The Best Yule Gifts for the Historian in your Life

Hello, fellow wannabe historians and Merry Yule! Those of you who know me well will understand why I avoid saying Merry Christmas. To me, Christmas is just... well... too Christian. Since Christianity was a religion that was violently forced on indigenous people, I avoid celebrating the holiday the Christian way. I do support saying "Happy Holidays" though, to be more inclusive of other religions. I also support the pagan Yuletide celebrations which celebrated the winter solstice before Christianity was around. The tradition of the Yule tree (Christmas tree) has been preserved since the ancient Germanic Yulefest. And of course, I'm an excellent gift giver (and gift receiver). So, I've decided to make this post about gifts that you can give to the historian (or wannabe historian) in your life. This list should come in super handy if you have obsessive history friends in your life.

Antique Maps and Globes 

Henricus Hondicus 1630  map print

Some of us like to daydream of world domination. That is why we tend to hoard maps and globes to plot out our ascent to power. As John Green once said on Crash Course world history, a historian can never have too many globes. We also love maps, which are just as special to us but which you may consider giving as a cheaper gift. Colored antique maps are quite beautiful, and you can frame them to make the perfect gift item. Look for ones with drawings of ships and sea monsters in the oceans, random Latin phrases inscribed in the borders, etc. I recommend the Henricus Hondius map from 1630, you can easily get a print of it or buy it online. 

Cosplay Supplies 


We're really picky when it comes to cosplay items, so make sure you do a bit of research on this before hand. We like historical accuracy, so don't get us a horned helmet. Also try to stay away from cultural appropriation. Lets say you're going to get beaded moccasins for a follower of this blog. I'm sure they'd love the gesture, if you buy them from an authentic indigenous artisan and not some shady "made in China" ones. A woolen Viking cloak would be perfect for staying warm this Yule and we historians do think it's a shame that people don't wear cloaks anymore. Check out the Kult of Athena site for great deals on weapons.


Books are definitely the best present ever, no matter who you're gifting, so of course they'd be well suited for a historian. We tend to stick to traditional books rather than to ebooks, and we like to hoard aesthetically pleasing volumes on the shelves of our libraries. I highly recommend buying from the Folio Society, which the books in the above photo are from. They republish popular books on  a variety of subjects and give them glorious aesthetic covers, so that they look perfect to present to your favourite historian on Yule. What would a historian be without their books? I highly recommend checking out the Mexica movement recommended books list 

Also, who says historians don't like fiction? Yule is a great time to curl up near a fireplace and read feelsy historical fiction set in your favourite time period, with epic battle scenes and romance. Check out this list of best historical fiction compiled by Goodreads readers for some great suggestions. This isn't to imply that nonfiction is devoid of feels though. All history contains feels. 

A classic political text is also a fantastic gift, especially one that may have changed the flow of history, like the Communist Manifesto or Mein Kampf. Perhaps you will inspire your seemingly peaceful historian friend to write their own manifesto and take the world by storm. 


So yeah, I've already mentioned wannabe-historians tend to be sensitive and have a lot of feels. We can also hold grudges for over 500 years. We really need something to help us calm down. Chocolate is great for this purpose. Try making spicy Aztec hot chocolate as a thoughtful gesture using this great recipe .

A vegvisir representing the 4 directions with a border of Norse runes
mjolnir, or thor's hammer. Typically worn by Norse pagans and/or Marvel fans.

The iron cross: not always a nazi thing

A mjolnir pendant? An iron cross? Many historians long for the restoration of an ancient pagan faith, a fallen empire, or a lost way of life. The jewelry we wear often has a deep, special meaning to us which is why it is literally worn so close to our hearts. Jewelry shopping is never cheap, but you can check Etsy for some good deals. Remember to get creative and aesthetic. The Viking enthusiast in your life probably already has a ton of Thor hammer pendants lying around, so why not switch things up with a sterling silver Icelandic vegvisir?  For Inca enthusiasts, I recommend chakana pendants. 

Flags and other heraldic symbols

Self-explanatory. We're the type of people who would wear flags as capes.

See, I give great advice? I'm sure your historian friend is very glad that you support them. 


Books I've Read on Goodreads

Freya's bookshelf: read

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

really liked it

Saddest book I've ever read. I don't know why so many of the other reviews seem to hate the protagonist Tess or are saying she should have known better about Alec. In my opinion, she is an amazing character. She was the most mature, resp...


really liked it

The writing style evoked a lot of emotion. Joseph Boyden was just really good at putting himself in someone else's shoes. That's the only way I can think to describe it. The book is based on the true story of Chanie Wenjack, who died try...


it was amazing

My favourite Shakespeare play so far (I'm going to read all 37 of them eventually). I felt like it wasn't violent enough for a "revenge tragedy" though.

The Boy Who Played Tiger

really liked it

An amazing children's book set in a small village in Myanmar. Very entertaining to read. I highly recommend this to parents who want reading suggestions for their children as I think it's a good idea to start reading about other cultures...