IT Holiday Gift Guide 2015

By John Leopold on Dec 07, 2015

**This month we’re excited to host some guest bloggers from our Information Technology department as they share their favorite gift ideas for 2015!**

Not sure what to get for the techie in your family? Looking for the perfect gift for your slightly-nerdy relative? Check out our holiday gift suggestions for kids, techies, nerds and book worms alike!

Jason’s Picks

Picture1Munchkin Treasure Hunt: $30

This is a kid’s board game (ages 6 and up) based on the Munchkin series of games. It is light, fairly fast to play, and the mechanics of the game can be picked up easily by kids in a turn or two. Total game time is about an hour.  The game utilizes counting, basic match, decision making, risk vs. reward, logic, and decision making skills. Munchkin Treasure Hunt can be found at Toys R Us for around $30.



Snap Circuits: $34.99+

Snap Circuits makes learning electronics easy and fun! Just follow the colorful pictures in the manual to build exciting projects, such as FM radios, digital voice recorders, AM radios, burglar alarms, doorbells, and much more stuff to annoy parents! All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease.  Enjoy hours of educational fun while learning about electronics. No tools required. Uses AA batteries, your child’s curiosity and a little imagination.


Picture3Legos: $1.99-$399

“Everything is Awesome!” Since 1949, these colorful interlocking bricks have been challenging kids of all ages, guided by the company motto: “Only the best is good enough.”  Lego sets have many different themes and licensed products, such as: Star Wars, Lego Super Heroes, and Lord of the Rings.  Skill sets range from Duplo (ages 0-2), to the realistic Lego Creator, to the mechanical Lego Technic and Lego Mindstorms, which uses gears, pneumatics and robotics.  Prices range from $1.99 to $399.  The Medium Creative brick box is $34.99.  Watch out for your feet!


Lauren’s Picks

Picture4Han Solo Frozen in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray: $9.99

Perfect for that Star Wars fan eagerly awaiting NOT December 25th but December 18th (AKA the premiere of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens), this geeky ice cube tray recreates a classic moment from Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.  Your favorite Star Wars fan can clink his or her glass with a chuckle as they watch Solo slowly melt into their drink.  Bonus: It can also be used for chocolate!



Litographs T-Shirts/Tote Bags/Posters: $24-$34

What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than reading your favorite book while wearing your favorite book? Litographs produces t-shirts, tote bags, and posters that use all the words from a work of literature to create artistic designs that evoke the essence of that literature.  The book worm in your life can now wear or tote such classics as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (seen left), The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and more.  Bonus: For every t-shirt, tote, or poster purchased, Litographs donates one book to the International Book Bank.


Picture6WakaWaka Power+ Charger/Light: $79

Ever wondered if there was a more sustainable way to charge your iPhone? Or perhaps worried about what would happen if you became lost in the wilderness with a dead phone? Wonder and worry no more! WakaWaka’s solar powered charger can charge your iPhone completely in under 2 hours using just the energy of the sun! This charger also doubles as a high-powered flash light.  Bonus: For every charger purchased, WakaWaka sends a charger/light to a person affected by a humanitarian crisis (such as the recent crisis in Syria).


Picture7Uber Luxury Bonus Pick!: USB Keyboard Typewriter: $799

Lastly, for the very special writer in your life (you know the one), this gift doubles as a fully-functioning typewriter (complete with ding!) AND a USB keyboard which can be plugged into iPads, Macs and PCs.  You can even type on paper while simultaneously saving a back up to your computer.  All typewriters are “attic rescues” which have been lovingly restored.  Bonus: Watch your special writer jump with glee!


John’s Picks

Picture8Tile: $25 and up!

Ever lose things, keys, a dog, a suitcase?  Tile could help.  A small plastic square attaches to the object you want to keep track of.  If it’s within 100 feet, you can make the Tile “ring” out loud.  Any further than 100 feet and it relays its last recorded position so you know where to start looking.  If it’s not there, you can securely use the Tile community to help locate your tiled object on a map.  And if you find a Tile but not your phone, press the Tile and your phone makes noises!


Picture9Roku 4: $129

Streaming television content and games are the new TV.  Roku makes arguably the widest ranging offering in the market with over 2000 streams or channels of content available to you.  Sure it has HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon and so on, but things like international programming, children’s channels and more are also available.  Roku requires a Wifi or Ethernet connection to get on your broadband internet (not provided), and you’re set for years of entertainment. Roku also offers games with its motion sensitive remote.  (For budget conscious folks, the Roku 3 is quite good as well.) You can also plug in a set of headphones to the remote to listen to your shows without disturbing others!


Picture10Anova Precision Cooker: $129 and up!

Sous vide cooking.  The idea is this: Take a piece of fish, chicken or meat, properly season it in a sealed bag, and immerse it into a container of constantly circulating water at a precise temperature.  Then you wait.  The food eventually reaches your target temperature and it can’t over cook since it can only reach the temperature you designate as “done.” You then have a perfectly cooked, super tender piece of protein. Of the sous vide units, Anova really owns the market.  It clamps to your favorite pot and you’ll be cooking in automated style in minutes!  It will even let your smart phone know about the progress of your gourmet delicacy!


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