Looking for a unique Christmas or holiday gift for an American history lover? As history buffs and gifting experts ourselves, we have some ideas you've probably never heard.
Below is our curated list of gift options for anyone who loves history.
Why Listen To Us: Gifting is our business. This isn't an AI-generated list or a list compiled by some blogger with not enough time mandated to get clicks and drive affiliate revenue. We genuinely just want to share our favorite history-adjacent presents, because we like people who like history and it's good karma.
Without further ado:
The Absolute Coolest Gifts For History Buffs In 2023*
1. For Handy Historians:
Decipher coded messages like Alan Turing with this replica Engima machine you build yourself. Sold by a European cryptology museum as a fundraiser, $150 DIY kits don't get much cooler than this.
2. For Armchair Fighter Pilots:
3. For Cold War Buffs:
On my desk I keep a small chunk of the Berlin Wall, glued to a miniature replica of a section of the "mauer". Despite the "certificate of authenticity," it's probably fake, but I still love it. It's a (ahem) concrete reminder of the "Iron Curtain" and the Cold War.
I bought mine in Berlin, at the Checkpoint Charlie museum, but there are ample vendors of Berlin Wall chunks of all sizes on Ebay, Etsy, and elsewhere.
4. For Bookworms:
I do most of my reading these days on an e-reader. It's just convenient. Sometimes though, I splurge. I find a beautiful first-edition of an old book I've been meaning to read, and I buy it.
Reading a first-edition of an old book is just luxurious. The patina and aroma of a 1st edition just takes you back in time, which, when you're reading an old book, is downright delightful.
Some first editions will set you back thousands of dollars, or more. But here's the secret... Those are rare exceptions. The vast majority of first editions will cost you $200 at most for a copy in nice condition, and often much less.
I own several first-edition Arthur Conan Doyle books (including his ill-timed book on the Boehr War - the war wasn't over yet) and none of them set me back more than $180.
"But Michael," you say, "I don't know what book to buy for my bookworm". The wonderful thing about the stores that carry first-edition books is that the owners and employees care a lot about their wares. They know what they have in-and-out, and they'll gladly help you find the perfect special book for your bookworm.
If you live in or near a major city, there are probably several specialty bookstores near you. If not, I recommend browsing the online catalogues and getting into contact with two great bookstores in my area, Second Story Books and Capitol Hill Books.
Both have an incredible selection and employees who love talking books and helping their customers find just the right one.
That's my list for now. We'll keep adding to it as the year goes on, so check back soon.