Bitch in a Box: Holiday Gift Guide, Pop-Culture Nester Edition

Buying gifts for pop cultureholics can be tough. You show up all proud, bearing a DVD box set of The Wire, and it turns out they already have all the seasons already, and on Blu-Ray, no less. Party foul!

Why not do something a little different, and give a gift that says, “I know I sometimes don’t know what you’re talking about, you gorgeous nerd, but I love you and I think this will look boss in your Apple TV-enabled, hi-def living room that you rarely leave”? Read on for gifts for the walls, the kitchen, the bedroom, and other places where pop obsessives nest.

Art, prints, and more:

"Never Half-Ass Two Things" poster with image of Ron Swansoninfographic poster picturing all Dexter Morgan's victims

I’m not the only one who wants Ron Swanson to be my life coach. Be guided by his pearls of wisdom each day with this poster, from Etsy seller CreativeSobriety, reminding you, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” For a more macabre take on one man’s code of living, this infographic poster of every one of Dexter Morgan’s kills would certainly be a living-room conversation-starter, not to mention a perfect gift for the Dexter completist in your life. Etsy seller Dehahs, we commend (and are, frankly, a little scared of) your devotion to detail.

Star Wars pictogram alphabet posterNight's Watch oath rendered in different styles of type

I’ve already used up all my fingers counting how many people in my life would plotz over this amazing Star Wars alphabet poster from Etsy seller ConcepcionStudios. And finally, this type-driven take on the Night’s Watch Oath from Game of Thrones would surely elicit a grimly approving nod from Jon Snow, which is pretty much the highest praise that barrel of laughs can offer.


For the kitchen:

True Blood cookbook imageimage of Downton Abbey cookbook

True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps serves as an official companion to the HBO series (it’s written by creator Alan Ball and coproducer Gianna Sobol), with more than 80 southern- and Cajun-style recipes, augmented by lots of glossy photos. Some of the dishes—like the pecan pie Sookie tears through after the death of her gran—were gustatory plot points, but thankfully Maenad Maryann’s Human Heart Scramble isn’t among them. Elsewhere, the Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook offers recipes inspired by the hit BBC series, divided into two sections for highbrow fare representing the aristocracy (Lady Mary’s Spicy Mulligatawny Soup) and hearty bites, like Downstairs Toad in the Hole, for those who identify with Downton’s working class.


cookie featuring an embossed TARDIS imagewhite mug with illo of Donna and Tom and the words "Treat Yo Self."

When it’s cookie time, accentuate your baked goods like only a diehard fan can with Etsy seller totalum’s cookie presses. Your pecan sandies can sport a Mockingjay logo, rep for Houses Stark or Baratheon, or give some literal flavor to your next Dr. Who viewing party. And whether you’re drinking a healthy slug of fresh-pressed kale juice or a more decadent adult beverage (perhaps some Snake Juice?), this Treat Yo’ Self mug, from Etsy seller PeachyApricot, will remind your giftee to make like Parks and Recreation’s Tom and Donna whenever possible.


For the bedroom/nursery:

art with text reading "with my mind on my mommy and my mommy on my mind"pillow with silkcreened objects from Moonrise Kingdom on it




This two-piece nursery art set in soothing neutrals switches up a classic rap refrain with a parenting-centric twist—the perfect gift for a new parent who may not be sipping on gin and juice these days but who still likes some good wordplay. Meanwhile, your friend who insists on seeing all Wes Anderson movies the day they’re released will appreciate this appropriately twee Moonrise Kingdom pillow cover. (Come on—it’s the least you can give her after she’s indulged all your eye-rolling and invective about the dog-murdering auteur.)


needlepoint Rubik's Cube tissue-box coverBreaking Bad tissue-box cover

As a needlework obsessive, I couldn’t be happier that needlepoint tissue-box covers have made an unlikely comeback. And what better way to help your pals greet flu season than with a gift that says, “I know you’re going to be hella blowing your nose for a while, so here’s something to make it fun-ish.” Etsy sellers have box covers on offer that are both Big Bang Theory– and Breaking Bad–themed, and both will pair wonderfully with a bowl of chicken soup and the TV remote.


Random fun bits for home and office:

image of blue pencils with silver engraving and Arrested Development quotessketchbook with cover reading "Handbook for the Recently Deceased"

Bond with your coworkers over your shared love of Arrested Development—and anticpation of the forthcoming movie!—with this pencil set, engraved with some of the series’ finest quotes, from Etsy seller Earmark. And why not combine the set with this Handbook For the Recently Deceased sketchbook for your pal who stands firm in her belief that it was all downhill for Winona Ryder after Beetlejuice?


Ryan Gosling coloring book covercrocheted Nucky Thompson doll

Get your hands on (or at least coloring in) a perennial pop-culture lust object (not to mention unabashed feminist) with this Ryan Gosling coloring book by Mel Simone Elliott. And, finally, part of loving pop culture often involves dreams of getting close to characters, however flawed they may be. You may never be able to give your loved ones the gift of getting cuddly with the likes of Walter White or Nucky Thompson—and, honestly, that’s probably for the best—but these crocheted dolls by Etsy seller JorgePenny are a fine, weirdly compelling close second. And you definitely won’t have to worry about someone getting them the same gift.

Got other pop-culture nesting picks you’d like to shout out? That’s what the comments are for. Happy gifting!




by Andi Zeisler
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Andi Zeisler is the cofounder of Bitch Media and the author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement. You can find her on Twitter.

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