5 Really Cool Holiday Gift Picks

Thanksgiving is soon upon us! Yes, a full day of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, football, “Obama wants to take my guns”, questions about why you’re single, and the wine you pray will sedate you.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, though! If you can survive the 48 hours that Thanksgiving feels like, you’ll make it to Black Friday, the day that kicks off the holiday shopping season. I’ve compiled a list of some of my top gift picks, including the two I recommended Sunday morning on ABC 27. My aim with the list isn’t to go for what is incredibly obvious (which is the category I’d put the iPhone in), but to instead provide some lesser-known products that people would still enjoy getting.

Now, on to the list!

1. NES Classic Edition


If you can find an NES Classic Edition and can suppress the temptation to sell it on eBay, this is a great gift for former NES owners who don’t play games anymore, fans of Nintendo who would enjoy a collector’s item, kids who need to be educated on older games — really, anyone. I genuinely think that anyone would enjoy getting an NES Classic. Two tips:

  1. Buy a long HDMI cable. The controller cord is comically short — around 30 inches, compared to 90+ inches on the original — so you’ll need to keep the system close by.
  2. Check Walmart.com for stock at 5 PM Eastern every day. That is when Walmart updates its online inventory.

PRICE: $59.99 (when in stock!)

2. Amazon Echo Dot


If you’re okay with a smaller, lower-quality speaker, you can save yourself about $130 by opting for the Amazon Echo Dot over the larger Echo. The Dot is a device that makes use of the Alexa platform (Siri on steroids) to integrate with a wide variety of online services and Internet of Things devices. If you have some connected home gear, the Echo Dot will fit right in. And if you really want to have your mind blown, consider this — Alexa works with If This, Then That (IFTTT). Take a look at the large number of services integrated there and imagine someone not enjoying this gift.

PRICE: $49.99

3. Fitbit Aria


The Fitbit Aria is a WiFi-connected scale that automatically uploads your weight to the Fitbit platform. From there, your weight can sync with Apple’s iOS health app, diet app Lose It, and lots more. I have a traditional scale that I never really used that much, but since purchasing the Aria about a year ago, I’ve made a regular habit of weighing myself. This isn’t a gift someone might put at the top of their list, but it’s one I think most would appreciate.

PRICE: $128.99

4. Bluetooth Headphones


This is the one generic item I’m putting up here. I can’t really recommend a certain product, as there are many different styles of headphones (earbuds, on-ear, over-ear, etc). I’ll just say this — your gift recipient is going to LOVE that lack of a cord that constantly gets caught on things. And if the person you’re buying for has an iPhone 7, a nice set of Bluetooth headphones will allow them to leave that ridiculous-looking Lightning dongle at home.

PRICE: Varies

5. TrackR bravo


If you know someone who is constantly misplacing their wallet, or keys, the TrackR bravo is an amazing gift to get them. It’s one that they likely wouldn’t buy themselves, but will really appreciate once they’re forced to use it. The device pairs with your smartphone and can play a sound to alert you of an item’s whereabouts — that is, if you’re within Bluetooth range. If you’re not, the TrackR app can show you the item’s last known coordinates.

PRICE: $29.85


Shawn's currently looking for that next game to get hooked on. You can find his work here and at SVG.com.

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