8 Great Holiday Gift Ideas
November 21, 2011 by Alison Lakin
The holidays can bring out a variety of emotions in people, but anxiety shouldn’t be one of them. Yet gift giving never seems to be as fun as gift receiving, and finding the perfect gift can be a daunting task, even if it's for someone you know well. We’re trying to make this holiday season a little more relaxing with our list of eight great gift ideas. There’s something for everyone, and for every price range. Happy holidays!
For the DIYer: Gopoint GL1
The Gopoint GL1
is a must-buy for the DIY enthusiast in your life. It turns an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into a diagnostic reader for vehicles so one can get a quick answer to the question that plagues us all: “Why is my check engine light on?” The product itself is pretty simple; it includes a free app and a cable ($99.82) used to connect the Apple device to the car’s OBD-II data port. It quickly decodes the check engine light for potential savings and increased safety. It also doubles as a charger for the i-product as well.
For the Powder Hunter: An Efficient Roof Rack
If you hadn’t heard, efficiency is the new pink. It should come as no surprise then, that both Yakima and Thule have developed super aerodynamic roof racks that reduce drag, cut wind noise, and keep fuel efficiency up. Yakima’s is called the Whispbar, and the lineup features four different bar systems starting at $389. Their Swedish counterpart’s version is the AeroBlade. The bar itself is $179.95 for two, and you’ll have your pick of support bases (starting at $149.95 for two) to attach it to the vehicle. Both claim to be the quietest roof rack system out there, which means you can’t go wrong either way.
For the Audiophile: Satellite Radio
Local radio stations can be great, but they have their limitations. And sometimes, your mp3 collection seems stale. Satellite radio fills in the gaps by offering stations covering nearly every music and talk radio type of which you could possibly conceive. Listen to stations ranging from BBC World Service to Frank Sinatra 24/7 when satellite radio is installed in a car. SiriusXM
has a number of different players – for in-car and out, that have a range of capabilities. Pick a unit that they’ll love, and you’ll be making their road trips and commutes a heck of a lot more fun.
For the Traveler: GPS
Smartphones are so commonplace that sometimes the more tech-aware of us forget that many people are still rocking the flip phone. There’s no shame in that, but you’re missing out on one of the smartphone’s best features – integrated maps and directions. Fill that void with Garmin’s thinnest GPS unit yet, the nuvi 3450
. The 4.3-inch screen will display 3-D terrain, route calculations, lane guidance, and live traffic updates. It starts at $329.99. For a less expensive option, try the $129.99 Peak 4.3" GPS
with backup camera or the $119.99 Garmin nuvi 1200. It’s got a cool ecoRoute feature that tracks your fuel usage and directs you to the most efficient route.
For the Racing Enthusiast: Senna
This fantastic documentary chronicles the life and death of arguably the greatest racing driver of all time, Ayrton Senna. Fans of Formula 1 or race car driving in general will fall in love with this beautiful look into the glory surrounding Senna’s rise to fame, including never-before-seen footage of him karting as a kid. It’s a must-buy for the racing enthusiast and a perfect stocking stuffer at around $30. The only catch is you'll have to find it, because copies are scarce.
For the Accident-Prone: Roadside Emergency Kit
Giving a gift of a roadside emergency kit might be the automotive version of underwear and socks. However, a kit – like underwear – is something a person only realizes they need when it’s too late. This 61-piece kit
($29.99) contains everything a driver and his passengers will need when in an emergency situation, like a first aid kit, blanket, flashlight, and multi-tool. As an extra bonus, throw in a water bottle and some long-lasting snacks to truly make the gift emergency proof.
For the Philanthropist: A Donation
Give a gift that goes deeper than just ‘stuff’. Head to Kickstarter.com
– or another donation-based idea generation site – to find an innovative project that you think is worthy of your recipient. In thanks, the entrepreneur will gift your loved one something in return. It might be the finished product when it becomes available or a just a simple thank you letter from the creator. Either way, you get a lot by giving a little.
For the Amateur Filmmaker: GoPro Camera
The key principles behind GoPro’s cameras are that they’re compact, high quality, and reasonably priced. Sounds like a perfect combo for a gift, if you ask us. The HD Motorsports HERO
camera pack is the ideal gift for the motoring-inclined member of your family. The $239.99 pack includes a video camera able to shoot in 1080p and various implements to attach it to planes, trains, automobiles, bikes, and helmets. Its quick release mechanism allows for easy adjustment and removal too – so your recipient can shoot their YouTube-ready video with ease.