Let's face it, when you think "holiday cheer," the dystopian drama that is Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale is not the first thing that springs to mind. It's probably the last. But its dark themes have helped the series pick up legions of fans who are rooting for June (Elisabeth Moss) to finally reunite with her eldest daughter and take down the new world order, as well as fans who are even rooting for Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) to be able to make a new life for herself and her son.
For these fans, getting a gift that that celebrates their love of the show and the survivors of Gilead may be the perfect thing during the holiday season or any other time of year — especially since the show is gearing up for its final season. Just avoid anything with Gilead iconography on it; it's really unfortunate that regime has good branding but Mayday doesn't. (Though obviously we understand why.)
If you're a fan of The Handmaid's Tale as a television show, we assume you've already read the book on which it is based. (Then again, you know what they say about assuming, so if you have not, you canMargaret Atwood published The Handmaid's Tale, she followed it up with The Testaments, which takes a look at where society stands (you guessed it) 15 years after the events of her novel. That second book is going to be adapted into a series from the same creator and showrunner (Bruce Miller) who is doing The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, and while we don't know how many events from the book will make it to the screen since things have already been changed for the new medium — and admittedly the book is not much more upbeat than the original — it still makes a fascinating read.
Five seasons into The Handmaid's Tale, no one still calls former handmaids by their Gilead names (which strips of them of their actual name and puts "of" before their Commander's first name to drive home the fact that they are mere property). That doesn't mean you should forget the injustice they faced in losing their identity (among other things) while in those Commanders' homes, but it does mean you should celebrate who they really are — especially since one main character (Janine, played by Madeline Brewer) is still stuck within the Gilead system.
Gilead uses the phrase "Blessed be the fruit" as a standard greeting, but the third season twisted the phrase to impart the idea that June and the rest of the resistance was stronger than ever and were going to see some real wins. While "Blessed be the fight" is something we haven't seen on Hulu marketing materials in a while, it's still an important phrase for the show and, arguably, more important for its fans who are fighting against real-world issues every day. Wearing the words on a tote you carry to your own market, or in which you haul your books or other necessary items to brunch or the beach, should inspire you and remind you never to give up whatever it is you're fighting for.
In 2019, to celebrate the third season of The Handmaid's Tale, Hulu collaborated with Levi's to create only approximately 2,000 denim jackets celebrating the series. There are still some floating around for sale, making a very special, limited edition item for the biggest fans of the series, though you have to buy them now through resellers and the items will be "like new" at best. The jackets feature paint splatter across them and the infamous words "nolite te bastardes carborundorum" (don't let the bastards grind you down) across the shoulder blades on both the back and the front. They also come with iron-on patches, including one that says "Of Nobody" and a very important label inside where you can write your actual name, to signify who the jacket belongs to. All jackets are numbered so you know you received an authentic one.
Litographs takes the text from Atwood's novel and prints it on a scarf that is both soft and fashionable. The print is small enough that from a distance it looks like a striped pattern, but up close can be read (if one so desires). The scarf is microfleece on one side (the side with the text), and sherpa fleece on the other (no text on this side), so technically it is reversible if you decide not to show off your love for the work one day. The material itself is white, but the text can be printed in a variety of colors and fonts. And if you love the idea of getting the words printed on items, Litographs sells other options, from shirts to pillows and even a blanket, as well. Just be warned: You can't choose the passage that gets printed.
Putting pop culture irons on prayer candles has been a popular thing for several years now, and though there are some people who argue it's sacrilegious, the same could be said for the way Gilead twists fertility fears and mortality and religion together. Anyway, this prayer candle features Moss as June Osborne because if you need strength to fight just about anything in your life, that character is one to provide inspiration. It stands 8-inches tall and is said to burn for 100 hours, though we cannot vouch for if it burns clean or gives off any kind of scent.
If you're a Serena Joy diehard, this one is for you! It's hard to make an argument for adopting her ways, since her ways have been Gilead's ways, but then again, this mug isn't necessarily telling you to do what Serena would do; it's merely asking you what she would do. Perhaps that means to imagine her action and do the opposite. It's up to you. The standard mug comes in white with the design (including a cartoon Serena) printed on one side), but it is also available in a travel mug style for $25.
Being a woman of a certain social status in Gilead, Serena had the luxury of dressing better than many of the other women and therefore her style became coveted for cosplay and Halloween costumes, even if the messaging it sent was murky. If you love the teal the wives wear and are not concerned with people thinking you're trying to bring Gilead to your own city, this replica of her wife dress is impeccably detailed and can be custom made to fit any body type.
As aforementioned, Mayday doesn't have great branding, but that is because it needs to be a secret organization working within Gilead and just outside of it to resist and rebel against Gilead ways. You can show your support for that shadow organization louder and prouder, though, with this unisex, pre-shrunk cotton tee that comes in a variety of colors.
Billed as "the official companion" to the series, this 160-page coffee table book features behind-the-scenes images from the set of The Handmaid's Tale, blueprints of important locations in the series, concept sketches and color swatches for costumes, and interviews with the cast and crew to talk about bringing Atwood's story to life. You can learn about the level of detail they put into everything on the show, from the nuances of performance to the use of color in Gilead and beyond its border.