Season One of Stranger Things was so perfect and tight and well-acted, that I was honestly nervous about there being a second season. I was worried that feeling wouldn’t be reproducible or that Season Two would be so much like Season One that it would be too repetitive. Then instead they totally upped the ante and intensified that nostalgic comedy and cold fear that has me muttering, “No, no, no, no, no,” at the screen constantly.
I’m going to shut up about it now because spoilers aren’t kind, but if you haven’t dug into Season Two yet–get on it.
From what I’ve seen, the people who don’t like Stranger Things, don’t, but the people who do like it, really love it. I mean, I’m so into it I wrote a best Stranger Things Halloween costumes guide.
That makes Stranger Things a bountiful source of gift inspiration–and possibly makes your life easier. If there’s someone on your list who likes Stranger Things, chances are they’re going to get excited about anything Stranger Things related.
Now let’s tie on our camo headband, get our compasses out, and get down to business.
1. Hawkins Middle School A. V. Club Tee Shirt
You can be one of the gang with this retro style tee shirt marking you as part of the audio-visual club. The faded lettering gives it a retro look like you were really there in the eighties. This shirt is a neat way to signal to others how much you love the show, without wearing a shirt that says Stranger Things across it in huge letters. Sort of like a clever code. It’s pre-shrunk 100 percent cotton and the sizing is unisex. The shirt is silk screen-printed here in the United States and comes in sizes extra small to XX-large. Just be aware that some sizes can ship with Prime and others can’t (I have no idea why) so keep an eye out for that green “arrives before Christmas” text.
Price: From $11.75
2. Stranger Things Christmas Socks
Maybe you can’t wear a full on Stranger Things Christmas sweater, but you can definitely sneak in these Stranger Things socks. The cotton-blend women’s crew socks have the iconic Stranger Things Christmas lights and Joyce’s scrawled alphabet letters. These would make a great stocking stuffer for a Stranger Things fan.
Price: $12 (14 percent off MSRP)
3. Stranger Things Ugly Christmas Sweater
Everyone loves an ugly Christmas sweater and this one will get a lot of attention. The “Merry Christmas” is upside down, red against black and in the same font as the Stranger Things title screen. Above the words, we have seasonal Christmas trees, the kids’ retro walkie talkies, their three bikes, and a line of Joyce’s Christmas lights. Below the words, in the Upside Down, it’s all gone upside down. The trees are dead and bare. Will is running from the demogorgon and the air is filled with poisonous specks. And of course the whole thing is sandwiched with the number 011.
It’s like they were trying to find out how many references they could cram into this one sweater while still making it look like Christmasy. I’m all about it. As a cotton and polyester blend so it doesn’t have that itchy wool feeling. It’s printed in the USA and runs a tiny bit small so if you’re generally on the edge, consider ordering a size up.
Price: From $14.95
4. Stranger Things Eggo Card Game
Looking to turn your friends’ or family’s love of Stranger Things into an activity? There’s a board game for that. The aim of the game is to get rid of all your cards, sort of like in Uno, but you also have to escape the Upside Down. Your cards are shaped like Eggo Waffles and are stored in a holder shaped like a toaster. Even the outside box looks like an Eggo Waffle box. Check out the video below for more on how game play looks and a better view at the cards. It’s for two to six players and while the box suggests it’s for ages 14 and up, the game play isn’t very strategy heavy so younger folks can get in on the fun too.
I was sent a copy of this game to try out, making it clear that was not a promise of a positive review or any review at all, and had a lot of fun with it. You really do get attached to your characters and a game can can look like it’s going your way one minute and then suddenly, there’s no guessing who’s going to win. It works with two players, but I’d say it’s better with more. My only issue was that the card stock is a little thin, but not so much that it’s flimsy. If card games aren’t your style, I was also sent a copy of the Stranger Things Ouija Board with Joyce’s wall of lights instead of regular letters and Stranger Things Monopoly complete with these awesome two sets of custom tokens for switching to mark when your character is in the Upside Down.
Price: From $34.01
5. Stranger Things Charm Bracelet
Carry the spirit of Stranger Things around with you with this charm bracelet. On first glance, it could be any old charm bracelet, but when you look closer you start seeing that this combination of charms is very specific. They include things like a baseball bat, compass, demogorgon, bike, camera, blindfold, and an ax. Strung between the charms are small multicolored beads that look like Joyce’s Christmas lights. It’s an eight inch long bracelet with an adjustable clasp that comes in black velvet drawstring bag.
6. ‘Notes from the Upside Down: An Unofficial Guide to Stranger Things‘
When you love Stranger Things you really can’t get enough of it. You re-watch the Seasons, watch some interviews, but now you’re all out and sad. Luckily, to tide us over until Season Three, there are a few books out that can give you a new way into the world of Stranger Things. Notes from the Upside Down: An Unofficial Guide to Stranger Things by Guy Adams is a book that covers Season One and dives deep into the nitty gritty of the show from the initial stages of pitching the show, specifics of the uncountable horror movie references, facts about the actors, and even the Duffer Brothers’ first ever home-movie they made together. (Spoiler: it was about Magic: The Gathering.) It’s an easy, fast read with a snarky writing style and even includes little quizzes to test your Stranger Things knowledge. It’s a fun little gift for anyone craving more Stranger Things. The book is available in paperback and on Kindle.
Price: $11 (31 percent off MSRP)
7. Stranger Things Season 1 DVD & Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition Box Set
I’d be remiss if I didn’t actually include the show. Not everyone has Netflix or you may want to cancel your subscription in the future as pricing goes up. This collector’s edition box set includes a DVD and Blu-Ray version of Season One of Stranger Things. It’s packaged to look like an old school VHS tape which was the technology at the time of the show. The outer sleeve looks battered with some fake corner wear and even has the look of one of those neon stickers you’d find on tapes in a used movie bin. The inner box in printed to look just like a VHS tape of Stranger Things. I live for good box design. With this set, no one can take the show you love away from you and you can happily binge-watch in the unthinkable situation when you don’t have WiFi.
8. Demogorgon Necklace
This pendant is a match for the demogorgon token used in the boy’s Dungeons and Dragons game in Season One, which went on to become the name of the beast from the Upside Down. This is another piece that will only be recognized by those who love the show–or those who really love old school Dungeons and Dragons, I guess. The pendant comes on an 18 inch chain and in its own gift box.
9. Hawkins Middle School A.V. Club Hoodie
Hoodies are the superior piece of clothing when it comes to comfort and lounging on the couch. This unisex, burgundy Stranger Things hoodie announces you as a member of the Hawkins Middle School A. V. club. This is an extremely comfortable way to show off your love for the show that’s more subtle than a shirt with Eleven’s face on it. Because it’s unisex sizing, the sweatshirt can run a little big on those with smaller frames like women.
Price: From 32.95
10. Superluxe Stranger Things Palace Arcade Shirt
Bringing in some Season Two references, this shirt from Superluxe sports the logo for the arcade in Hawkins where the boys have some of their most memorable scenes. This is another great “Easter egg” shirt, where only Stranger Things fans will know what it’s referring to. The shirt is screen-printed in America and made of 100 percent cotton. The cut is unisex, but those with petite figures who are used to women’s sizing, may want to order a size down. It’s available in small to XXX-large sizes.