It’s that time of the year again, holiday shopping season! We’re publishing this on Cyber Monday, and you can likely find all sort of greatly over-hyped deals, just like you probably did last Friday. There are still probably folks you still need to shop for, and if you have one of those “hard to shop for” folks on your list, you’ve pretty much described most everybody in our office.
We didn’t do one of these in last-year’s December newsletter (and we’re sorry for that). We did do gift guides in in 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014 and all are still great places to look for ideas as many of those links are still valid. We couldn’t leave you empty handed this year (especially after a certain newsletter editor’s wife keeps telling her to get her some Christmas ideas). So presenting Weston’s gift guide for geeks, culled from random ideas from around the office and the interwebs.
Note that any Amazon links below will go to Amazon’s smile program where a percentage of your purchase will go to a charity of your choice. If you’ve never used Amazon’s smile program, you’ll be prompted to select a charity the first time you go there (if you’re looking for ideas, feel free to select from one of the charities we donated to this year). We also may receive a few pennies via affiliate links.
Echo Dot With Clock: Smart home assistant-type devices like the various Amazon Echo devices, Google Home, or Apple HomePod devices are very handy as a center point for Smart Home setups. But you know what else is handy? Not having to say “Alexa, what time is it?” when you’re half asleep, can’t talk (or don’t want to wake the person sleeping next to you), and want to just crack your eyes a bit to get your answer (and don’t have or want a ceiling-projecting alarm clock). The simple (and popular) Echo Dot is now available with a handy clock. Once you get an Echo, get a board game that plays along with it.
Gaming on the Go: There are a few folks in our office who are into gaming and several folks who are digging the systems that Nintendo have released. The Nintendo Switch and it’s cousin the Switch Lite are very popular system that have massive game libraries and are far better gaming experiences than playing on your phone.
E-Readers: Reading on a general use tablet (like a Kindle Fire, iPad, or Samsung Galaxy Tab) is fine for a while, but if you do a ton of reading, your eyes will thank you if get a purpose-built e-reader. Amazon’s Kindle E-readers are the market leader, primarily because of their ease of use and because of their massive library behind them. You can compare the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis on Amazon’s site.
Toys: Geeks (especially in our office) are just big kids, really. So think about the toys you’d buy your twelve-year-old nephew, and we’ll probably dig it, too. Like the LEGO Technic Bash. Or epic Nerf Guns. Or massive marble run construction sets. Or table-top foosball.
Making Cleaning Easier: We all hate cleaning. We’d rather have tools do it for us (or at least help us). Like a robot vacuum, automate window cleaner, robot mop, or attachments to your drill to help with scrubbing.
Finding Lost Things: If you’re always losing things (like your keys), Tiles make things very easy to find. Attach them to something you lose quite a bit, and then use your smart phone to track them down. Lost your phone, press the button on the Tile on your keys to ring your phone.
This Beats A Garden Gnome: This velociraptor garden set will make a perfect addition to your garden. I found these on the gift finder on Uncommon Goods (a very handy tool). My only wish is that they were larger so they could then be installed on a ranch on Highway 20 west of here so they’d look like they were chasing these horses (all Bend locals will know what I’m talking about).
Retro Is the New Norm: Vinyl is making a comeback, while folks buying more and more records and preferring them over their digital counterparts. You need a good turntable to listen to those records.
Desk/Cubicle Goodies: We all have our cubicle or desk area decorated up a bit, but it’s always fun to add more to it. Like a Bob Ross or Albert Einstein bobble. Or Tiny Arcade Games. Or magnetic desk sculpture. Or a periscope.
Gifts That Keep Coming: If you’re looking for a unique gift that keeps giving, there are subscription gifts that are a lot of fun for pretty much anybody on your list. For example, you can get a subscription for a book of the month, gifts for dogs or cats, flavored water, fancy coffee, shaving kits, wine, outdoor equipment, kids toys, socks, plants, records, art supplies, meat, tea and flowers.
Not finding anything you think the geek in your family will like? Check out these sites and guides for more unique gifts: