It might be cold outside, but the heat is on to get your Christmas shopping done. There’s one way to guarantee you’ll be a seen as a star this holiday season: give the gift of technology.
We live in a gadget-loving world full of video game consoles, smartphones and high-tech toys. You’ve got plenty on your plate already as Christmas nears, so we’ve done the digging and compiled a list of the hottest tech gifts that will warm hearts this holiday season.
Whether you’re shopping for a spouse, a co-worker, your boss, a friend, grandpa, or your own kids, we’ve got you covered with snazzy smartphone accessories, entertaining toys, brilliant smart-home devices and handy gadgets. For each category, we have suggestions for a stocking stuffer, a great all-around gift, and a "Wow!" gift. There are no humbugs here, only holiday winners that will bring some extra excitement to your Christmas celebrations.
For your spouse
Stocking stuffer: Tile trackers
If you’ve ever spent time helping your husband or wife hunt down a missing pair of glasses, set of keys, or misplaced wallet, then you will want to give the gift of Tile. Tile makes small tracking devices that you attach to a key ring, slip into a wallet, or tuck into a glasses case. They start at $25 and work through an Android and iOS app using Bluetooth. Tile will help you find your lost items using sound, a map location, and the Tile community network. You may never have to hear "Honey, have you seen my keys?" again.
All-purpose: Bose QuietComfort headphones
Give the priceless gift of a little peace and quiet with a set of highly rated Bose QuietComfort headphones. These noise-canceling headphones can make the whirl of the world disappear as your spouse takes a mini-vacation free of the distractions of the home. The wireless QuietComfort 35 runs $349.99. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, then check out the well-reviewed $49.99 Tribit XFree Tune Bluetooth headphones with noise-reduction technology.
Wow: iRobot Roomba i7
A vacuum may not sound like an amazing gift, but just wait until you meet the Cadillac of robot vacuum cleaners. The iRobot Roomba i7 can power over carpets or hard floors and tackle even the biggest dust bunnies formed from pet hair. It’s a smart vacuum that learns your home and keeps it cleans with its advanced suction technology. It’s the most powerful Roomba yet and can relieve whoever handles the vacuuming of a major chore. It's like giving the gift of time.
For the kids
Stocking stuffer: ThinkFun Circuit Maze
Gameplay and education come together in the $29.95 ThinkFun Circuit Maze. Kids engage in hands-on puzzle challenges while learning how circuits and electrical currents work. ThinkFun recommends the Circuit Maze for kids ages 8 to 18. This is a game that can engage not just the youngsters, but the whole family, giving you an alternative to the standard holiday board games.
All-purpose: Moto G6 smartphone
Whether your tween is getting his first cellphone, or your child is in need of an upgrade, the Android-running Moto G6 will handle the job. Kids can be hard on phones, but at $199.99 the Moto G6 won’t break your bank or your heart if something happens to it or it gets lost. It's a workhorse of a phone that fills all your kid's needs, including keeping in touch with you and staying connected to their friends.
Wow: Nintendo Switch
The $299.99 Switch gaming console has been out since 2017, but it’s about to welcome the highly anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and kids of all ages are extremely excited about it. Fresh games and some actual bundle deals popping up during the shopping season make the Switch a prime candidate as a gift for kids. Consider picking up a $66.99 Nintendo Labo Toy-Con kit to go with it and really spark the creative imagination of your children.
For the grandparents
Stocking stuffer: SnapPower Guidelight
Regular wall outlets are transformed into nightlights with the SnapPower Guidelight outlet wall plates. Starting at $11.98, these covers are easy to install and can help illuminate the house at night without blocking usable outlets. Guidelights use long-lasting energy-efficient LEDs. They’re great for any home, but can be especially nice for seniors who could use some extra visibility around the house.
All-purpose: Amazon Echo Show
Amazon’s $229.99 Echo Show brings a large screen to the world of Alexa. One of the most compelling features is video calling, which can help your family stay in touch with the grandparents, whether they live in the same neighborhood or in another state. The large screen makes this a friendly way to interact with Alexa. Grandma and grandpa will love getting the weather, watching recipe videos, and listening to music with the Show.
Wow: Apple Watch Series 4
Apple’s newest smartwatch made a big splash as the company upgraded the gadget’s design and capabilities. What makes the Apple Watch Series 4 an especially great gift idea for your iPhone-toting grandparents is its health-monitoring capabilities. A built-in electrical heart sensor enables heart-rate notifications. It also has fall detection and Emergency SOS features. It starts at $399.99 and is a rare combination of fun and practical in one high-tech package.
For your co-worker or boss
Stocking stuffer: Anker USB 3.0 4-Port hub
It’s easy to run out of USB ports for all of your many office devices. Anker’s USB 3.0 portable aluminum hub at $17.99 is a small, good-looking way to expand on a laptop or desktop’s USB ports. It’s dainty enough to pack around, or can just hang out on your boss’s or co-worker’s desk.
All-purpose: Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard
It can be challenging to get a lot of typing done on a smartphone or tablet. That’s why your colleague will love the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard, a compact and portable Bluetooth keyboard that will give her thumbs a break. Those long emails won’t seem so daunting anymore. The keyboard goes for $99.95, but you can find it through Walmart for $74.37.
Wow: Apple iPad
If your whole office is pooling together to get one fancy gift for the boss, then consider Apple’s 9.7-inch iPad. It’s a gorgeous tablet that starts at $329, making it a perfect solution for having an extra portable screen around the house or office. Keep an eye out for holiday sales that can bring it down as low as $250.
For your friends
Stocking stuffer: Wyze Cam
Some smart-home security cameras are expensive and require an ongoing subscription, but that’s not the case with the $27.98 Wyze Cam. It’s affordable dainty, and works with a free monitoring app. It’s a smart addition to a home-security system, but also makes for a great pet cam to keep an eye on furry friends. It has a surprising amount of features, including Amazon Alexa compatibility, packed into a small package.
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All-purpose: Echo Dot or Home Mini smart speaker
Keeping with the smart-home theme, you can’t go wrong with a compact smart speaker. Your two options are the $49.99 Echo Dot for Amazon fans and the $49 Home Mini for Google and Android fans. Both are palm-sized, capable speakers that can expand an existing smart home or help someone get started with the virtual assistants Alexa or Google Assistant.
Wow: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless
Apple’s AirPods may be the world’s most famous wireless earbuds, but Sennheiser has just launched an impressive competitor that plays nice with both Apple and Android devices. The $299.95 Momentum True Wireless earbuds are a luxury way to listen to music. They’re compact and are controlled using touch. A charging case helps to extend the battery life. If you’re looking to gift an impressive set of wireless earbuds with good sound, then Sennheiser delivers. This could cement your legacy as one of the greatest gift-giving friends of all time.
The holidays are all about spending quality time with the people you love, but it doesn't hurt to also ace the art of gift-giving. Giving the right gadget to the right person will make both of you feel fantastic.