It’s almost Christmas, which is the perfect excuse to drop some very obvious hints about what podcast-related swag YOU might want, or to casually ask your podcast-obsessed loved ones which shows they like so you can pick out a shirt with an inside joke you don’t understand (but that they will love, I promise!!!).
Why is podcast-related swag so cool, compared with all the other favorite-content-related-swag you could buy someone for Christmas? I don’t know! I do know I would love the F out of a parenting-related podcast shot glass or politics-related-podcast liberal snowflake Christmas ornament and if you don’t know this about me you DON’T KNOW ME AT ALL. Also no one paid me to post these. I just think they’re cool and want all of them.
For your friend who’s as interested in skincare as economics, politics, sociology, or history: The swag in the Getting Curious store includes a crop top and a gorgeous graphic of his gorgeous hair, just like your queue should include so many of the amazing, not kidding henny Terry-MF-ing-Gross-good interviews Jonathan Van Ness conducts on his show. While you’re at it check out his very figure-skating-heavy Instagram and feel better about being a human.
For your nerdy-but-in-an-interesting-way loved one: All the stuff in the Radiotopia store is cool, but I’m partial to the 99% Invisible and Love and Radio shirts, which I think say, hey, you seem like a person who appreciates good design and the calm, soothing voice and sophisticated taste of Roman Mars.
For your friends who you didn’t see for all of September and October because they were canvassing: The Pod Save America and Crooked Media store has everything they need to feel festive-yet-still-angry-and-determined, and to start (necessary) fights with your conservative uncle at your holiday gathering:
For your long-distance feminist bestie: Nothing says “the people I hang out with where I live are fiiiiine, but I miss you and wish we could talk about politics, history, relationships, celebrities, and feminism in person” better than some Call Your Girlfriend stuff. I wish I was drinking my coffee out of an UGHHHHH mug right now almost as much as I wish my lady friends in Seattle, Gainesville, D.C., and Charlottesville lived on my block.
For your salty, true-crime fan: Nothing says yuletide warm fuzzies like murder, and I think I can safely say that the My Favorite Murder’s store is the only place on the internet where you can buy a “Stay Sexy Don’t Get Murdered” needlepoint, a “Here’s the Thing, Fuck Everyone” ornament, and a “Stay Out of the Forest” candle.
For your new (or not so new, but we all need help during all the stages) parent friend: The Longest Shortest Time has a very small selection, but they make up for that with coolness of their items. Witty onesies, shot glasses, tattoos, and a HUGE diaper bag to go with your honest conversations about post-partum sex, imaginary friends, and sperm donors.
For your loved one who you can ask the tough questions: WNYC’s Death Sex and Money cuts right to the chase and asks questions about taboo topics, just like your friend who’s easy to talk to but hard to shop for. You’ll have to become a monthly donor to get this cool swag, like a mug that says, “I’m having a should-less day” and this gel sleep mask, but it’s worth it. The quote is from my favorite episode, with Ellen Burstyn, and I’ve given myself more of those since hearing that episode.
For the woman who stopped giving any fucks what people thought about her long time ago: Unladylike has, in my opinion, one of the best podcast formats (they all start with “how to” from How to Diagnose Gaslighting Docs to How to Reboot Sexist Robots). But they also have the coolest podcast logo ever, and you can get it on this cool mug so you can caffeinate before smashing the patriarchy.
For someone who you got to know quickly but intensely: Beautiful/Anonymous listeners will know this means everyone Chris Gethard shares a meandering, heart-wrenching, anonymous hour with. This is the perfect show if you’re in the mood for a deep dive into someone’s life in a short time, and my favorite from their swag store is this listener-designed shirt with the headphones. Gethard apologizes to his Aunt Sally every time someone cusses, and now you can too, with a shirt.
This list is very subjective, but some quick stalking of your loved one’s phone or casual steering of the conversation towards “I heard on this PODCAST the other day…” to get them to counter with “REALLY, I ALSO HEARD ON A PODCAST the other day…” plus a quick Google search of their favorite podcast’s swag store will win you all the thoughtful gift-giving points this holiday season.
And if they don’t listen to podcasts I think we can all agree they don’t deserve gifts or love, and that you can screw em and spend the money on an indie podcast’s Patreon page instead.