Gift Guides: The Best Holiday Gifts For The ’90s Kid

Did you catch the episode of Parks & Recreation this season where Ben Wyatt had a ’90s themed rollerskating party? The writers did an absolutely amazing job with squeezing so much of the decade into one short episode. Big pins! Crazy hats! A reference to R.E.M.’s Automatic For The People!

Obviously I loved the ’90s – and I don’t think I’m alone. If you have a friend who knows all of the words to “Shoop” by heart, here are some great gifts to consider giving them during this holiday season.

1. “Merry Christmas You Filthy Animal” Christmas Sweater on Etsy for $28.95

Since it’s Christmas, we ought to pay homage to some of our favorite holiday films. This sweater from TheSourceShop out in Atlanta combines the holidays with one of the most memorable quotes from 1990 film Home Alone. This sweatshirt is 50% cotton, 50% Polyester and 100% comfy looking and amazing.

While the seller lists as being an “Ugly Sweater”, I’d still wear it out in public. Or maybe while eating a lovely cheese pizza, just for me.

2. Nickelodeon Pinback Buttons on Etsy for $7.00

Most ’90s enthusiasts have a pretty good knowledge of classic Nickelodeon shows – Clarissa Explains It All, Doug, Rugrats, and who could forget Are You Afraid Of The Dark? This set of 1 inch pins made by Etsy seller HelloStranger pays tribute to all of the classics. They’re small enough to be able to pin on a purse or possibly a Home Alone-themed sweatshirt.

And speaking of Nickelodeon…

3. Legends of the Hidden Temple T-Shirts on MyPartyShirt for $14.99

I was a Green Monkey for Halloween one year, and the costume (complete with helmet and elbow guards) was a big hit. Your friend probably had a favorite team, and wished that they could one day run the impossible temple filled with horrifying temple guards, in hopes of winning moon shoes. (If you’re on the fence about which team to suggest, I’d steer clear of the Orange Iguanas. The Orange Iguanas were statistically the “worst” team, with a success rate of only 16%. But since people rarely won this show, that’s not saying too much.)

In all honesty, this shirt can easily be paired up with gear for a costume, or worn on the weekend with jeans. I’m living proof that the design won’t wear off after a washing or two – it’s a solid print.

If only they sold the Shrine of the Silver Monkey – it was only three pieces, but everyone had massive issues with putting it together.

4. The World of Beverly Cleary Collection from Amazon, starting at $26.92

Raise your hand if you grew up on Beverly Cleary. This amazing author brought us Ramona Quimby, and for that, I’m eternally grateful. While the cover art has changed, the amazing stories are still the same. Granted, Beverly has been writing books since the ’60s – so while this isn’t a gift that screams ’90s, there’s a good chance your friend might have given Beverly’s books a shot around that decade.

Here’s a fun fact about Beverly – she got her start with writing after her third grade school librarian suggested that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. Who knows how many writers today found their inspiration based on her fiction?

If Cleary isn’t your thing, also consider Judy Blume. Or dare I say – Ann M. Martin.

5. “Will Still Read For Pizza” BookIt! T-Shirt from the BookIt! Store, $13.00

Since we’re on the topic of books, let’s talk about how much BookIt! made a difference in our young lives. Your ’90s buddy will totally appreciate this t-shirt and reminisce about the time that reading meant free personal pan pizzas. If you want, you can even pair it with a vintage BookIt! pin, which you can check eBay for.

Even better, this purchase can make a difference. For every t-shirt purchased, BookIt! will donate $2.50 to First Book to provide a brand new book to a child in need.

6. “Rollin’ With The Homies” Tote Bag from Etsy, $14.00

RainbowAlternative actually has a bunch of great ’90s totes for sale, but I highlighted Clueless because – come on. Who didn’t love this movie? Designs are hand-stenciled & spray painted by Philadelphia artist Nicole K., and are set to arrive at your door in about two weeks. Which is probably sooner than Elton will take with finding his Cranberries CD in the quad.

7. Tattoo Chokers from The CobraShop, $10.00

I can’t end this gift guide without one note of ’90s fashion. Chokers in general were big, but tattoo chokers made their appearance in the late ’90s. And I thought they were the absolute coolest thing in the entire world. I won’t lie – I still think they’re kinda cool.

While they were meant to look like you had a bad-ass neck tattoo, they really just looked like you had a bad-ass piece of plastic around your neck. And yes, they might not have been the most comfortable thing to wear, but they didn’t break the bank. Did I mention they looked cool?

8. Into The Night Boots from ModCloth, $49.99

A lot of 90’s kids are still lamenting the end of Daria, the cartoon which featured everyone’s favorite sarcastic, brunette protagonist. You could gift a pair of amazing lace-up calf high boots, similar to Daria’s signature attire. These boots are made of vegan faux leather, and fit true to size. (The picture was actually submitted to the site from a very happy customer!)

9. Hurley Wilson Long Sleeved Shirt from PacSun, $44.99

It wasn’t a struggle to find plaid in the 90’s, especially since fashion was largely dictated by music – and alternative and grunge were big. This shirt comes from PacSun’s 90’s inspired “trend” line, and is made by Hurley. With two varied pockets in the front, it’s bound to be an attention-getter. Even better, it looks great with jeans. Maybe even jeans with holes in the knees, or cutoffs.

Can you think of other great gifts to get your favorite friend that’s stuck in the ’90s?

Image Credits: Etsy (sweater, pins, tote), Fashionista (choker), BookIt (shirt), MyPartyShirt (Temple), Amazon (Cleary), Zazzle (featured), ModCloth (boots), PacSun (flannel)

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