It’s lonely out in space, on such a timeless (simulated) flight.
December 21, 2010 8:03 AM   Subscribe

With inspiration from this answer to this this question; I am giving my husband a week at Space Camp this holiday! Yay! Since this isn't exactly the most wrappable gift, and we are doing the gift-exchange thing in front of his entire family, please help me find the most awesome way to present this gift to him! I'm totally cool with suggestions that necessitate other purchases as long as the cost is fairly minimal (say, <$100). (Anon as he is an avid reader of
posted by anonymous to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If you have kids you could have a T-shirt printed for them saying "My Daddy went to Space Camp and all I got was this lousy T-shirt". Or else one for yourself, or another family member, you get the idea.
posted by Dragonness at 8:05 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Given the little time you have left till Christmas, you could print this yourself using supplies from a crafts store.
posted by Dragonness at 8:07 AM on December 21, 2010

When Master aqsakal and I gave our mother/wife a ticket to a prestigious concert, bought on internet and thus "virtual", for her birthday, we ran up a nice little gift certificate in PowerPoint and printed it off. Zero cost, great enjoyment. Much creative fun and games. Not exactly "awsome" as requested, but it worked fine.

Or, on preview, what Dragonness said.
posted by aqsakal at 8:08 AM on December 21, 2010

Buy and build a Lego space shuttle (the old school one, not the Explorians-on-Mars-meet-Indiana-Jones-and-Batman-in-the-future editions) and stick a note or receipt in the cargo area tucked under the Canada arm.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:09 AM on December 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

Print a golden ticket. Buy a package of Astronaut Ice Cream (the freeze-dried ice cream stuff). Open it up, put the golden ticket inside, re-seal it (iron or something? I dunno). Present it to him. Insist he open it.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 8:12 AM on December 21, 2010 [10 favorites]

If you go with the t-shirt idea, there are companies (often local) that will take your idea and create a direct digital print or ink-heat-transfer shirt. Cost for one shirt should be $25-45.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:15 AM on December 21, 2010

Buy an small Estes Rocket. Take it into the backyard (or nearby parking lot) and launch it. The smallest ones don't go very high. When they get to the top of their trajectory, a little parachute pops out and they glide down. You pack this parachute when you assemble the model (assembly of the easy rockets takes about 15 minutes), and when you stuff the parachute in, tie a little note to the strings of the parachute..."You are going to Space Camp! Merry Christmas!"...which he will get when he catches the rocket as it floats down.
posted by nickjadlowe at 8:19 AM on December 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

Find a copy of the classic Space Camp and put a note in there?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:30 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Find a copy of From the Earth to the Moon and let him unwrap that. Nthing the idea that you include a home printed certificate indicating that you have also purchased him a week at Space Camp.
posted by labwench at 8:41 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Some kind of astronaut puzzle like this one. But you've already put it together and written his name on the astronaut's space suit, and then took it apart and put it back in the box. He has to put it together in front of everyone. Might be better with a child's puzzle that doesn't have a lot of pieces.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:44 AM on December 21, 2010

Buy a package of that yucky "Astronaut Ice Cream" that's like a block of pink coffee-creamer in a mylar envelope, slit it on the bottom back with a razor and replace or augment the ice-cream with a home made certificate telling him about SPACE CAMP.

It'll be fun because of how weird it is that you are having him open this crappy $3 thing as a if it is a big deal, and then you force him to try it, and then he gets the real present.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:54 AM on December 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

When my grandparents gave me a trip to space camp for Christmas one year, they made a card covered in space shuttles and planets, which they wrapped in a box, which they wrapped in a larger box, which was in a still larger box. It made it very surprising. :)

Alternatively, what about ordering him a Space Camp flight suit to wear while he's down there, boxing it up, and giving it to him that way?
posted by BZArcher at 9:08 AM on December 21, 2010

I just read Mary Roach's book Packing for Mars: the Curious Science of Life in the Void and thought it was awesome!!! She talks a lot about simulated space missions (and also things like defecating in zero gravity). It might help get him in the mood.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:57 AM on December 21, 2010

Space Pen.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:22 AM on December 21, 2010

I'd get him a children's book about space and put a certificate inside, but I really like the idea of finding a copy of Space Camp and wrapping that with the certificate.
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:15 PM on December 21, 2010

The astronaut ice cream sounds like a natural idea, but I initially had in mind getting a small shuttle toy replica (like a Micro Machines set). And he'd still be able to display it after the trip as a memento. And heck, they're just darn cool. Maybe those two items, and the space pen, packaged as a "Space Camp Starter Kit." Maybe add a copy of "How Do You Go to the Bathroom in Space?".

And I'd probably give a Right Stuff DVD rather than Space Camp.

(Whatever you pick, I hope there aren't a bunch of MeFi-reading men around the world who end up getting the same thing, only to be disappointed that theirs doesn't include a trip to Space Camp.)
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:36 AM on December 22, 2010

Or you could do something quite different and get him a Spaced DVD set - it's a hilarious Brit TV series, with a golden ticket inside for Space Camp.
posted by Dragonness at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2010

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