It’s the 18th of December, and that means one thing: there’s only six days until Christmas. The fact that there are only six days until Christmas can only mean one thing: people are starting to freak out because they haven’t finished shopping for all of the people in their lives. If you are feeling the crunch and you have geeks in you life to shop for, check out the quick grab items below. You’ll be glad you did.
If you know someone who doesn’t own a Roku or Apple TV already, or you know someone who has a second, third, or fourth TV in their home that doesn’t have a streaming device attached, $35 is a no-brainer. Though it lacks some of the fancier features of more expensive units, it gets the job. It’s also in the price range for the “expensive” stocking stuffer.
Do you know someone who’s not a geek that wants a laptop, a Chromebook could be a good fit for them. Personally, I have a few people in my life who really don’t do anything on a computer that doesn’t involve the Internet. Chrome OS is Google’s flavor of Linux, meaning that it’s super stable, and since you’re basically using the Chrome browser to do everything from surfing the web to using Google Drive for document creation and editing, it’s pretty straightforward to use. There’s nowhere for users to loose their documents or files. Genius.
It may or may not be too late to order one of these direct from Amazon in time to get it before Christmas, but you should be able to run by your local big box retail electronics store and nab one of these. The Paperwhite is thin, light, and sits in a pretty sweet price point when it comes to gift giving. If you need one “big gift” for someone who loves to read, the Paperwhite comes in at ~$139 which, in my mind, doesn’t completely break the bank, but it does count as a substantial gift. I picked the Paperwhite over the other models because it’s the most affordable model that has backlighting. I own an e-Reader that doesn’t have a backlight, and I’m here to tell you it’s a make-or-break feature in my mind.
Most people can use a good pair of earbuds, and thankfully it’s a great item that doesn’t have to break the bank. I have two main recommendations as to what to grab. First is a company, not a particular pair, and it’s Skullcandy. These guys make really good sounding inexpensive earbuds in different models that span a decent price range. They start out as cheap as $20 and can get up toward $50+. They’re all good, and come in a great range of different colors and styles, so just grab a pair that work for your giftee color-wise and work for you money-wise. My other recommendation are Apple’s EarPods. I have to admit that as much as I am a fan of Apple, I never thought that I would recommend a pair of their earbuds. Every previous design from them hurt my ears and sounded like crap. Well, that’s no longer the case. The EarPods are both comfortable and have wonderful sound. The have a built-in mic and control that work with iPhone, and a benefit that I’ve not seen before in an earbud: there is no rubber or foam. The EarPods are completely plastic, which means that there’s nothing to come off and render them useless, or get nasty dirty and need to be replaced.
I have a lot of family members who absolutely hate the idea of giving me gift cards for Christmas, despite the fact that I have asked for them. Most of the time, there is very little chance of my entire family ganging up together to buy me a PS4 (which is what I really want for Christmas – send your donations to Free For All HQ). But if they all get me either VISA or GameStop gift cards, I can collect it all and get what I really want. Don’t be afraid to buy someone in your life a gift card if you can’t figure out what to get them. It’s not a sign that you don’t care. It’s not impersonal. If you know that someone on your list loves video games, but you don’t know what to get them, either listen to the Game of the Year 2013 FFA show and take a stab, or buy them a gift card. It shows that you know what they like, and that you respect the fact that they have a taste that’s all their own and that you didn’t want to guess.
Well, that’s it. I hope that these ideas help in some small way.
I’d like to wish everyone in your home, along with everyone here in mine, a very Merry Christmas.