It’s the season of gifts. I usually take the easy route when giving gift cards, but I’ve found that there can be issues on the easy route. Two Amazon gift cards I purchased did not reach their recipients. Amazon replaced one quickly, but the other had been stolen and used. I’m still waiting for a resolution on this.
This year will likely be the last I’ll give away Amazon gift cards unless or until Amazon moves to store credit. It’s too easy to lose the cards and the postal service is unreliable these days. I had planned to gift the cards to people so they can get what they want for Christmas during Black Friday and Cyber Monday but if they don’t get the cards on time or at all , it’s really useless.
think about it
When giving a gift, it’s important to sit down and think about why you’re giving it. Is it a reciprocal, friendly or family obligation? Do you want to impress the person or just give them a reason to think of you? Is it something that will reflect on your job, your relationships, or your status?
All of these questions will determine how much time you spend on the gift, but if you don’t spend most of that time thinking about what the recipient wants, chances are you’ll both be disappointed with the outcome.
If you’re not sure what to get someone, a gift card is a great choice. The recipient doesn’t have to return what you bought them if they don’t like it, which might hurt a little if you took a long time to select the gift.
I avoid very personal gifts like perfume, cologne, clothes, or jewelry unless I really know that person’s tastes or they’ve specifically requested it. I also avoid personal electronics for the same reason with the same caveats. It never hurts to ask someone what they would like for Christmas.
For this guide, I’m going to focus on one vector: the things people will watch that will make them think of you when they do. I’ll break down each giveaway by cost, but the general theme will be things that would help them kindly remind you.
Under $25 – Supledck 5×7 Picture Frame
For less than $25, I’d go with a talking picture frame and a photo of something memorable you did with the person you’re giving the gift to.
I found the Supledck 5×7 Picture Frame for $21.99 on Amazon.
You can save the memory and in particular any anecdote related to what happened before, during or after the shooting.
You can even do some embarrassing stuff – and with some Photoshop skills, you can turn that image into something much more memorable.
Under $50 and $100 – Damascus Chef’s Knives
As we come to the under $50 and $100 ranges, consider shopping on Etsy, a site where manufacturers sell their wares, but you’ll need to know your recipient’s interests. If they love to cook, consider these distinctive chef’s knives.
My under $50 pick is the Hand Forged Damascus Steel Blade Custom Chef’s Knife is very well made, affordable at $33, and the Damascus treatment on the blade is fantastic.
For just under $100 – also on Etsy – I found a handmade black chef’s knife set. The set also looks amazing and is on sale at the time of this writing for a whopping 70% off at $98, making it one hell of a deal.
These are beautiful knives; they won’t break the bank and the reviews are solid. I was tempted to pick up a set for myself, and I still might.
Under $150 – Soundcore by Anker Space Q45 headphones
We are now in a price range where electronics can make sense. Noise-canceling headphones are a must-have for anyone who travels, but finding a pair to sleep in can be problematic. You can try headphones, but when worn for a long time, my ears itch, which is not conducive to sleep.
The most comfortable headphones I’ve tested this year – priced at $149.99 on Amazon – are the Soundcore by Anker Space Q45 headphones.
Their noise cancellation is impressive for the price, and they’re soft enough to sleep on while wearing them on my last trip to Europe. I arrived much more rested than I otherwise would have, especially considering that airlines are uncertain about getting you to your destination these days.
Under $250 – Fi Series 3 Pet Collar
If someone has a pet, they are likely worried about that animal getting out and getting lost. The best GPS collar I’ve found is the Fi collar, now in its third series. We have the Series 2 for two of our three dogs and we love it. Once our new little buck ran out of the yard, but I was able to find him quickly with the Fi Collar and my smartphone.
The collar itself is free with a $192 one-year service plan. It has long battery life and will provide great peace of mind if you have a wondering pet. Granted, that would be fine for a year, but it could possibly create subsequent annual gifts if the recipient loves the necklace as much as we do.
Related tip for pet sitters: The Next Door app posts near-daily alerts from people who have lost their pets.
Under $500 – Meta Quest 2 VR Headset
Now we start talking about serious money.
One of the most fun gifts for everyone but the person using it – well, at first, anyway – is the Meta Quest 2 Advanced All-in-One Virtual Reality Headset with 256GB of Memory Comes with two of my favorite Quest 2 games, Resident Evil and Beat Saber.
Meta Quest 2 is an untethered headset, which makes it safer than other alternatives. Watching someone play Resident Evil 4 can be as entertaining for the people watching the player as it is for the player playing the game. Beat Saber is still my favorite game, and I can break a sweat playing it, which also makes it a excellent aerobic activity.
Best Buy has the Meta Bundle – Quest 2 Resident Evil 4 with Beat Saber – 256GB on sale for $429.99.
Under $1,000 – LG 48″ OLED TV
At $1,000, we’re talking gifts for a spouse or significant other you really want to impress, or for a child who has a major event, like a graduation, or deserves a major award. This price really comes down to knowing what the person wants.
While I don’t usually recommend a TV, LG has a huge sale on its 48″ OLED TV, which is normally $1,299 but currently $799.
I have one in our room, and it’s impressive. Awesome colors – blacks are very black – and sound so good that I stopped using a soundbar with this TV.
If you want something the recipient will watch a lot and likely remember, the LG 48″ OLED TV is a great option.
Over $1,000 – HP Dragonfly Folio 13.5″ G3 2-in-1 Laptop
I was going to choose crazy stuff like the yacht that’s also a submarine, the Jetson One flying car, or any guy’s dream ride, the Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 remake, which I’m drooling over again about myself.
Instead, I’ve decided to feature my favorite laptop of the year, the HP Dragonfly Folio G3 Laptop. It’s not a cheap date as it costs over $3000 fully configured, but, for me, it’s the perfect laptop, especially if configured with the WUXGA+ touchscreen and 1000 optional Low Blue Light nits and 5G.
The Dragonfly Folio G3 is upholstered in the best durable leather – not made from cows, but looks natural – is lightweight at 3 pounds, although it does feel lighter, has decent performance (up to an Intel i7) and All-day battery life, so you can leave the charger in your hotel room, home, or backpack.
It has an 8K video camera, automatic background blur to disguise what’s behind you, some of the most impressive noise-canceling technology I’ve ever tested, and four built-in speakers, perfect for watching movies in your hotel room.
Oh, and it has a cantilevered screen that’s perfect for watching TV or movies on a plane or in bed. Perfect for someone like me who travels too much but wants their entertainment to go where it goes.
Alternative Selection for Gamers – Alienware m17 R5 Gaming Laptop
An alternative for the gamer in your life is the AMD-based Alienware m17 gaming laptop, the most powerful gaming laptop I’ve tested all year. The m17 can be configured with the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX processor and AMD or Nvidia discrete mobile graphics solutions, including the Radeon RX 6850 or Nvidia RTX 3080 TI.
Fully configured it’s cheaper than the HP I mentioned above, but if you configure it correctly you can get up to six hours of battery life when you’re not gaming. If you’re gaming, you need a plug and a massive power supply, but for the gamer in your life, the Alienware m17 R5 gaming laptop is the one to covet.
It’s a Wrap
No product of the week this week since, indeed, all the previous ones are worthy of this name. So we’ll leave it at that with my hope that Santa Claus is good for you this year. Watch out for icy roads. My wife and my neighbor were hit from behind in two separate accidents. Happy Holidays!
#Gift #ideas #recipients #fondly