First step: visualize the person this gift is for. Who are they? As in, what are the metaphysical properties that in summation make them who they are? Are they a geeky tech nerd or a brawny lumberjack with a penchant for beards and wrangling rams while wearing Wranglers? Either way, a thoughtful gift is something that the person wants but would not usually splurge on for such a luxury, or, something that they don't even know they need. Either way, the goal is to prompt a visceral response of 'wow, she gets me.'
Here are some ideas to get you started, aimed at geek or tech-nerd boyfriends.
The hottest tech toys this season are undoubtedly mobile phones. Yes, half the country is in love with their robot-assistant touting iPhone 4Ss. But those of us who love to tinker are staring longingly at the new crop of Android super phones relentlessly being released into the wild, from big shots such as Samsung, HTC, and Motorola. The new hotness this season is Google's next developer phone - the Galaxy Nexus.
I won't go into too many details, but this 4.65' Super AMOLED HD screen touting dual-core beast of a phone sports the most high tech features of any phone available today. However, that is not what makes this phone special. It is the pure google experience it offers in terms of software, namely the 4.0 version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. This phone will be used as the reference device for all updates to the this software version, meaning it will be first in line to receive support and upgrades from Google. Verizon is rumoured to be releasing an LTE version of this phone on December 8, however unlocked international versions will work on T-Mobile and AT&T. Check back here for an update when the date becomes official. (EDIT it is shipping unlocked on T-Mobile and AT&T for $750 from Expansys. Yikes!)
Is money no object? Then get your boy toy or dad the Samsung D8000 59 inch 3d, web enabled TV. It is one of the best TVs on the market according to CNET, and has, in my opinion the sleekest design with almost no bezel. It looks like a picture hanging on the wall. This TV is all screen. Google around for the best prices, but Abe's of Maine has the best deals with no tax, no shipping and a free wall mount. $1898 via Abe's of Maine.
What good is having a man by your side if he smells like your dog? Sitting in front of all these electronics probably won't make him break a sweat, but marathon gaming can really take its toll on our hygiene. The Acqua di Gio gift set by Armani is noted as being 'a contemporary expression of masculinity', and I'm inclined to agree. This cologne dismisses the notion that a man needs to smell 'musky' to smell good. It is the freshest, cleanest and most sophisticated cologne I've ever worn, and it lasts all day. I love it and highly recommend it. The lotions are also a nice touch and smell exactly like the cologne. $65 via Amazon
There are a ton of awesome games that were released or will be shortly this holiday season. Let's take a look.
The Zelda Skyward Sword Collectors Edition is one the most anticipated games of the year, as it is the first in the Zelda series to be programmed specifically for the Wii (Twilight Princess was a Gamecube port. The set comes with a special edition Wii Remote with MotionPlus built in. As most people don't have a MotionPlus add on, the $20 premium makes this package totally worth it. It also comes with a CD of orchestral arrangements of Zelda medleys, which is amazingly engaging and well done. $69 at Gamestop, or just the game from Amazon.
The other highly anticipated game release is the next installment of the Elder Scrolls series, Skyrim. This open world RPG boasts virtually unlimited hours of questing, an engaging storyline and graphics that are to die for. There is also a collector's edition of this game, which is physically gigantic but not necessary. If the man in your life uses the Steam platform, you can gift him the game digitally. If not, the PS3 or Xbox versions will suffice. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim $57 via Amazon
When your geek dresses up, its your job to make him look good (if he can't do it himself. Hey, it happens). Class up his look while preserving his geekiness with these amazing cuff-links, the iCuffLinks. Yes, they glow. $128 via Adafruit
Guys love building things. But we love taking thing apart even more. A good tool set is necessary to get the job done. While not professional quality, this set will get him through his hard drive installation or crime scene cover up. And at $49 via Amazon, its nothing get hung up on.
If you need something to hold you over until the iPad 3 is released Q1 of next year, Amazon has you covered. The Kindle Fire is Amazon's $199 tablet, but don't be fooled by its bargain bin price. It is fully capable of handling anything you can throw at, be it eBooks, Netflix and Amazon Prime video streaming and web browsing. Some features include:
- 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
- Thousands of popular apps and games, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and more
- Ultra-fast web browsing - Amazon Silk
- Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
- Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle - same as an iPad
I recommend this device as a cheap portable to carry with you, but don't expect the battery life to outlast your e-ink Kindle.
That concludes this holiday post. Remember, these gifts are aimed at the consumerist, but it is not necessary to spend money to make someone happy. Be nice to your boy and support him, and remind him that you love him - that means more than anything in the world. Except for the Galaxy Nexus. It doesn't mean more than that.