It’s holiday time again and you’re stumped. Figuring out what gifts to buy for all the people in your life – spouse, kids, office-mate and boss is trying. We want to make that a little easier for you this year. We picked out the ten hottest gifts we could think of to fulfill most budget needs and satisfy even the pickiest gift recipient. Yes, it’s the thought that counts but you know how bad people will talk about you if you give them a wack gift, right? Here are our picks.
KINDLE FIRE HD OR IPOD MINI
If you’ve got a few dollars to spend, nothing beats the gift of technology. We’re all so plugged in these days that just about everyone appreciates a gadget. The tablet market is pretty big these days but two stand out for various reasons. The Kindle Fire HD is an e-reader at first glance, but it’s also a tablet that includes the ability to stream video and get on the web. At $199, it has most of the basic functions of an iPad, but without the cost. If your loved one is already an Apple junkie, the iPad Mini is something they’d likely appreciate. It’s a scaled down version of the iPad with the familiar Apple apps and functionality. GOOD FOR: Bosses who gave great bonuses, spouses, parents who want to be hip without a high learning curve and siblings/BFF’s who really look out for you. Kindle Fire $199 online at Amazon www.amazon.com or in stores at Best Buy. iPad Mini starting at $359 online at Apple.com or at electronics stores that sell Apple products. (Budget tip: You can pay the iPad off over several payments at www.QVC.com; no credit check required.)
If a MacBook or other high-end laptop is out of the question for a loved one who needs one, Google has you covered. Their brand new Samsung-made Chromebook gets you a laptop at a bargain price, without sacrificing too much in the way of functionality. While it may not be for high-end designers or hardcore gamers, if what your gift recipient needs is a web browser and something to write papers on, the Chromebook more than fits the bill. GOOD FOR: Kids and college students, older people on a budget, casual computer uses who use Google as their primary web entry. Google Chromebook $249 www.samsung.com.
“Ebony” magazine has been there at just about every major moment in black history since their start in 1945. That’s a lot of historic ground and their award-winning photographs most of it. From entertainment to civil rights, if Black folks were involved, “Ebony” probably documented it. Now, “Ebony” has opened up its extensive archives and the public can own those iconic photographs. The photos are available in black and white and in various sizes and can be purchased as prints or framed. Prince onstage, Malcolm X in Harlem, Martin Luther King leading a march – those images can be yours. GOOD FOR: Aunties, uncles, parents and grandparents, as well as young people with an interest in their history. www.ebony.com.
RETRO IPHONE HEADSET
For those who remember the old school cord telephones, seeing people walking around with an iPhone with a retro headset is either silly or nostalgic. But for some reason, the retro headsets, available in several color options, have taken off. Hey, Lenny Kravitz was photographed using one, so you know they’re cool. All you have to do is plug into your headphone jack and go. GOOD FOR: Teenagers, your hipster friends, nostalgic types, iPhone users. Retro POP iPhone handset www.overstock.com $13.99
Shea butter, which is harvested from Africa, is now a popular product in many body creams and lotions. But the folks at Shea Moisture, whose grandmother sold the product in her native Africa seem to have figured out the very best formulas to showcase it. Their skin, hair and shaving products are all exceptional and folks must know it since it’s almost always in short supply at the local Target. Shea Moisture has a variety of products but their lavender bath salts, scrubs and lotions as well as their frankincense and myrrh line are their most popular for a reason. GOOD FOR: Parents, spouses, grandparents and other family members, especially if they have dry skin; the products moisturize without being greasy. Head to the Bryant Park pop-up store if you’re in NYC (Check their Facebook page www.facebook.com/sheamoisture first for product availability) or go to www.amazon.com, www.walgreens.com,www. Target.com or www.cvs.com to order. Shea Moisture products are sold in selected Target stores as well.
AERIAL 7 DIY TANK HEADPHONES
Who needs Beats when you can make your own cool headphones? The Aerial 7 DIY Tank headphones are stark white and you can use markers, paint, glitter and sharpies to create your own one of a kind design on them. Take that, Dr. Dre! The cost the same and they’re extra cool. Maybe your design will have folks wanting to buy yours, instead. GOOD FOR:Teens, hipsters, music lovers and creative types $100 www.aerial7.com
CUSTOM MLB CAPS
Love the Yankees but think their basic blue caps are getting a little boring? Well, most Yankee fans would probably say blasphemy, but others think it’s funky to change up the colorways on the fitted for their favorite major league baseball team. If you’re one of those folks who think that way, there’s a place for you to custom make your own MLB hats. You can use your team logo with any color combination you want or even combine team logos and colors. Be the first on your block to rock that fuschia Yankees hat. GOOD FOR: Spouses who root for different teams, stylish guys, artsy sports fans, girlie girls who enjoy baseball. www.newerabyyou.com $57.99
GIFT OF THE MONTH CLUBS
What can you do for the person who seemingly has everything or has a passion for one thing in particular? Don’t just gift them once a year; gift them all year long with a gift-of-the-month club subscription. There are various kinds of gifts of the month clubs – for those who are into wine, cheese, food and even peanut butter sandwiches and teddy bears. You can get 3-month, 6-month and year-long gift subscriptions to make things more budget friendly. These are definitely gifts for someone worthy of the investment. GOOD FOR: Parents, collectors, foodies, wine enthusiasts and kids – you can choose kid-friendly packages as well. www.amazingclubs.com Various prices.
Give the gift of music via Spotify. The app streams just about every kind of music you can imagine and if you get a Premium account, you can play all the music offline as well. If you use Spotify, you may find you don’t even need any other option to play music. If you’re willing to help someone new to the service download the app (although it’s pretty simple to do) you can purchase a gift card at Target in increments of $10, $30 or $60, equivalent to one, three or six months of service. GOOD FOR: Serious music lovers, teens, anyone who’s lost a record collection www.engadget.com
DIDISNEY IPOD DOCK
Since even pre-teens have an iPhone or iPod these days, a regular alarm clock just doesn’t cut it anymore. Disney has come to the rescue, though, with a Disney-themed iPod dock for kids both big and small. A dock with Disney characters Phineas and Herb is one cut choice but there are a few others. The great plus of this is not just that it can play music, but it can also help wake that oversleeping child up, too.GOOD FOR: Kids and big kids who love the Disney brand www.ekids.com $49.99