, the go-to standard for keeping your tokens secure is a hardware wallet, and there are plenty to choose from. Besides, software wallets are generally free and not suitable for making you look like a generous gift-giver.
The Ledger Nano X needs no introduction and is still one of the very best hardware wallets out there. And for Christmas, Ledger is offering a free $25 crypto voucher with every Nano X sold. There are also family packs (of three wallets) on sale, and the earlier Nano S model is still available for those on a more modest budget.
Alternatively, the 29 euro ($35) Status Keycard adds a physical layer of security to the Status app and cryptocurrency wallet, which runs on Android and iOS cellphones. We first came across the Keycard in June, and the simplicity of the system is a big draw.
Transactions initiated through the app require a tap of the near-field-communication-enabled card on a smartphone in order to go through. Without the physical keycard, money simply cannot be transferred.
If you have been patiently waiting for this year's most hyped and, reputedly, most secure hardware wallet, the Ngrave Zero, I'm afraid you are out of luck, however — at least for Christmas.
Ngrave CEO Ruben Merre confirmed that devices purchased during the project's crowdfunding campaign are expected to ship at the end of December, with the remainder being delivered throughout January 2021. Of course, if you have a birthday coming up...
Gifts to wrap yourself
The humble Christmas sweater has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years.
Originally a piece of knitwear — usually bestowed by an elderly, but well-meaning, relative — so ugly that it is destined to only be worn on Christmas day itself — while said elderly relative is around to see it — it has since been embraced by certain elements of society as an ironic statement.
Talk about post-modernism gone mad.
Anyway, Hodlmoon has a range of particularly ugly sweaters for sale, combining traditional nordic elements with bold crypto logos in outlandish color schemes. Firm family favorites Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) are all represented, along with a few more esoteric choices.
Got a sibling who you can picture pledging their allegiance to Kyber Network or Polymath in knitted form? Anyone? And although emblazoned with the logos of the privacy-focused browser, the Brave sweater could equally refer to the personal qualities required of the wearer.
Be aware that these won’t appeal to all of your loved ones, but the right giftee will be over the (Bitcoin) moon with one of these. I’m even starting to soften toward the Monero sweater myself. Ahem, moving on quickly.
If Christmas sweaters are a bit in your face (on your torso?) for your chosen recipient, then perhaps they would be better disposed toward a pair of cryptocurrency socks?
Socks are ideal for those who want to identify themselves as a crypto believer while proving that they still enjoy a bit of fun as much as the next person — but only when they sit down and their pants ride up.
Also, socks make for a much cheaper novelty gift than a jumper.
Etsy seller Dytanik has a full 29 different designs available, each dedicated to a different token.
With so many for sale, it doesn’t matter if your intended beneficiary is a fully paid-up member of the XRP army, an Aave staker, a Binance Coin (BNB) trader, a Cardano (ADA) hodler, or even a Tetherer (yes, really). Whichever way one’s crypto kink lies, there is a pair of socks with which to pledge one’s allegiance — unless one happens to believe that Craig Wright actually is Satoshi Nakamoto, that is.
A bonus item for XRP heads (pun very much intended): On a much subtler level, this logoed beanie allows the wearer to express their "XRPride" while leaving the vast majority of those who see it convinced that they are simply a fan of The X Files.
A little light reading
Over the past year, I have had the dubious honor of reviewing a whole host of cryptocurrency- and blockchain-related books, ranging from the excellent, like Blockland, to the laughably bad, like The Little Book of Crypto. So, you’d expect me to be able to recommend a decent bit of Christmas reading for the crypto convert — or perhaps, soon to be crypto convert — in your life, right?
But the problem with Blockland is that it was, and still is, only available as a “limited edition” hardcover preorder for $59. And although your parents may have brought you into this world and nurtured you through the best part of the first 18 years of life, $59 is a bit steep. And even then, a claimed shipping date of December gives no guarantee of a Christmas delivery.
There are planned paperback and Kindle versions on the way, and the website does state that the book is “Coming January 3rd, 2021.” So, if by some slim chance that is referring to one of the cheaper options and you celebrate Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7, then you might be in luck.
But it’s a long shot.
The problem with The Little Book of Crypto, of course, is that you probably want to remain on speaking terms with the recipient once the gift is bestowed.
So, instead, I’m going to recommend a book I haven’t yet reviewed, as I still haven't quite finished reading it. Cowries to Crypto is not purely about cryptocurrency but rather gives a history of money, currency and wealth throughout history, from the time when people used cowrie shells as a medium of exchange — hence the title — right up to the present day.
It is a collaboration between internationally acclaimed political cartoonist Harry Harrison and award-winning financial journalist Jame DiBiasio.
This means it has lots of nice pictures, which is somewhat of a rarity in this sort of book. It is also a very well-written, in-depth, unbiased exploration of its subject matter and will reaffirm your faith that crypto is most definitely the future of money.
However, books on crypto generally cater to those who are just beginning to take an interest in the subject. What if your better half is already a card-carrying crypto convert?
Citadel 21 is a Bitcoin culture fanzine. It is fresh, current and edgy enough to satisfy even the most hardcore crypto acolyte. It contains a curated selection of voices and opinions on the subject, with a focus on the good, the cool and the weird.
And it includes the serialized webcomic "Bulltardia," which is hiding the 12 words of a seed phrase for a wallet containing 0.1 BTC, as if you needed any other excuse to read it.
Sure, you could read the online versions for free, but there are also some rather smart-looking limited-edition physical copies available, along with six- and 12-volume subscriptions.
Not for trading...
In years gone by, Cointelegraph might have recommended gifting your nearest and dearest with cold, hard, actual cryptocurrency. Well, not anymore.
The problem is that crypto now comes in so many flavors that picking out the right variety comes with a veritable minefield of potential pitfalls.
Imagine buying your eccentric Uncle Derek "the wrong type of Bitcoin," or Polkadot's DOT for your secretly Ethereum-loving aunt — or Tron's Tronix (TRX) token for basically anyone.
These days, it is perhaps safer to venture into the world of nonfungible tokens when looking for gifts that reside on a blockchain. If nothing else, it will make it look like you've made more of an effort.
When it comes to NFTs, you might want to look to the Axies of the game Axie Infinity. Not only can these cute creatures be reared, battled and bred, but with some decidedly average skill, they can even become a source of income, as I found out when writing my recent review of the game.
Just remember that you need three of them to make any money.
If only the freshest of NFTs will do, then look no further, as the BBC recently launched a collection of Doctor Who trading cards. You can buy in for under $5, and the cards will be usable in a card-battling game later next year, as Cointelegraph reported earlier.
Finally, you could always treat a work colleague to one of Cointelegraph's very own festive NFTs. Our artists have put together a poster-sized artwork that collects all of the major cryptocurrency-related events of the year into one image.
From the coronavirus crash through the halving to the rise of decentralized finance and PayPal entering the crypto space, it's all in there, with a little space reserved for anything that happens between now and the end of the year.
Crypto has provided a bountiful range of gifts for the Christmas lover in your life this year, so you don't have to let all the jollity get you down. Just keep your cellphone close at hand so you can check for a Dogecoin (DOGE) pump before serving the turkey.