Ah yes, the season of giving is upon us. Whether you give someone a 12-month Xbox LIVE gold subscription, or they give you a headshot from across the map in Battlefield 3, the sentiment is the same. The challenge comes from picking the right gift for the right person. Do I get my Dad a 4-port USB hub shaped like Darth Vader’s head, or the The Lord of the Rings Collector’s Chess Set? Buying gifts for my family from sites like ThinkGeek or Jinx would certainly show them some nerdy love, but are there any other options? Do I have to get them the same TARDIS mug that every other geek-son thoughtfully placed under the tree?

With many people shunning the 9 to 5 lifestyle for a more crafty one, there are a veritable plethora of gifting options for you to choose from. Is the woman in your life a fan of Adventure Time and living in a cold weather climate? Get her a Jake the Dog hand-knit hat from someone’s Etsy store. Is your brother a fan of Frank Miller style art? Contact one of the many talented artists at Deviant Art to see if you can get a commission done. Is your sister-in-law bent on world domination through robot apocalypse? The geeks over at Sparkfun have you covered.

But what about the younger geeks in our lives? Should I get them the latest thing-a-ma-toy that all the advertisements on Nicktoons are telling their impressionable minds that they need, or do I gift them with something greater? In my opinion, a present for a child should be something that they are going to not only enjoy playing with, but will be useful to them as well. And the trifecta would be getting a gift that is fun, useful, AND educational. The fact of the matter is that kids crave knowledge. They want to know what everything is, and how it works. The main problem is that they will never tell you that they want an educational toy because all of their friends are pwning n00bs in Call of Duty or texting all hours of the night on the latest iPhone that they just HAD to have.

Don’t fret, parents, there are options.The geniuses over at Thames & Kosmos have created an entire set of kits that each focus on specific fields of science. Everything from Astronomy to Paleontology. They even have a section of alternative energy lab kits for the more eco-friendly kid. Is your child interested in robots (and really, who wasn’t when they were a kid)? Robot Shop has a robotics kit to fit every knowledge level, interest, and pocket-book. Remember, it is your right as a parent to get gifts for your kids that you will want to play with as well.

Is your significant other incredibly hard to shop for (if you didn’t want the 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar then you should have spoken up when I asked what you wanted for Christmas) then dig deep into the essence of the season. The holidays are generally pretty cold in the Northern hemisphere, so maybe designing the perfect cuddle-date may be just the thing to put a smile on their face. Curl up together on your giant Sumo Lounge ultimate fur chair, under a super comfy Pac-Man fleece blanket, sip some peppermint hot cocoa from your Star Wars Imperial logo mug, while watching the The Dark Knight trilogy on Blu-ray. It will be a night to remember for years to come. I promise that they will be bragging to their co-workers about you.

‘Tis the season to brave packed parking lots and long lines and shell out for that “perfect gift” for your special someone. The good news is that you don’t have to face this trial alone. Maybe take some tips from this guide, or let it inspire you to find a present from a previously unknown store. In the end, the old adage is true; It really is the thought that counts. So be sure to think of your loved ones and pick a gift that they will treasure forever.