Hi everyone, Hannah here. There’s no question that the academic in your life deserves the best – no matter the occasion! It’s been a tough year – and we’re all trying to end it on a high. I know how hard shopping can be during the festive season, so many choices yet no clue what to buy?! Well for my blog today I’m going to cover my top 10 festive gift recommendations (with varied price points) for the academic or scientist in your life!
Gift options one, two and three are inspired by the sheer quantity of time we spend at our desks… I mean it’s a LOT. Whether that’s in the office or at home, I’m sure you’ve noticed we are basically an addition to the office suite furniture, so much so that we frequently find ourselves eating our desks…
A mini-desk vacuum to mop up all those crumbs and pencil sharpenings could be the ideal stocking filler for your academic pal! It’s not something someone would typically buy for themselves – but alongside the fact that they’re totally cute, they’re a super useful little gift too!
We all know that we should be getting up from our desks every half an hour so to stretch our legs and protect our eyes – but how many of us actually do so? Long periods of time spent sat at a desk can cause back pain caused by poor posture. A lumbar support cushion could be the perfect gift for the desk obsessed person in your life – give them the gift of a healthy back!
Of course with the boom of zoom, we are even meeting from the comfort of our desks – so what can we do to make our desks that little bit comfier… Lighting and lamps are the perfect accessory to add that bit of ambiance to a desk space, and there are some utterly adorable ones on the market such as the little bao dumping light and the pearl boba tea light  So cute!!
We all need help celebrating our successes, and academics are notoriously bad at doing so. If the academic in your life has been proactive enough to have achieved a publication – show them how amazing that is by commemorating it on a keyring. Simply personalise a keyring by adding a screenshot of the first page of their paper. It’s a simple and cheap stocking filler, it’s also a really nice reminder to them that their hard work to get that piece of research out there is worth applauding.
Pretty much everything is digital now – there is very little need to print and annotate papers, not only because of the environmental impact, but also because of our accessibility online. Some of us, however, can’t help but prefer that feeling of writing by hand as opposed to typing. So why not supply them with their very own reusable digital note pad. They are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional paper pads and provide endless use. They simply connect to cloud services, and the notes are sent for online storage (such as Google Drive or Dropbox).
It’s been a tough year, and this really can effect your sleep. Sleep is a fundamental part of life, and we all know the difference between a good and bad nights rest. But do you know the impact of how we are awakened? There’s a reason for why the iPhone alarm sound gives you feelings of anxiety… A sudden wake up from deep sleep like that can be enough to cause grogginess. This body clock mimics sunrise, allowing a gentler start to the day, as nature had intended!
Yoga dice – ~£15 
The benefits of yoga are common knowledge and widespread around the world. Getting started and finding the motivation to do so however… not such a phenomenon! Yoga dice are the perfect gift for yogis or for people who are just getting started. Rolling the 7 dice reveal thousands of possible pose combinations. They are a fun way to engage with physical yoga practice and a great way to challenge your academic pal. A quick roll of the dice on a lunch break can provide the perfect escape for even the most hectic days!
The right words at the right time can do wonder in lifting a person’s mood. Sometimes the work life on an academic can be lonely, especially since working from home, and it can feel a little isolating. A pack of positive affirmation cards would provide a deck of sunny thoughts, kind words and little pick-me-ups that can be displayed anywhere to brighten their day and remind them that life is full of positivity!
Mini coffee machine  & travel cup  – ~ £60
I mean it’s winter – we’re all running on caffeine and mince pies right now, aren’t we? So, what better gift than a mini coffee machine and thermal mug?! We spend so much money each year on coffee from cafes when we can produce pretty much the same thing at home, and a reusable mug is a perfect eco-friendly alternative to the disposable stuff!
Last but not least – why not give the gift of giving this festive season? In a world of over consumption, driven by consumerism and the need for more, why not step back and take your gift giving duty as an opportunity to help those that need it the most. Find out what your academic friend is passionate about – if they are a dementia researcher, why not donate to a dementia charity where your donation will power ground-breaking research and help bring about life-changing dementia treatments, or Dementia UK, & help fund Admiral Nurses.
That’s all from me – I hope that this blog post has provided the inspiration that you needed!
Thanks for tuning in and happy holidays!
Hannah Hussain  is a PhD Student in Health Economics at The University of Sheffield. As a proud third generation migrant and British-Asian, her career path has been linear and ever evolving, originally qualifying as a Pharmacist in Nottingham, then Health Economics in Birmingham. Her studies have opened a world into Psychology, Mental Health and other areas of health, and with that and personal influences she found her passion for dementia.
Follow @hannagr4m